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Internet Explorer is the preferred browser on Windows OS as it comes by default and always is a default browser on machine, unless you change it. When you open a web page in it, it may show everything correctly, but sometimes it fails. I have seen many occurrences of its failure when working with Crystal Reports. Have we ever given a thought why it fails, why it does not show Crystal reports correctly?

To start with let’s define failure.

While using Internet Explorer 9, some web pages might not display at all, portions of a webpage might be missing, information in a table might be in the wrong locations or colors and text might be incorrect, crystal report toolbar is not displayed, data is not shown by crystal report.

The definition of failure is really not precise, but should be good enough to understand what can happen.  IE 9 is not supported at this time by Crystal Reports any version. With this blog some of the information that I have gathered can shed light on the “Why it is not supported?”

Why this happens?

We being developers always want to ensure that the website should be compatible with every browser and every established web standard. We like to see our websites to run on new browsers, browsers does respect it and tries to display to page/ website to most compliant modern web standard.

Most of the browsers recommend using HTML 5, latest in the HTML league, supporting the widest variety of established and emerging standards, as well as the broadest range of web browsers. There are no specific reasons for this behavior; every browser suggests incorporating features from the latest standards in the website.  I don’t intend to share all information when there are good articles available. Probably some of you must have gone through it as well.

While going through most of the articles, I read something about DOM and Chakra. The new document object model (DOM) loads the application and web pages faster. Chakra is the new JavaScript engine, which takes the advantages of multiple CPU cores through Windows to interpret, compile and run code in parallel.

Hitting arrow in the dark:

Crystal Reports Viewer depends heavily upon the JavaScript. When we run the web page (report), the new Jscript engine is not able to interpret the things properly resulting in the failure or it could be the new DOM not able to process the document and incorporate back the processed information into the presented page or both.

What is to be done now?

Use the X-UA-Compatible header to specify the versions of Internet Explorer that your pages should support. Use document.documentMode to determine the compatibility mode of a webpage. Compatibility View can also be turned on. Last option would be to wait for new release of Crystal Reports patch, but it is likely to support in the Compatibility View.

SAP must revive its strategy to incorporate all the features of HTML5 for Crystal Reports Viewer and the day shouldn’t be far when we would be seeing it in the forthcoming patches.

Additional Resources:

  1. HTML5
  2. Document Object Model (DOM)
  3. Introducing Compatibility View
  4. Defining Document Compatibility
  5. Why are some webpages blank or incorrectly displayed in Internet Explorer 9?
  6. Internet Explorer 9 FAQ for IT Professionals
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