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March 24, 2009

AAC and IE 8.0

Some days ago, Microsoft officialy released IE 8.0. Since IE 8.0 will be available trough Windows Update soon, more and more users will hit existing AAC deployments with this browser. Unfortunately this is not working as expected. This is, how an AAC portal page looks like in IE 8.0 with default settings:

Portal
OWA

The layout is crushed, links are missing and OWA is nearly unusable 🙁

A small change in the file C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\CitrixSessionInit\NUI.aspx solves the display issue by forcing IE 8.0 into IE 7.0 compatibility mode.

It is sufficient to add the following line in the header of the NUI.aspx file:

<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=EmulateIE7″ />

Your header might look like this after the change:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<title>Citrix Access Gateway</title>
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE7" />
<meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 7.1" />
<meta name="CODE_LANGUAGE" content="C#" />
<meta name="vs_defaultClientScript" content="JavaScript" />
<meta name="vs_targetSchema" content="http://schemas.microsoft.com/intellisense/ie5" />
<link rel="SHORTCUT ICON" href="themes/default/images/favicon.ico" type="image/vnd.microsoft.icon" />
<base id="baseElement" href="" runat="server" />
<link id="cssElement" rel="stylesheet" href="" runat="server" />
<!--[if IE]>
<style type="text/css">

Immediately your portal is rendered again as it should be 🙂

Portal
OWA

This is not a final solution for the problem, but until Citrix releases a fix for this issue it will do…

Regards
Ecki

June 18, 2008

IE kiosk mode

I recently had a customer that wanted Internet Explorer to be published as a locked down version without toolbars and userinterface. The goal was to publish a browser based application to allow for a smart card rollout and not allowing users to browse away from this site. The search for a solution was harder than expected.

The solution most frequently found with Google was the built in “kiosk mode” of Internet Explorer. This mode can be activated by appending the parameter -k to the IE shortcut. For more details see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/154780. In this mode the IE starts in full screen mode, but without the ability to access the navigation panes, toolbars and menus as it would be possible when switching to full screen view by pressing F11. To end such a session, the user is forced to use the Alt. + F4 hotkey and all navigation in IE has to be done through hotkeys too. Not the solution we wanted for standard users 🙁

The next approach were Microsoft Group policies, but they too had too many constraints and issues. One issue here was, that there is no way, to hide the standard toolbars through group policies. It would have been therefore inevitable to manipulate the HKCU branch of the users registry at logon. This is a subject, where the otherwise “overloaded” IE policies are not detailed enough 🙁

The solution came through a VBS object. Internet Explorer can be addresses and controlled through VBS. This gave me the possibility to adjust the user interface of the IE and to hide all toolbars, navigation panes and menues, without disabling basic functionality. The following code starts IE with a predefined URL and makes it much more difficult for users to break out of the predefined environment 🙂

DIM IE
Set IE = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application")
IE.Navigate "http://this.is.the.url.to.be.shown"
IE.Visible=True
IE.Toolbar=no
IE.Menubar=no
IE.Statusbar=no
IE.Width=750
IE.Height=600
IE.Resizable=yes
'IE.Top=5
'IE.Left=5

The entry IE.Navigate stands for the target URL. Take care that the whole URL is surrounded by double quotes. Optional parameters are for the windows size (IE.Width/IE.Height) and the windows position on the users desktop (IE.Top/IE.Left).

IE kiosk mode

This script works perfect under Windows XP and 2003 Server. With Vista and 2008 Server administrative privileges are required!

Regards
Ecki

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