Company use of Web Browser compatibility mode major mistake

I’ve heard horror stories and lived a few in my time but one such major cock up came to my attention this week.

Helping to deliver a major project, I have the privilege to sign off certain things. One such area is testing and specifically in this instance UAT testing for an up and coming application release.

The testing team made me aware of a bug in IE 11 where the new web app doesn’t work 100% while in compatibility mode.

Ok I think we’ll just don’t use it that way then, I hear you say.

Not quite that easy.

You see the whole company decided some time back that because they had several old apps that needed to be in compatibility mode to operate properly, that they made a group wide policy to just set compatibility mode on for the whole business……

Yep you heard me right.

My jaw dropped to the floor.

How could a massive international multi billion pound company do such a thing.

This is not the way you are supposed to use the compatibility mode on browsers. You leave the mode off and instead have group policies to add in to the exceptions list all of the apps / domains needed to be in compatibility mode. This way all other sites and new work is built to the right standards while keeping older apps working and a list of them. However because the whole business has this setup we can’t now roll out a new change.

Instead we have to reset the setting and test the whole estate to then do it right and build a new group policy to manage this. All unnecessary work and cost

Word to the wise. Don’t default your business to use compatibility mode across your IT estate. It’s lazy and will bite you on the backside eventually. Do it properly from the outset.

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