Is Chrome ready for enterprise applications?

This post was written by jimrobson on August 30, 2013
Posted Under: Browsers

The mailto handle is a standard that has been in place since the beginning of time, in Web development terms. That being the case, we might expect it to be supported by all browsers in a consistent and predictable manner. However, it turns out that at least one major browser has not managed to reliably support this standard.

I stumbled across this issue when a mailto link quit working in Chrome. A bit of research revealed that Chrome had trouble with mailto in 2011, but nothing more recent had been reported anywhere, so I posted the issue to the Chrome product forum. As of this writing, no one has offered a solution or workaround. You can see a demo of the bug here.

This is not the only situation where Chrome does not behave as other browsers do. When opening new windows with the JavaScript method, both Firefox and Internet Explorer respect the position directives, but Chrome does not. This is significant when developing applications for users who have multiple monitors, which is what my team is currently doing. We enable the users to open multiple views in separate browser instances. Users find this extremely helpful. On one monitor, for example, the user may have their main work screen, where they dig in and work with the data, while a dashboard screen is displayed in another monitor. With IE and FF, we can make sure that the satellite window opens in the available monitor, and not on top of the main window. With Chrome, however, this is not possible; Chrome opens the new window wherever it wants to, which is generally on top of the existing window, thereby getting in the user’s way and forcing them to manually reposition it.

Chrome is a great browser for personal use, but I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s a suitable container for enterprise applications. This is something I would rather not have to think about, of course. After nearly seventeen years in Web development, it is disappointing to still be running into browser compatibility issues. But in the final analysis, when life hands you lemons, what is there to do but make lemonade?

We have a wonderful group of end users who are entirely willing to work with us in whatever way they can. Though Chrome seems to be, in general, their browser of choice, they have already volunteered to refrain from using it. If we keep encountering issues like these, it appears that I am going to have to ask them to do just that.


Reader Comments

you might want to try and develop your apps in Apache Flex…Great OOP framework…rapid development and cross browser compatibility…all around great enterprise platform.

Written By Mark Fuqua on August 30th, 2013 @ 10:59 pm

Mark - this is a Flex app. But there are some things that need to go through the browser, such as opening new windows and external links.

Written By jimrobson on August 31st, 2013 @ 2:55 pm