Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Testing cross browser compatibility for SharePoint 2010

You will obtain the best user experience by using Internet Explorer 7


I have performed tests to check the cross browser compatibility of the SharePoint 2010 Beta version. As announced by Microsoft, it is good. For example, some of the most exciting advanced graphic functionalities using Ajax in SharePoint 2010 wiki page are working well for Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8, but also for Firefox 3.5 and Chrome 3. But some browsers are still missing interesting functionalities and I thought it was important to post about it.

1 - Drag and dropping the Web Parts

One of the most amazing features supplied by SharePoint in the old 2007 version and the new 2010 version is the possibility to move a web part from a zone to another one by simply drag and dropping the web part. In order to perform advanced tests regarding the cross browser compatibility of SharePoint 2010 I have tested this functionality with the two latest version of Internet Explorer, and the latest versions of Firefox and Google Chrome, since drag and dropping web part within a page in edit mode is maybe one of the most tedious thing to implement in order to have the same result for several different browsers.

Two types of Web part location in SharePoint Foundation 2010: Wiki Pages and Web Part pages

In SharePoint 2010 you have now at least two kinds of places where to display a web part:

  • a Web Part Page

    As before you can create a Web Part page and add a Web part to a zone

  • a Wiki Page

    A fantastic new feature in SharePoint 2010 is that you can insert a Web Part in the text of one of the Rich Text Editor zone available in the new Wiki Page. (To add, remove, or rearrange the text zones, use the "Text Layout" menu in edit mode)

Moving a Web Part from a zone to another in a SharePoint 2010 Wiki Pages

However, what's about moving a Web Part from a zone to another one by drag and dropping it and the cross browser compatibility?

It is a bit difficult to drag and drop a Web Part from a text zone to another in a Wiki page, but it is possible. You have to select the Web Part by clicking its Caption :

then keeping pressing the left button of the mouse you can move the Web Part (you can check that the cursor change from the "hand" shape to the "move" shape)

But to be sure to actually move it you must release the mouse button when you see the caret appear in the place where you want to move the Web Part.

And it's done.

Don't forget to save the page, otherwise all is to do again from the beginning. Although there is a warning pop up while exiting the page, you will certainly forget to save the page while moving Web Parts in SharePoint 2010 wiki pages, because you have not to save the page when you perform the same operation in a Web Part page. In a Web Part page, you just have to exit the edit mode and it's done. I did not succeed in making it works neither in Firefox, nor in Chrome.

Tip for scrolling the page while moving a Web Part in a SharePoint 2010 wiki page

Furthermore, if you have to scroll the page to access to a destination text zone you will have to use the mouse wheel while drag and dropping the Web Part! Not always very easy... This tip for moving a Web Part can be performed only in Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8.

Moving a Web Part from a zone to another in a SharePoint 2010 Web Part page

If you want to succeed in drag and dropping a Web Part from a zone to another in a Web Part page use Internet Explorer 7. The drag and drop does not work at all in Firefox and Chrome, it works in Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8, but you cannot scroll the page while drag and dropping the Web Part in Internet explorer 8!

2 - Using SharePoint 2010 document libraries Explorer View

The document libraries Explorer View failed to display in Internet Explorer 8 when I tried it with the Beta version but it seems to have been fixed and I have succeeded in making work on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Seven. I have to re test it on XP.

However, it works like a charm for Internet Explorer 7. For the other browsers, the functionality is displayed as disabled.


Here is a table summarizing some of the SharePoint 2010 functionalities discussed in this post, and their availability for IE 7, IE8, FF 3.5, Chrome 3.0.

Internet Explorer 7 Internet Explorer 8 Firefox 3.5 Chrome 3.0
Drag and dropping a Wep Part in a Web Part page Ok Page Scrolling unavailable Unavailable Unavailable
Drag and dropping a Wep Part in a wiki page Ok Ok Unavailable Unavailable
Document libraries Explorer View Ok OK on Windows 7, have to test it on XP Unavailable Unavailable

So, Internet Explorer 7 is still for me the best web browser to use for browsing a SharePoint 2010 site.


Unknown said...

Nice post. I would also add that Project Server 2010 will not even load for any non IE browser.

Marc Charmois said...

Thank you Eugene,

for your appreciation and the complementary information.