The latest Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) release, ACT 5.0.5428.1080 is publicly available and can be downloaded here.

To give you some background, ACT helps customers understand their application compatibility situation by helping identify which applications are compatible with Vista, IE7, and IE8 and which require further testing. ACT allows compatibility data to be uploaded from individual machines to a central location for analysis, grouping and reporting. Once an issue has been identified, help will be available on how to resolve a particular issue or create a workaround. Furthermore, partners and customers using ACT are able to post comments to the Online Application Community, where they can share data and information about application compatibility testing.

The IE components of ACT are:

  • Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool (IECTT). The IECTT helps identify your Web-based issues, shows your results in real time, and allows you to upload and view the data in the Application Compatibility Manager (ACM), a part of the ACT toolkit. As you test your application or site, the IECTT records events in real time when compatibility issues occur. For instance, if one of your sites injects JavaScript to another site and the IE8 Cross-site scripting (XSS) filter detects this as a reflection attack, a Cross-Site Scripting Filter event would be logged in the IECTT UI.
  • Internet Explorer Compatibility Evaluators (IECE). The IECE can be deployed within an enterprise and will help identify Web-based issues in the background. As you test your application or site, the IECE records events in the background as they occur. You will be able to view the logged events in the ACM after you upload them.

Overall, these tools help customers lower their costs for application compatibility testing, prioritize their applications, and deploy Internet Explorer more quickly.

The work flow for identifying application compatibility issues before rolling out a new version of IE8 is shown below:

Application Compatiblity Testing Workflow

  1. Install the latest version of ACT and IE8.
  2. Either deploy the IECE to a body of testers or use the IECTT and enable logging.
  3. Begin a regression test pass of all line of business applications and sites.
  4. Once a compatibility event has been encountered, diagnose the problem and create a suitable workaround or fix.

New Application Compatibility Events added in IE8

We added logging for twelve new Application Compatibility Events in IE8, as shown in the table below. Including the IE7 events, we now currently log 31 compatibility events. The Internet Explorer Compatibility article contains more information on these events. 

New IE8 Event Name Event ID
Cross-Site Scripting Filter 1046
Intranet at Medium Integrity Level 1047
DEP/NX Crash Recovery 1048
Standards Mode 1049
File Name Restriction 1056
Codepage Sniffing 1058
AJAX Navigation 1059
Application Protocol 1061
Windows Reuse Navigation Restriction 1062
MIME Sniffing Restrictions - no IMAGE elevation to HTML 1064
Web Proxy Error Handling Changes      1065
Certificate Filtering 1073

Internet Explorer Application Compatibility article

In the past, we noticed that the ACT tool helped identify the compatibility issues that occur in a line of business application or website, however, the tool itself did not provide any guidance for remediation. In IE8, we are providing a resource that gives exactly that information. The article is linked directly in the IECTT logged message or is directly available here. The article covers the following topics for all IE7 and IE8 compatibility events:

  • Logged Message – This is a copy of the event description that you’ll see in the Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool.
  • What is it? – This is an elaboration of the logged message explaining what the event is. Additional references are provided when available.
  • When is this event logged? – This is a short description of what has to happen in your Web page for this event to be logged in the Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool.
  • Example – Most events include examples that demonstrate how to make the corresponding event create a log entry in the Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool. These examples help make the description of the event more concrete.
  • Remediation – Guidance on what you can do to eliminate the incompatibility from your Web site.

We will be adding additional examples and remediation to this article before the final IE8 release.

As you can see, we refined our Application Compatibility logging in IE8 and have provided a useful resource in the IE Application Compatibility article. We look forward to you trying it out and giving us feedback in the IE newsgroups.