Microsoft MVP Jeremy Moskowitz and Shane from Admin Arsenal demonstrate how you can always open the right browser for the right web site using the PolicyPak browser router.
Using The Browser Router in PolicyPak
Shane: Hi. I’m Shane from Admin Arsenal. And we have Jeremy Moskowitz, Microsoft MVP for Group Policy.
Jeremy: That’s right.
Shane: So what are we going to do today?
Jeremy: Today, we are going to describe how you can – well, actually, you tell me. You ever have anybody ask you, “How do you open up the right browser for the right website?”
Shane: I’ve got people say, “I’ve got applications that work in this and that.”
Jeremy: Exactly right because they get a crappy experience if they’re using the wrong browser.
Jeremy: What we’re going to do is we’re going to demonstrate how – well, you’re going to show to just get Chrome out there for maybe people who don’t have Chrome or Firefox or whatever. And then after that, we’re going to say, “When you’re in the wrong browser, open up the right browser for the right website.” That’s called the PolicyPak Browser Router. We’re going to check that out.
Shane: Okay, sweet. So we’re going to go computer two?
Shane: So we’re going to push out Chrome to computer two. I think we’ve already got Firefox and Internet Explorer out there.
Jeremy: Which is reasonably standard.
Shane: Some apps might be ActiveX and require IE and then others might say you’ll have a better experience in Google.
Jeremy: Or you want all of your local intranet sites to be used, say, in Internet Explorer.
Shane: Okay, well, let’s put this out for computer 2. And there it goes. It’s now getting pushed out there so that should take about a minute.
Jeremy: Alright, so while that’s cooking with gas, what I’m going to do is go over to my Group Policy management console. For all of my Deadwood users – no, my standard users, I want to manage the right website with the right browser. How about that? That’s a great GPO name. I like very descriptive GPO names.
Shane: Me, too.
Jeremy: Not that I would use that in production, but that’s the general gist. Okay, so under user side PolicyPak, and this is a node we haven’t explored yet in any of our videos, we’re going to click on the Browser Router node.
Shane: Browser Router node.
Jeremy: Yeah, Browser Router. We thought that was an interesting name. Have you ever had a scenario where different browsers say, “I want to be in charge”? Or “No, I want to the default”? So all we’re going to do to make that problem go away is add new default browser. What’s your favorite one?
Shane: Oh, Chrome.
Jeremy: Chrome. And then when we click on Chrome and that’s the end of that problem. The end.
Shane: Alright, but then if I have an ActiveX application that only wants to work in IE?
Jeremy: Yeah, so we’ll create a new policy. So for instance, let’s say you want it to say, “Whenever you go to Microsoft.com” – and that’s just the name of the policy. So I’ll copy it. So whenever you go to that URL, go to Internet Explorer and that’s it.
Shane: Oh, wow. And I saw regx there so you guys can use regular expressions?
Jeremy: Yeah. If you know how to do that, you can do that. Or you can say anytime you go to anything in Google land, you can say go to a wildcard and anything *Google*, that will got to Chrome.
Jeremy: And then we can also say add a new policy for *Firefox* and we’ll make that go to wildcard Firefox. And then let’s say somebody wants to be naughty. So we can say add a new policy and if they go to – let’s not be super naughty, let’s go to XYZ.
Shane: That’s my favorite site.
Jeremy: So if they go to a wildcard of *XYZ, we’re going to block it and say “no, no, don’t do that”. Does that make sense? So we’re going to have a pop-up. So that’s it. That’s Browser Router. You simply decide what things you want to do for what websites. Of course, you can even say anything that’s defined as a local intranet, go to Internet Explorer.
Shane: Oh, that’s great because you’ll have a lot of companies that say, “We have applications that you have to access your timecard or whatever that have to be –
Jeremy: Has to use the right – exactly. You’re on the right track. And for Internet Explorer, we can also set what’s called the Default Browser Mode. So we can make IE 11 render in specific modes if that’s what you require. So we’re not going to demonstrate that, but you get the general gist.
Shane: That’s great.
Jeremy: So we’ve defined our routes. We’ll go over to our endpoint there, which is computer two. Look, Chrome, magically delicious. We’ll run GP Update just to get the latest, greatest signal that we just created in Group Policy land. I’ll wait for this to finish.
Shane: I would have called the no-no policy “Bad Touch”.
Jeremy: Bad touch. Bad touch, good touch. And that should be it. Now, there’s a couple ways we can demonstrate this. If we go to say right, our good old right guy – what did we say? We said if we went to www.Microsoft.com, www.Google.com, www.Firefox.com, and www.XYZ.com, right? Those are the scenarios. So let’s see if it all works.
Jeremy: So we’ll click on Microsoft. That was supposed to be?
Shane: Obviously, Firefox.
Jeremy: No, Internet Explorer. Right and that’s exactly what it did.
Shane: That’s fantastic.
Jeremy: If we go to Google, what did we say?
Shane: Chrome, baby.
Jeremy: Let’s see if that’s what happens.
Shane: And we just installed Chrome so maybe – I wasn’t sure if it had to be opened one.
Jeremy: There we go.
Shane: Already rocking.
Jeremy: What was Firefox? Firefox, right? That’s a pretty easy one. So let’s see if that actually does what it’s supposed to do.
Shane: There you go.
Jeremy: But this gets better even faster. Hold on. Check this out. We go to XYZ.com and “no, no, don’t do that”. But wait a second. Here’s where we can really turn the juice on. Let’s say you’re here in Internet Explorer, in a tab, in a new tab, and you say, “You know what? I really want to go to Google.com.” This is the wrong browser. Watch this.
Jeremy: From one browser, we’re going to route you to the right browser. So if you only have one tab open, we’re going to close that tab and open up the right browser.
Shane: What if they don’t have the right browser installed?
Jeremy: Then we will default back, all the way through if they don’t, to Internet Explorer.
Shane: Okay, good.
Jeremy: And that is Browser Router, opening up the right browser for the right website.
Shane: Talk about getting a handle on your environment on all your computers. This works with almost any need that people have. This is fantastic.
Jeremy: Yeah. You can deploy and upgrade your browsers using PDQ, manage the heck out of those browsers using PolicyPak. That’s the deal.
Shane: Jeremy Moskowitz, the MVP babies. I’m Shane. We’ll talk to you guys later.
Jeremy: Thank you very much.