Archer continues to remove Silverlight from their administrative back-end pages with the expectation of full removal by the fall of 2021, as we discussed in our last Archer/Silverlight update post.
We’ve previously discussed the pain Silverlight has caused (scroll down to the last paragraph if you missed it), especially those tasked with the facilitation of or performance of Archer configuration. If you’re reading this article, chances are high that you’ve experienced that pain yourself. We’ve finally been given the details on the version, expected release date, and technology that will replace Silverlight’s functionality on critical administrative pages like the Application Builder.
Recent Archer product roadmap meetings have focused on the upcoming version release that will focus on the removal of Silverlight from Archer – Version 6.9.3.
It looks like RSA wants to get that removal in before 7.0, which makes sense as many organizations will want to take a wait-and-see approach before upgrading to such a major version jump. However, the fact that Microsoft Silverlight’s end-of-life is in October means Archer needs to release a Silverlight free version prior to then.
Although React’s open source license does address the issue of proprietary technologies, there is still some concern as the roadmap and development of React is still highly influenced by Facebook (which owns the licensing). There have been licensing battles in the past that could hint at a similar future situation with vendor “lock-in” challenges such as with Silverlight and Microsoft, but this seems a lot less likely this time around.
What Archer will need to focus on in order to successfully continue this new approach is bettering their historic pace of development. Microsoft stopped developing new features for Silverlight in 2012, but Archer is just now completing the move to a new technology after all those years. Open-source alternatives like OpenSilver were available, and many others in similar situations used options such as OpenSilver as a sustainable solution or stop-gap (but Archer did not).
React has consistently released a new version of their framework almost every year; these new versions often come with changes requiring development efforts to re-implement, but typically offer a tangible payoff in terms of functionality or performance. At Cential, we’re hoping to see Archer’s development team keep the pace of development consistent with the pace of React libraries so the Archer community continues to benefit from the enhanced capabilities and performance.
Expected Release Date
Archer has said that this version will be released by mid-September. I imagine we’ll all be taking a collective sigh of relief when we no longer have to use workarounds and resort to IE to work with Archer. Even better, we can look forward to enhanced and modernized functionality.
If you’re able to access the RSA Community, you can read the full text of the RSA Product Update announcement for 6.9.3.
In Case You Missed It
Microsoft announced Silverlight end-of-life in 2015, and the long arduous journey of removing the proprietary technology from Archer began. Long gone are the days of using Silverlight on Chrome, Safari, or any major browser other than Internet Explorer (which Microsoft has also recently announced it is abandoning).
The final dates for Silverlight support were set for IE10 on January 31, 2020 and on IE11 on October 12, 2021. After the October date the Silverlight installer will no longer be available, and key portions of Archer functionality will become inaccessible without it. (FYI – they won’t “shut it off” in your current instance of IE. Today, only IE11 works with Silverlight. The Silverlight installer will no longer be available so if you need a newly provisioned machine or need to reformat your machine, you won’t be able to install Silverlight. Silverlight also won’t get security updates so it’s likely you and your organization won’t want to be using it, anyway.)
Do you have questions or thoughts about the Archer Silverlight Removal? Leave a comment or contact us here if you need support.