After when deploying Internet Explorer 7 around your site through a service such as WSUS, there are immediate considertaions that have to be dealt with. The main one being configuring settings for IE7.
It is possible to download the Internet Explorer Administration Toolkit (IEAK), but when dealing with IE7 that has been installed on computers automatically – that’s not what you want to hear.
After installing IE7 on one of our servers, I went to the group policy to see if there were any new settings. As such, the important ones didn’t seem to exist:
Configure the phishing filter
Disable the ‘First run’ Page
Obviously, there are a number of settings that administrators would want to take control of.
Thankfully, there are two ways of getting these settings in group policy. The first is to simply install Windows Vista as a workstation and use the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC.MSC) which is bundled with Vista. This has all of the IE settings.
To apply it to the machine you are working on (pre-Vista, of course), copy the ADM file to %systemroot%\inf. Run gpedit.msc and navigate to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer.
Some of the useful settings are:
Prevent Performance of First Run Customized settings to disable the first run page
Turn of Managing Phishing filter to enable the phishing filter and configure its actions
Turn on the menu bar by default to stop people asking you where the menu bar is
Prevent Participation in the Customer Experience Improvement Program, another default from the first run page
Moving the menu bar above the navigation bar to put the menu bar in its proper place, above the address bar
Using the group policy configuration is a much more practical way of configuring IE7 than the registry hacks that I’ve seen floating around where people are struggling to find the group policy settings for IE7.
In IE7, adding your own custom search is beautifully simple now that Microsoft have added the Create Your Own to the ‘Find More Providers…’ link in IE7
So, it seems sensible that your blog would want a piece of the action.
To that end, here’s a quick example of my own search provider. As IE7 uses the OpenSearch Specification, an XML document can be linked in your site which will make the search box glow. Users can then either use the search specification to carry out a search on the site, or additionally add the search to their list of search providers.
First of all, either create your XML file on Microsoft’s Add Search Providers page, or check out my XML file. The opens are documented on the OpenSearch.org website, I think that they are quite self explanatory.
Edit the XML file to include your site’s details and add any additional bits you’d like.
Upload the file to your website and then open the header.php file that your theme uses (or just your default webpage for non-Wordpress sites).
Within the < head> tag, add the following line (making the appropriate adjustments):
Now visit your website, and you should see that you can be added in Internet Explorer’s search list. If it doesn’t work, check that the XML file syntax is correct, and then restart Internet Explorer. After spending about 30 minutes trying to work out why my XML file wasn’t working, it turned out it was.
And now, if you click on the top right (you IE users, you!), then you’ll see bloggingIT in all its glory! Click on the Add Provider option, and you are greeted with:
All users have to do now, is click ‘Add Provider’.
Although I’ve fixed my certificates, there is still the problem with IE7 showing a big, bad, red page. As a resolution, I’ve found a blog with instructions for valid SBS certificates, but nevertheless puts me in the direction of GoDaddy for reasonable certificate prices.