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Cisco WebEx Meeting Center

Field Notice: FN - 63709 - Firefox and Chrome Users are Unable to Join WebEx Meetings

January 14, 2014


NOTICE:

THIS FIELD NOTICE IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS AND DOES NOT IMPLY ANY KIND OF GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY, INCLUDING THE WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY. YOUR USE OF THE INFORMATION ON THE FIELD NOTICE OR MATERIALS LINKED FROM THE FIELD NOTICE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. CISCO RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE OR UPDATE THIS FIELD NOTICE AT ANY TIME.

Revision History

Revision Date Comment
1.0
14-JAN-2014
Initial Public Release

Products Affected

Products Affected Comments
Unified Meeting Place
Hybrid deployment model
(in other words, deployed with WebEx SaaS)
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), also known as WebEx Cloud products
WebEx Meetings, Training Center (TC), Event Center (EC), Meeting Center (MC), Support Center (SC), WebEx Network Based Recording (NBR), WebEx PCNow, Professional Services Organization (PSO) Meetings, Access Anywhere (AA), Remote Access (RA), Hands On Lab (HOL), QuickBooks Remote Access, WebEx WebACD 
WebEx Meetings Server (CWMS)
Versions impacted: All 1.0, All 1.1, 1.5.0, and 1.5.1

Problem Description

Mozilla and Google recently announced that new releases of their browsers will automatically block the Netscape Plug-in Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) and that in the future NPAPI support may be completely removed as of a certain version of each browser. A user will be unable to join a WebEx meeting if the NPAPI plug-in is blocked, not available, or unsupported.

Refer to this table for approximate timelines and version numbers for the relevant milestones:

 
Plug-in Disabled by Default by the Browser

(Has applicable workaround)
Plug-in Support Removed Completely from the Browser

(Has no workaround. Cisco Upgrade Required)
Mozilla
Firefox version 27
 
Estimated Release Date: February, 2014*
No public announcement from Mozilla yet
Google Chrome version 32
 
Estimated Release Date: January 2014*
Chrome version TBD - end of 2014*

Note: *Browser releases are controlled by Mozilla and Google, therefore dates are subject to change without notification.

Background

WebEx Meetings uses NPAPI in Chrome and Firefox in order to start meetings when it launches the WebEx application from the browser.

Problem Symptoms

In certain Firefox or Chrome versions (as noted in the table), when a user attempts to connect to a meeting they will stay on the "Join Meeting" page indefinitely and be unable to join the meeting.

Workaround/Solution

Solution

Cisco will change how the WebEx Meetings engine interacts with browsers through code changes in Cisco products. For Cisco's On-Premises products, these changes will be tracked with the defect(s) referenced in this Field Notice. Once Cisco has made the necessary product changes, this notice and the referenced defect(s) will be updated to indicate which versions contain the fixes.

For Cisco's WebEx Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products, which also includes the MeetingPlace hybrid deployment since it uses WebEx SaaS, Cisco will make updates as soon as possible. Until Cisco has made these changes, use one of these workarounds.

Workarounds

Older browser versions (those released earlier than the affected versions noted in the table) can be used to connect to WebEx Meetings. Users can turn off automatic updates for their browsers, which prevents the installation of an affected version. If users choose to disable automatic updates for their browser(s), users should check to see if that violates any of their organization's policies. In addition, if users run older browser versions, ensure that the browser version is compatible with the specific WebEx-enabled product which is used. This is found in the customer documentation for a specific product, such as a System Requirements document, Compatibility Matrix, or other document.

For those who use affected versions of Firefox and/or Chrome, users need to manually enable plug-ins within these browsers in order to successfully join WebEx meetings. If an organization has multiple meeting domains/websites, the plug-in needs to be enabled the first time a user joins a meeting on each domain/website. Once a user has enabled the plug-in one time on a specific domain/website, it will not need to be re-enabled later on the same domain/website. If a user has multiple computers, the plug-in needs to be enabled separately on each computer.

Note that if/when Mozilla and/or Google completely remove support for the NPAPI plug-in (see estimated dates in the table), it will not be possible to enable the plug-in.

In order to manually enable the plug-in, refer to this picture:

DDTS

To follow the bug ID link below and see detailed bug information, you must be a registered customer and you must be logged in.

DDTS Description
CSCum00813 (registered customers only) Remove usage of NPAPIs from CWMS client code.

For More Information

If you require further assistance, or if you have any further questions regarding this field notice, please contact the Cisco Systems Technical Assistance Center (TAC) by one of the following methods:

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