OpenWebStart installation and administration guide

Latest news

2020-12-16 : Release OpenWebStart V1.3.0

As of now OpenWebStart V1.3.0 can be downloaded and installed from our Download page as new default version.
  • In case you did not have any problems so far with version V1.2.2, there is no need to update to V1.3.0.
  • If you encounter problems with V1.3.0, which did not occur with V1.2.2, please report this to the communicated support contacts.
  • Please don't perform an update through the OpenWebStart settings, but instead use our download and install it according to our installation instructions.
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Table of contents

Overview

For the start of the Aftersales applications OpenWebStart is required since February 2020. OpenWebStart is an open source software package that must be installed locally on the workstations of all application users.

Please follow the installation instructions to set up OpenWebStart on your workstation.

The User guide describes the usage of OpenWebStart.

Administrators and IT departments can find information about integrating OpenWebStart with centrally administered workstations or terminal servers in the Administration Guide.

Why?

Several applications provided by the Mercedes-Benz AG are "rich client" applications, programmed in the language Java™. The applications are running on the local computer of the user, and they require a so called Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to work. In the past, the runtime environment used to run such applications was provided by the supplier Oracle™.

Rich clients can be launched directly from the web browser. To achieve this, a technology named "Java Web Start" (JWS) is part of the Oracle Java Runtime Environment (JRE). In 2017 Oracle decided to drop the support for Java Web Start. Starting with Java 11, the JWS has been removed from the JRE installation packages. This means, that clients that have the latest version of Oracle 11 JRE installed, can no longer launch applications through JWS.

In parallel, Oracle has ended free support of Java 8 in 2019. Companies no longer get any updates and security fixes for Oracle Java 8.

Therefore the Mercedes-Benz AG decided to replace the usage of Oracle Java with the new product OpenWebStart (OWS), provided by the Swiss company Karakun AG. OpenWebStart will keep on enabling the same reliable, long-term and secure provision of Java Web Start technology, but with an improved costing framework.

What's the problem?

The introduction of OWS requires careful planning of the changes on applications and the necessary activities on the devices of the users.

  • In future only operation on 64-bit operating systems will be supported.
  • This means, outdated 32-bit workstations essentially had to be renewed or replaced until end of February 2020.
  • Microsoft announced the end of Windows 7 support for the beginning of 2020, what provides another good reason to take this action. After all, regardless of the situation described here, the usage of outdated operating systems missing manufacturer's support is generally not recommended.

What needs to be done?

To make sure, that the applications still can be started in future, the following actions need to be taken on user's side:

Time schedule
ImmediatelyUpgrade of 32-bit operating systems to 64-bit operating systems, replacement of hardware if necessary.
Until end of 10/2020OWS-Installation on user devices (phased in, during this period application launch through Oracle Java 8 is still possible, until OWS has been installed)

What happens after 31st of October 2020?

Mercedes-Benz AG ensures, that the Aftersales applications can be started using Oracle 8 Java Runtime until 31th of October 2020. After that date we will not face you with a "hard cut". But there will be no further engagement, that the applications will be compatible with Oracle JRE 8 after changes.

What about my XENTRY Diagnosis Kit system?

XENTRY Diagnosis Kit systems have no demand for a replacement change, no installation of OpenWebStart is necessary for launching WIS/ASRA on these devices. Don't try to perform an OWS installation!

Last update: Wed Sep 23 15:30:58 CEST 2020