WebCenter Content Performance: Web Browser Choice

Introduction

New web technologies are helping end users get a faster and stronger web experience. However, some organizations are clinging on old browser technologies and traditionally vendors provide a minimum browser version to be used. Old web browser versions contribute to the overall “not-so-great” performance of some web applications. WebCenter Content makes extensive use of JavaScript for its browser interface.

Main Article

In the case of WebCenter Content, section 2.1 “Using a Supported Web Browser” from the Oracle WebCenter Content User’s Guide for Content Server 11g Release 1 (11.1.1) states the following:

Consumers and contributors access Content Server from a standard Web browser. The computer you use to access Content Server is a client computer. You can access Content Server on a supported client computer from a Web browser listed in Table 2-1.

Table 2-1 Supported Web Browsers

Browser Versions
Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher
Firefox 3.5 or higher
Safari 4.0 or higher
Google
Chrome
10.0 or higher

 

Some of these old web browser versions contribute to the overall “not-so-great” performance of some web applications. Let’s take a look at the browser market for starters. According to StatCounter Global Stats, from January to December 2012, the following 4 web browsers captured 84% of the usage:

  • Chrome: 32.78%
  • Firefox 5+: 20.88%
  • IE 9.0: 15.88%
  • IE 8.0: 14.61%

StatCounter_TopBrowser_versions_for_2012

Source: http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser_version_partially_combined-ww-monthly-201201-201212-bar

WCC makes extensive use of JavaScript for its browser interface. The navigation structure, menus, option lists, folder item listings, and other parts of the page are drawn dynamically by the browser using JavaScript. The reason for this is to provide less download/network traffic as the JS files can be cached on the client. It also alleviates work having to be done on the server-side to render certain parts of the page. But some browsers can process JavaScript faster than others.

Using an independent JavaScript benchmark site, SunSpider (http://www.webkit.org/perf/sunspider/sunspider.html), we measured that performance differences between IE8 and the others were dramatic. The primary reason for the difference between browsers is the JavaScript engine that each uses to process client-side JavaScript.

Microsoft has tuned IE9.0 to run well for the WebKit SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark, and their results are shown below for the IE 9.0 Final Release version:

SunSpiderResultsPPB9RTW

Source: http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/benchmarks/sunspider/default.html

Therefore, when choosing a browser to access a WebCenter Content server, make sure it is a modern browser with a good JavaScript engine. However, beware that you may still encounter IE 8.0 at many organizations. Some of these are still running Windows XP as the Operating System – according to StatCounter, about 31% of desktop internet usage is on Windows XP. For this O/S, IE is capped at IE8. IE9 cannot be installed on Windows XP. Chrome 10+, Firefox 5+, IE 9.0+, Safari 5+, Opera 11+ will do just fine. With this, the Recommended Web Browsers for WebCenter Content 11g table would be:

Browser Versions
Internet Explorer 9.0 or higher
Firefox 5.0 or higher
Safari 5.0 or higher
Google Chrome 10.0 or higher

 

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