IE11 update breaks Eclipse internal web viewer

After updating to IE11 the BIRT report previewer is broken.

I needed to generate some management reports, so the obvious tool was BIRT from the Eclipse Reporting Project (http://www.eclipse.org/birt/) which I had used several times before. Install the latest BIRT Designer (Release Build: 4.3.2), code some SQL, design the report, sit back ready to impress the boss – nothing, blank window. Huh?

After wasting a lot of time thinking that I had a problem in my code or an installation issue, the problem finally turned out to be incompatibilities between Eclipse and IE11. The situation seems to be quite confused as there was a bug in Eclipse that has been fixed and people with seemingly identical installations having different outcomes.

In my case I was using Windows 7 SP1 which had been updated to IE11. Changing the registry entry fixed the problem, but the external browser workaround also was successful.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeaturControl\FEATURE_BROWSER_EMULATION

jawaw.exe=9000 changed to 9999

 

To use an external web browser (not IE)

In report designer go to Window>Preferences>Report Design>Preview and set “always use external browsers” to true. Click Apply.

While still in the preferences tab, go to General>Web Browser and select “Use external web browser” and select the browser you would like to test on.

 

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