West Wind Internet and Client Tools
Internet Tools (Browser independent?)
Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. Internet Tools (Browser independent?)
  SCOTT P MALINOWSKI
  All
  Feb 14, 2019 @ 07:58am

Rick

The older versions of wwHTTP seem to rely on IE (Microsoft's Browser), while this is not all bad, we want to update our server to TLS 1.2 and we find the IE (especially older versions) block http -> https requests. Are the newer versions of Internet Tools able to navigate to a TLS 1.2 page without depending on the browser settings?

-Scott

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Internet Tools (Browser independent?)
  Rick Strahl
  SCOTT P MALINOWSKI
  Feb 14, 2019 @ 11:39am

No - those settings are Windows specific and these tools use WinInet/WinHttp which rely on the Windows HTTP infrastructure which is configured through the IE settings.

FWIW, it's not the IE version that controls this - it's Windows. You can read more about how this works and what's affected here (and it applies to more than Web Connection):

Web Connection and TLS 1.2

There are no good solutions for old browsers short of the registry changes or configuration settings (which are really the same thing) to make this work. Even older versions of .NET were using the Windows HTTP settings and the only way to fix that was to use newer versions which automatically enable the latest protocol support.

Frankly - I think the solution is to drive people to upgrade to something more modern. Running those ancient systems is a security hazard on so many levels and by now these are at least 10+ years out of date. That has got to be a very small percentage of systems these days because most likely by now the hardware is starting to fail 😃

+++ Rick ---

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Internet Tools (Browser independent?)
  SCOTT P MALINOWSKI
  Rick Strahl
  Feb 14, 2019 @ 11:44am

What about using something like libcurl, that does not use WinInet, correct?

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Internet Tools (Browser independent?)
  Rick Strahl
  SCOTT P MALINOWSKI
  Feb 14, 2019 @ 11:54am

You can shell out to curl and capture standard out which is probably easier depending how complex the stuff you need to do is.

libCurl has its own TCP/IP stack so yes that bypasses Windows, but then you have to figure out how to do all the things that a lib like wwHttp does for you automatically, not to mention creating the API wrappers that can call into libCurl (if I recall the DLL is c style not Win32 style so you'll need a wrapper dll and then you have to deal with the all the structures in FoxPro).

It's doable but a lot of effort. Like I said you have to ask yourself if it's worth it for the small percentage that is still left on those platforms (XP/Vista) that don't support TLS 1.2. For anything else me thinks the registry settings are a much easier fix and which can be automated by an installer or even your application (if you can elevate).

+++ Rick ---

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Internet Tools (Browser independent?)
  SCOTT P MALINOWSKI
  Rick Strahl
  Feb 14, 2019 @ 12:03pm

Thanks Rick

I will look into shell out and capture of stdout. I have also asked Todd L and Matt O to see if they wrote any wrappers.

I agree about forcing updates but it is important we can maintain our own ability without being at the mercy of our clients or Microsoft.

-Scott

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Internet Tools (Browser independent?)
  Rick Strahl
  SCOTT P MALINOWSKI
  Feb 14, 2019 @ 12:09pm

It's not that simple though. If you end up with LibCurl now you have to make sure you keep up with LibCurl. When TLS 1.3 comes out those libraries need to be updated and likely changes will be required for wrappers to allow calling code to make those switch changes. That becomes a maintenance issue that isn't just a quick flag fix.

My point is that things like TLS 1.2 are standards that didn't exist back when Windows XP and Vista or even Windows 7 were out. So the OS changes to reflect those changes in tech, which IMHO is the way to should be. The support is there and it works with old apps as long as you keep reasonably up to date.

Catering to customers who lag that far behind now is not doing them any favors IMHO precisely because of security issues of which the TLS issue is the least of their problems 😃

To blame that on 'without being at the mercy of our clients or Microsoft' is not the right call here if you ask me. You might be able to 'quick' fix this once, but the next time something new comes up it may be much worse trying to fix that because then you're not dealing with system components but a custom wrapper.

Food for thought.

+++ Rick ---

Gravatar is a globally recognized avatar based on your email address. re: Internet Tools (Browser independent?)
  SCOTT P MALINOWSKI
  Rick Strahl
  Feb 14, 2019 @ 12:18pm

I may use curl.exe as a fall back if I cannot get my results from WinInet.

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