Modern web browsers, including Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox, have announced they have or will cease support of Java plug-ins by December 31, 2016. The Java plug-in has become prone to web security issues and is now considered outdated technology, although it is still widely utilized in applications.
WHAT IS JAVA?
Java is a programming platform which allows users to view and interface with many programs. While Java can be a stand-alone platform, there is also a Java web browser plug-in which provides interactive capabilities through a web browser for many programs, including your building automation system. However, like many plug-ins, the Java plug-in has been a favorite pathway for hackers to access secure systems.
That is why web browsers are making the decision to stop supporting the Java plug-in (meaning you can no longer use the Java plug-in while using a web browser). This is in order to enhance security on the web and move to native web APIs such as HTML5. Since many building automation systems’ (BAS) graphical interfaces utilize Java plug-ins, the graphical interface for your BAS may no longer work properly after December 31, 2016.
WHAT SYSTEMS ARE IMPACTED?
All buildings which utilize systems from Tridium, Siemens, Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Alerton, Carrier, Distech, Schneider, and others are impacted by this global industry change. With the discontinuation of the Java plug-in, Tridium, for example, has introduced a new Niagara 4 software version with graphics that utilize the latest HTML5 programming standard.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
If your facilities are impacted by this, Performance Services recommends you contact your trusted BAS provider as soon as possible to make sure your system will continue to function properly after the New Year.