If you have any questions please contact AskIT.
Checking Your Version of Java
What is Java?
Java is a programming language and is critical for running a number of web-based programs and utilities. The java run time environment (which is commonly shortened to JRE, or Java) allows java-based applets to run in your browser.
Why do I need Java
A number of Blackboard tools require java to run: the text editor, collaboration tools such as the chat window and whiteboard, and other tools such as the Wimba live classroom, all run using Java applets. A lot of web-based content that you can link to from your course will also require Java to run.
How to Check your Version of Java
You can check the supported Java version on the same page that identifies Blackboard's supported browsers.
To check the version you have on your computer:
- Click on the Start menu (lower left corner of your screen)
- Click Control panel
- Double-click Java; then click About in the Java control panel.
- Click Close.
How to clear Java Cache
- Close all browser windows.
- Go to Start, then choose the Control Panel.
- Click on the icon named Java. On the General Tab, under the section labeled Temporary Internet Files click the button Delete Files.
- Then choose to delete all the types offered.
- Close the control panel by clicking OK and restart your web browser.
- In Finder search for Java Preferences.
- Open Java Preferences and click on the Network tab.
- Click the Delete Files button.
• OSX 10.8 and Java 1.7.0_13
UAB IT’s minimum recommendations for versions of Mac browsers and Java have changed as UAB systems have improved functionality that are compatible with the current version of Java. UAB IT recommends installation of Mac OSX 10.8 and Java 1.7.0_13. Apple operating systems will not run any version lower than Java 1.7.0_13.
UAB IT is also recommending using two different browsers — one for surfing the Web and one just for accessing UAB systems. For Internet Web browsing, use one of the following: Firefox with Java disabled, Safari, or Chrome. For working with just UAB systems, choose a different browser and enable Java to work in it. If you run into compatibility issues with the local browser and UAB IT systems, use the IT terminal servers to access UAB resources via RDP client. For more information, contact AskIT.
•Upgrade to Windows 7
A large-scale project is underway to upgrade all university-owned computers on the UAB campus to Windows 7 by April 8, 2014. At that time, Microsoft will cease its support for Windows XP, which has been the operating system primarily used by UAB computers in recent years. As a result of Microsoft no longer supporting this operating system, XP computers will no longer receive security updates. This creates a greater chance of XP computers being infected by viruses or compromised by malware.
This leaves one budget cycle to accomplish funding of this project. Upgrading to Windows 7 for any system needing network connectivity should be completed by April 2014.
• Install IE 9 and the most recently released version of JAVA
We are updating our minimum recommendations for versions of Internet Explorer and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality to support newer browsers and the currently secure version of Java. Internet Explorer 9 and Java (latest release) are recommended for installation on Windows 7 systems.
• Windows 8 not currently recommended for use
As XP fades away, Microsoft has rolled out its newest operating system, Windows 8. The transition from XP has prompted some users to ask why IT doesn’t upgrade to Windows 8 instead of Windows 7. The answer is that Windows 8 is currently not recommended for widespread use in the UAB environment due to the following reasons:
- Currently, not all of UAB’s business systems support Internet Explorer 10, the minimum version of IE used by Windows 8.
- Windows 8 introduces management changes that IT is not yet ready to address.
- Windows 8 is best used on hardware that is specifically made for Windows 8, such as touchscreen displays or touchpads. Other than the touchscreen/touchpad functionality, Windows 8 possesses similar functionality to Windows 7 from an end user’s point of view.
- PGP (UAB’s approved laptop encryption tool) is not supported on Windows 8 laptops. A recommended alternative is Microsoft’s Bitlocker product. (See Bitlocker with windows 8 for more information)
UAB IT Provides Critical Guidance to Campus on Appropriate Versions of Internet Explorer, Mac OS, and Java to Mitigate Risks of Exploitation; updates Java recommendation to 1.7.0_55
A significant security vulnerability was discovered in the Internet Explorer web browser over the weekend of April 26th and is being shared in mass media. This vulnerability could allow an attacker to compromise a Windows based computer should the end-user visit a website with appropriate content.
On May 1st, Microsoft released a fix to the IE vulnerability. Users should install this fix immediately. UAB IT will begin pushing this update Thursday afternoon May 1st. If IE is open, you will be required to perform a system reboot in order for the fix to take effect. If IE is closed, no reboot should be necessary. Once the fix has been applied to your system (and IE is open) you will have 24 hours to perform a reboot or your system will automatically reboot.
UAB IT continues to recommend that end-users use a two web browser methodology to limit the risks to the campus.
1. Use an up-to-date version of Internet Explorer for conducting UAB business on university supported web sites.
2. Use a second web browser (such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome) with the Java plug-in disabled for any general web surfing and accessing off-campus resources.
• On Windows 7 Install IE 10 and Java 1.7.0_55
UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for versions of Internet Explorer and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality to support newer browsers and the currently secure version of Java. Internet Explorer 10 and Java 1.7.0_55 are recommended for installation on Windows 7/8. UAB IT also recommends using a separate browser with JAVA disabled for Internet use. Use IE for on campus with Java enabled and your choice of Firefox or Chrome for Internet browsing with JAVA disabled (for information on disabling Java click here).
• Install OSX 10.9 and Java 1.7.0_55
UAB IT has updated the minimum recommendations for versions of Mac Operating systems and Java as UAB systems have improved functionality that are compatible with the current version of Java. The recommended operating systems for use on Campus are Apple OSX 10.7x and 10.8x. While Apple OSX 10.6x is still supported by Apple, vendors are no longer testing against it for compatibility. Apple operating systems will not run any version lower than Java 1.7.0_51.
UAB IT also recommends using two different browsers — one for surfing the Web and one just for accessing UAB systems. For Internet Web browsing, use one of the following: Firefox Safari, or Chrome, with Java disabled (for information on disabling Java click here). For working with just UAB systems, choose a different browser and enable Java to work in it. If you run into compatibility issues with the local browser and UAB IT systems, use the IT terminal servers to access UAB resources via RDP client (for information on using IT terminal servers on Mac click here).
For more information, contact AskIT (www.uab.edu/askit).
UAB has three applications that will be impacted by the end of life for Oracle Java 6. On July 3rd, the Oracle Java automatic update service will begin upgrading Java runtime environments (JRE) to Java 7. Faculty, students and staff that use Blackboard Learn and the portions of Banner and Oracle that are built on the "Oracle Forms" product, will need to continue to use Java 6 on their computers until further notice.
Special adjustments to your computer systems will likely be required to maintain this Java 6 configuration. Disabling Java Update increases the risk to malware infection and will increase the effort required to manage vulnerabilities for this software product. UAB IT is continuing to monitor the capability of the products that are currently dependent on Java 6 and will recommend that this automatic update feature be reinstated as soon as possible.
Students: for more information on how to setup your computer see http://www.uab.edu/it/instech/blackboard/faq.html and click on your appropriate operating system.
Faculty/Staff: please contact your computer support staff to ensure that your computer is configured properly to prevent any issues with this Java change.
If you have any issues or concerns please contactAskIT at email@example.com or 205-996-5555.