Symantec Endpoint Protection

    For a long time now, I have been a big fan of Symantec's Client Security product because of the nice management features contained therein. One of the things I really was missing was a way to manage the show from my Linux desktop. So, I was very excited to see that Symantec had moved to a Java based server and client for the new Endpoint Protection 11.0.

    Eagerly I loaded up the Web Start enabled management application from Firefox on my Ubuntu 8.10 desktop. The application launched and I logged on. The first thing I noticed was that the first three tabs in the console were blank. So, I went into a terminal session to one of our Windows servers at work and launched the application from there. When it loaded, the first three tabs had graphs and reports!

    Frustrated by this result, I turned on the Java console on my Ubuntu machine and launched the application again. There it was in big letters, spelled out for everyone to see:

Setting default browser engine>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
*** Error: Can't find engine Internet Explorer
*** Error: null

    From my perspective as a part-time Java developer/part-time systems administrator, this was just obnoxious. The general idea behind Java is that it is platform agnostic. So, here is Symantec writing a Java application which intentionally calls a Windows specific application engine! Why?! Java has web browsers, and Java can always make calls to the native browser for the platform it is running on. I am STILL unable to determine why they felt the need to call Internet Explorer directly.

    The management functions work fine in Java under Linux. I can change policies, handle clients, and perform administrative tasks. I cannot, however, look at reports, see notifications, or view the monitoring graphs.

    Overall, not bad, and defnitely better than previous versions which only ran inside of the Microsoft Management Console on Windows. My personal opinion is that Symantec has stepped up their game, only to drop the ball on the 5 yard line. If someone over at Symantec reads this post, I hope that they'll keep this in mind when working on the next set of updates for Endpoint Protection Manager.

Agree/Disagree? Leave a comment!!


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