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My company has two identical applications - one on an in-house server, one hosted by a 3rd party hosting company.

I'm using IE7 and can successfully access the app on our site. But when I use IE7 to attempt to access the app on the other site, I'm redirected to the app's incompatible browser custom error page. I can access the app successfully on both sites using IE6. The app has an accepted browser ini file that explicitly allows IE6 (and all previous browser versions) but does not mention IE7 at all.

I know that the hosting company doesn't have the same set of standards and policies that we do internally, and this explains the discrepancy. How can I determine exactly what discrepancy is causing this specific scenario? IIS settings a good place to start?

Both servers run Windows Server 2003.

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Does the externally hosted app allow something other than IE7? –  Tom Willwerth Jun 30 '09 at 18:02
    
Sorry, let me clear up my question by eliminating the internal/external thing: Suppose an app is hosted on the web by hosting company A, and an identical app is hosted on the web by hosting company B. I'm using IE7 and can successfully access the app on site A. But when I use IE7 to attempt to access the app on site B, I'm redirected to the app's 'incompatible browser' custom error page. I can access the app successfully on both sites using IE6. The app has an 'accepted browser' ini file that explicitly allows IE6 (and all previous browser versions) but does not mention IE7 at all. –  veggiemexicalidog Jun 30 '09 at 20:22
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Why is your app so particular about the browser? Just remove those settings and let all browsers in. –  John Gardeniers Jul 1 '09 at 2:24

5 Answers 5

check if there is a robots.txt in the root of the site on the blocking server. if so, check that there is no rule in there disallowing ie.

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It could be some kind of ActiveX control or script issue. IE7 may block access to certain features by default to an external site, but allow it for intranet sites.

In IE7, you could try adding the website for the externally hosted version to IE7's list of "Trusted Sites"...Tools, Internet Options, Security, click Trusted Sites, then click the Sites button and add it.

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What are the firewall policies between your local network and your remote site? What devices are you going through, (example firewalls, routers, ISPs, etc) to get to the "Remote Server"

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What exactly do you mean by "does not allow". Is it intentionally blocked or is there just an error?

Are the IE clients that are not getting through to the host in your internal network or are they on the Internet? If they're on your internal network check DNS, check proxy settings in your IE clients.

If other user-agents (as Tom Willwert hints at in his comment) then I would start by seeing if some sort of URL rewrite filter is employed by your host (such as ISAP_Rewrite). They have the ability to match user-agent strings and send clients elsewhere based on the results.

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Is there an error message? Or an error page?

Make sure you can ping the external server, and can access it with something else, i.e. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, even Lynx. Maybe try using IE 6 or IE 8, as there have been changes between all three versions.

Also, check and make sure your DNS is returning the correct IP address. It may not be able to find the IP address if there's a DNS error.

Otherwise, probably check IIS settings, and make sure both platforms are using the same version of things (SQL server if used, IIS (probably identical), system updates).

One more thing: do you need to use http or https? that can cause problems, too, and doesn't always tell you the problem. Especially if for some reason the hosting company is using a non-standard SSL port.

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After reading the comment by the requester, here's some more: I would suggest removing the INI file that lists IE 6 and lower. Still try other browsers, if possible. Otherwise post the code for the site on StackOverflow and see if someone can figure out why it would work differently on another install. Also, if you want help you should try some of the troubleshooting steps people have left. –  Joshua Nurczyk Jul 2 '09 at 19:00

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