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Access the MIT Learning Center from Chrome

Context

The SAP NetWeaver portal, the web service behind the MIT Learning Center, does not support Google Chrome. You may see an error such as "Could not open iView" when you try to get to an MIT Learning Center online class from Chrome. The below article is a work-around to allow you to use Google Chrome with the MIT Learning Center. It's been tested on Mac OS X, but will probably work on other platforms as well.

Answer

The problem seems to be SAP detecting the browser, identifying it as incompatible, and generating an error. Changing the browser string to a browser supported by SAP will prevent the error, and content and online classes appear to work fine in Chrome in spite of claimed incompatibility.

Current versions of Chrome include an easy way to change the browser string using the developer console. Doing so has allowed me to access the MIT eLearning portal (the "Learning Center") just fine from Chrome. Here are the steps to reproduce the work-around in Chrome 25.0.1364.160:

  1. Go the the Atlas landing page at http://atlas.mit.edu/. At this point, if you just went to the Training tab and selected MIT Learning Center you would get the "Could not open iView" error.
  2. Open Chrome Developer Tools by going to the View menu, selecting Developer, and then Developer Tools.
    Result: A pane will pop up at the bottom of your browser window showing you some developer tools, and maybe some of the underlying code on the web page. We can ignore most of it.

  3. Click on the Developer Settings icon, a small gear Gear icon in the bottom right corner of your browser window.
    Result: A Settings pane will open over the Developer Tools section.

  4. Find the Overrides tab/label on the left-hand side, underneath the Settings title, and click on it.
    Result: The Settings pane will switch to the Overrides section.
  5. The first item in Overrides will be User Agent; check the box next to User Agent and select Firefox 7 - Mac from the popup list of available browsers.
    Result: Chrome will now pretend to be Firefox 7 to web servers on this particular browser window/tab, as long as you leave Developer Tools open.

  6. Shrink the Developer Tools section out of the way. You can do so by moving your mouse to the border where the Developer Tools pane ends and the web page content begins - the cursor will change to a vertical drag cursor, and you can click and drag down to shrink the pane to a narrow strip at the bottom of the page

  7. You can now go to the Training tab in Atlas Self-Service, select MIT Learning Center, and the Learning Center landing page should load normally.

  8. You can pick courses from the course catalog, manage your profile, and even launch and watch web-based courses. (Chrome will prompt you to enable popups if you launch a web-based course, because they open in a popup window.)

When you're done, you do not need to manually disable the User Agent override. You can just close the Chrome tab you were in, and it will automatically revert the browser string back to normal.

See also

  • [archive:"Could not open iView" error when going to "MIT Learning Center" via Atlas Self-Service]
  • [se:MIT Learning Center - list of issues, current workarounds, short term and long term resolutions]

Community

Documentation and information provided by the MIT Community


Last Modified:

April 29, 2016

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