Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

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Aracknid
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Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Aracknid » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:47 pm

Hi,

I noticed recently (possible since I installed 3.0.3) that when I launch IE on my system, it takes about 15 seconds before IE becomes responsive and shows me my default page, which is "about:blank".

If I disable the Ranorex IE plug-in, it starts up right away with no delay.

Also, Firefox starts up fine, and it has the Ranorex FF plug-in enabled.

I'm on a computer with no internet access, so I was wondering if it's possible that the IE plug-in is trying to access the internet, and then timing out?

Also note that I have my IE options unchecked for the options (because with no internet access, they can cause delays):
- Check for publisher's certificate revocation
- Check for server certificate revocation
- Check for signatures on downloaded programs

Thanks,

Aracknid

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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Support Team » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:55 pm

Aracknid wrote:I'm on a computer with no internet access, so I was wondering if it's possible that the IE plug-in is trying to access the internet, and then timing out?
No, the Ranorex Add-on does not access the Internet, so it does not require a working Internet connection. We have not heard of a similar issue before - do you have a start page set in your browser? Could you try setting the start page to a blank page and try to measure the start time again?

Additionally, you can try to update to the latest Ranorex version 3.0.4:
http://www.ranorex.com/download.html

Regards,
Alex
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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Aracknid » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:59 pm

Hi,

You must have missed what I said. I have it already set to home page of "about:blank".

I set it to my web server that hosts my AUT, and the delay was the same. It's about 15 - 17 seconds.

Aracknid.

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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Support Team » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:58 am

Aracknid wrote:You must have missed what I said. I have it already set to home page of "about:blank".
Oh, yes I missed that. Sorry, my bad! :?

Have you noticed that behavior first with Ranorex 3.0.3? From this version on the Ranorex IE Add-on is signed, so I suspected this to cause the problem. However, you said that you have all signature verification options turned off ... could that be another setting?
Can you temporary make an Internet connection available for that machine and try to start IE with an Internet connection just one time?

Could you please tell us what IE version and exact OS version you have? Then we will try to reproduce that problem with a similar machine. Thank you!

Regards,
Alex
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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Aracknid » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:52 pm

Have you noticed that behavior first with Ranorex 3.0.3? From this version on the Ranorex IE Add-on is signed, so I suspected this to cause the problem. However, you said that you have all signature verification options turned off ... could that be another setting?
I'm fairly sure it started happening after 3.0.3 was installed, but I cannot say for certain. I'm not sure if there are any other IE settings other than the ones I mentioned that I can disable or enable to change this behaviour. I tried a few things, but nothing mattered.
Can you temporary make an Internet connection available for that machine and try to start IE with an Internet connection just one time?
It is possible, but not something that I can do right now. Might take a day or so before I can get the access.
Could you please tell us what IE version and exact OS version you have? Then we will try to reproduce that problem with a similar machine.
Using a VM virtual machine that is Windows XP SP3 with IE 8.0.6001.18702. Also have .NET 4.0.

What I've done in the meantime is set up Ranorex on another VM that has never had it. Before install, IE launches without issues and shows about:blank immediately. The VM has VS2010, so the install put Visual C++ 2010 x86 redistributable, the Visual C++ Runtime libraries (x86), then Ranorex Main Components and the IE Add-on (I don't install the studio or samples). Upon completion, I try to launch IE and it shows the same problem. Takes about 15-17 seconds (on my machine) to show about:blank. I tried it with a restart of the OS as well. Same problem.

Thanks,

Aracknid

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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Support Team » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:21 pm

We tried to reproduce that problem on a Windows XP machine without a network connection, but still Internet Explorer starts instantly whether the Ranorex IE Addon is enabled or not.

Could it be that the start-up delay has something to do with your local network configuration?
Let's assume that IE tries to validate the signature for the Ranorex IE Addon. If you do not have a network connection, that should normally be aborted very quickly. Have you tried if completely unplugging the network connection of that machine make a difference?

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Alex
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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Aracknid » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:46 pm

I have a network connection, I just don't have access to the internet. We are on a QA test domain that has only certain ports open and only lets certain traffic out. For example, we have opened ports 8000-9000 and FTP ports and SQL ports.

If I disable my "Local Area Connection" in the Network Connections dialog and then try to run IE, it does load the about page quickly. If I enable the network, it takes a long time...

My guess is that the Ranorex IE Add-on is trying to access a port that we have not opened (could be HTTP)and is timing out. Or it could be a setting in IE that I'm not aware of. Also note that Windows Firewall is disabled on these test systems.

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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Support Team » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:18 pm

Aracknid wrote:My guess is that the Ranorex IE Add-on is trying to access a port that we have not opened (could be HTTP)and is timing out.
It is definitely not the Ranorex IE Add-on trying to access something. However, as I wrote before, IE could try to validate the signature of the Ranorex IE Addon.

If your Internet router/firewall is set to just drop packets instead of rejecting them (no feedback to client), then it's clear why it takes a few seconds to time out. So you either need to disable your network connection completely or you ask your admins to change the firewall settings to reject packets (rather than just drop them).

Or you find the correct setting to disable signature verification for IE add-ons. Did you try unchecking the option "allow software to run or install even if the signature is invalid"?

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Alex
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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Aracknid » Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:02 pm

OK, I noticed that the Ranorex IE Add-on is not verified (according to the Add-on dialog in IE). Obviously because I don't have Internet access.

I can FTP in and out of my test environment, so I copied the DLL to my real machine that has Internet access and checked the files properties of its digital signature and it was valid on my real machine.

I was able to temporarily get Internet access to my test machine, and was able to get the DLL to verify its signature. I believe once verified, it no longer checks until the expire date (but I'm not really sure). After this was done, IE started normally and quickly. I removed all Internet access and the machine is back to the state it was in before when it wasn't wroking, except that now it works. I hope I don't have to do this for every new Ranorex version.

I was not able to find any option to have it ignore the digital signature, so I guess I'll have to do something like this on future machines that use the Add-on.

I was not able to find out from anyone yet about how our firewall works (still working on it). We are a very large and very secure company, so getting this kind of info will be time consuming and raise many other questions...

Is it possible to get an Add-on from Ranorex that is not signed in order to avoid this problem? I can't belive I'm the only person working in a test environment with network access but no internet access... I cannot disable the network since I need it in general.

In case people are shaking their head and wondering why this is such a big deal, let me enlighten them...

In my old automation software, I've got well over 1200 scripts (and the plan is to port this over to use Ranorex). Each script starts IE. Some start multiple IE windows. If each script wastes 15 seconds (low estimate) starting up, this is 18000 wasted seconds, or 5 hours. With limited number of systems available on which to run tests and trying to get results out, time matters. Spread across 10 machines it wastes 30 minutes on each machine, which is less of an impact, but still a delay that is not necessary. Sure, we run at night, but sometimes we have to re-run in the day.

Aracknid

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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Aracknid » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:20 pm

I think I spoke too soon. Looks like it starts up OK, but as soon as I try to use the Add-on it takes the 15-20 seconds at that point in time. I guess it's checking for verification at that time instead of upon starting IE. :cry:

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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Aracknid » Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:53 pm

Someone here told me that if you provide me with the root certificate that you used to sign the Add-on, we can add it to our domain control group policy (or something like that) in our test environemtn and it might solve the problem. Apparently we did something like this once before with some add-ons that we built ourselves.

I don't pretend to know what this means, just passing along the message... :D

Thanks,

Aracknid.

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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Aracknid » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:32 pm

Hi,

Sorry to be flip flopping back and forth between "fixed" and "not fixed". I'm not trying to confuse people (but I am.. :oops: ) but I did some things and now it seems to be fixed.

For some reason, with all the testing and messing with options I did yesterday, I must have done something to cause it to stop both IE and even Firefox from working properly.

First, I removed the second Virtual Network Adaptor I added that gave me internet access but was still on the VM in disabled state. (my VM server has 2 network cards which allows me to have dual connections).

Second, I reset IE to its default state (in advance settings) and enabled the Ranorex IE add-on.

So now, with the Ranorex IE add-on digital certificate verified (with temp internet access, which has now been removed) everything is working quickly on start and on navigation to any URL.

I hope this stays this way... It would still be good if there was an Add-on with no digital certificate or the the other thing I mentioned above (root certificate on my domain server) was available.

Thanks,

Aracknid.

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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Support Team » Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:59 pm

Aracknid wrote:Someone here told me that if you provide me with the root certificate that you used to sign the Add-on, we can add it to our domain control group policy (or something like that) in our test environemtn and it might solve the problem.
The certificate we use to sign our Ranorex IE Add-on is itself signed by Verisign. By default, their certificates are automatically installed with Windows updates, but you can also download and install them yourself from their homepage:
http://www.verisign.com/support/roots.html

Specifically, the Ranorex certificate is signed by the "Root 3: VeriSign Class 3 Primary CA - G5" certificate, so it should be enough to make that CA a trusted root certificate.

Regards,
Alex
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Re: Ranorex IE Plug-in slows down IE startup?

Post by Aracknid » Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:14 pm

Yes, adding this certificate to our domain controller has resolved this issue on all the machines with no internet access. I don't know make specifically needs to be done, as I only passed it on to a network IT person, but problem solved!

Thanks for helping me out with this one.

Aracknid.