Getting to Target eHR on Unsupported Hardware & Software

OS X

It's recommended you download Chrome or Firefox, but any browser that supports user plugins is perfectly acceptable. What's required is a plug in that spoofs your browsers “user agent” string. This string is an identifier for web pages; this string holds information regarding your browser and operating system. Once your user agent is spoofed, you'll be able to access web pages that were once prohibited. For this tutorial I'll be using Firefox, as that's what I have been using but it shouldn't be too different in achieving the end result in another browser or plugin.

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_8) AppleWebKit/536.25 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Safari/536.25
This is a user agent string. We can tell the user is running OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) and using Safari 6
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows 98)
On the same computer listed above but using Firefox. We are now sending a user agent string that tells the web page we're running Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 4.

In order to broadcast a spoofed user agent, you'll need to download an approprate plugin for the task. On Firefox, I use UAControl, http://qz.tsugumi.org/UAControl.html. Despite the host website being Japanese, the plugin is localized in English and is pretty straight forward. The plugin allows you to specify a user-agent on a per-website basis. Just like ehR only permits Windows computers running Internet Explorer, some websites will restrict access or functions for unsupported browsers based on the supplied user agent. Applying a website where only this user agent works is a good idea so it won't impact your everyday browsing while using Firefox.

Figure 1
Firefox Tools Menu
Click on "UAControl Options..." under "Tools" in the OS X toolbar.
Figure 2
UAControl in FireFox Plugins
Select "Add Site" and type in the URL you wish to apply the user agent to, then add in the user agent.
The Windows user agent from above works fine!

In figure 1 & 2 above, the visuals required to display UAControl and add the "fake" user agent are present. To brief over the UAControl options, the site URL is important. You can only apply it to domain names rather than a complete URL. For example, test.target.com would be valid while target.com/buy would not, target.com is inclusive so test.target.com would be included with target.com.

That's it! Navigate to eHR in Firefox and you're ready to go! Some quirks I've noticed are that the sidebar links are javascript, which doesn't completely work in Firefox, so you'll need to work ariund that (I find that copying the URL and pasting it in the address bar then removing the javascript markup works but it's not perfect).




iOS

I found a free application called "Sleipnir" which barely does the job. Search for it on the App Store and install it, again it's free! It's not the most straight forward app, but it gets the job done. It's an universal app; it works on both iPad & iPhone/iPod Touch. Once it's downloaded & installed open it and tap the arrow just to the left of the URL bar. A pop-up opens. Click the gear icon in the top left of that pop-up, you're now in settings. Scroll down the settings window and tap "Advanced Settings," in this will be an option to change the user agent under "Enter New User Agent." Type in or copy paste the Windows user agent above; there are Internet Explorer user agents but the Windows version in the user agent is one version too high (NT 5, rather than NT 4). No idea why it's a limitation but it is, and that's why you must enter a custom user agent string.

Sleipnir runs just as well as Firefox, meaning that the sidebar won't work. You also won't be able to copy & paste the URL to edit the javascript; tap and hold just asks if you want to open or bookmark the link. It's at least good enough to check your pay stubs online.






Things to Note

MAX Self Service doesn't seem to work at all. Other than MAX and the side bar issues ehR is pretty much available on the desktop and rather restricted under iOS.