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Adobe Flash Player deprecation end of year 2020

Adobe® is planning to stop updating and distributing Flash® Player at the end of 2020. This article expands upon the Pega Collaboration Center Discussion Saying goodbye to Flash in Chrome.

The deprecation of the Flash player should not impact end user portals for applications built in Pega 7.2 or higher that have been followed best practices.

How is Flash Player used?

Flash Player is an application that must be installed in the application users' operating systems to render Flash content in their browsers.

Some operating systems install Flash Player by default. Others require users to install it manually.

The Pega platform does NOT install Flash Player automatically inside the application users’ browsers.

Some enterprises enforce a security policy that blocks the installation and use of Flash Player:

  • The installation of Flash Player can be blocked by enterprise security policies.
  • Flash Player can be blocked from running inside browsers.

What can you expect at the end of 2020 when Flash is no longer updated and distributed?

Adobe announced the end-of-life for Flash Player in 2017: 
Flash & The Future of Interactive Content

Adobe will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020: 
Adobe Flash Player EOL General Information Page

Windows Update will block Flash content in IE11, Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Edge Legacy) by the end of 2020 and will uninstall any Flash Player applications on a user’s system in 2021.

Update Adobe Flash End Support

Here is a recent article on the topic for more details: 

Internet Explorer Adobe Flash Upcoming Demise

What is the impact for a Pega application built with Pega 7.2 or earlier releases?

If your application is using List View rules and Summary View rules to render a chart, the rendering is done using Flash technology. After Flash Player is blocked, these charts will stop rendering for the application users.

For Pega application developers, the Referencing Rule viewer and the Declare Network viewer that are based on Flash technology will stop rendering at the end of 2020.

What steps can you take to mitigate the impacts of Flash Player deprecation?

  1. Identify charts that are using Flash. 
    Create a Report Definition rule in Pega to detect the use of charts in legacy reporting rules by filtering for pxObjClass of Rule-Obj-Listview and Rule-Obj-Summaryview with pyChart=true. These rules should then disable the chart option or be converted to Report Definition rules.

  • For embedded list views, source a grid by a Report Definition or a Data page if additional processing is required, for example, a custom GetContent activity.
  • For Charts, use the auto-generated Chart Control or source the literal “Chart” control by a Report Definition. 
  1. Prohibit Pega application developers from using Flash. 

    List View rules and Summary View rules have been deprecated since Pega 7.2. Using these rules in applications developed in Pega platform releases prior to Pega 7.2 will significantly affect your guardrail warning score, resulting in a negative guardrail warning score being listed. Therefore, Pega application developers should use Report Definitions.

    Alternatively, you can delete any Flash Player file from the platform by deleting the rules from the database.

  2. Upgrade to a more recent version of the Pega Platform 

If you are still actively developing and modifying your application using Dev Studio, you should upgrade to a more recent version of the Pega Platform. This is the recommended best practice.

The Referencing Rule viewer was changed in Pega 8.4 to use auto-generated UI.

The Declare Network viewer will be updated in Pega 8.5 to use auto-generated UI.

These viewers are available on Pega Exchange as components but only supported for some specific Pega Platform releases (not all released are supported)

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