Upcoming ILLiad WebView2 update and the impact on 3rd party client addons

Hello ILLiad Community,

We’re excited to announce in the next release of ILLiad, Atlas Systems will be updating the underlying browser components to utilize Microsoft Edge’s WebView, a Chromium-based browser. While the release will be focused on the browsers you see in the Client, we would like to point out that there will be a potential impact for 3rd party addon developers. The release is expected in the next year. Once I have a firm date, I will post an announcement here in the Community Forum.

To minimize the risk of client addons breaking, we highly recommend addon developers review their addons in advance of this release, even if you’re not updating the addon to utilize WebView2. After this update, addons that worked with the previous versions of ILLiad and Ares may break when used with the updated versions of each product due to several changes in the required code syntax that the latest NLua version will implement. Please see Preventing Breaking Changes in ILLiad/Ares Addons After NLua Update for details.

This announcement answers the following questions:

  • Important Articles
  • Why is Atlas making this change?
  • What is the impact on addons?
  • What do I need to do?
  • How to best update your addon to support WebView2?
    • Updating to utilize the WebView2 Browser
    • Potential NLua-breaking changes

Important Articles

Why is Atlas making this change?

WebView2 would replace any of the browsers that open within ILLiad (e.g., Docline, Policies Directory) as a more sustainable browser since WebView2 includes auto-update functionality via Windows updates. This removes the need to update the version included with each release (as we have to do with the embedded Chromium browser). Any browser windows that pop open externally will still use your machine’s default browser.

What is the impact on addons?

In conjunction with the update, we’ll review the addon directory and the most frequently used addons that may need to be updated. If you have addons utilizing Chromium or IE, the update will still support addons to utilize these browsers. If you notice one of your addons break due to the depreciation of IE, please let me know so we can assess this addon.

What do I need to do?

No action is required on your part at this time unless you have developed one of the addons in the addon directory or have your own customized addons.

How best to update your addon to support WebView2?

We strongly encourage addon developers to update and use WebView2 for any new addon development. Since ILLiad will still support Chromium and IE, the addon can be written to check if the version of ILLiad used supports WebView2, if not, use Chromium to prevent you from maintaining duplicate copies of the addon. If you are using IE and do not update the addon, there is the potential risk of the addon breaking due to the depreciation of IE.

Please refer to WebView2 Browser to understand how best to update to addon to support WebView2.

Note: NLua will be updated during this release, which introduces potential breaking changes such as case sensitivity. Please see the NLua article for details on how to identify and resolve potential issues.

We do not currently have a date for release as we’re still in the research and planning stages but wanted to ensure everyone receives a notice well in advance. 

If you have any questions, feel free to message me or contact support@atlas-sys.com.


Sara Juel, MBA
Access Services Program Manager
Atlas Systems - Library excellence through efficiency
Phone: 757-439-0208

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