Well, I just spent the better part of 20 hours hacking out my latest issue. In my Rapier web application, one of the cool features I provide is the ability to download an output document from SAP. Say for example, a quotation or order confirmation. Well, I was using some fancy trick that converts the spool to PDF, then using the UI Element File Download. Everything was great in testing. No problems. Then a couple weeks ago, I started updating all my documentation. I came to do a screen shot of this and it it came out in jiberish. It happened that I was using Firefox. I tried it, and it worked fine on Internet Explorer, but all the other browsers displayed the text, instead of the pdf… WTF!!!
So I did my due diligence, and hunted Google long and hard, hoping for a clue. Nothing jumped out at me. So, I then applied the latest support packs to my system. No change. Then I thought, maybe the kernel needs an update… no change… crap. That burned through a lot of hours in SGEN time, downloading files, system down time, etc… all for nothing (well, not nothing, but not the result I wanted).
Finally, last night, I decided to look at the UI Element itself, and what I was mapping to it. I turned out, I was mapping a blank value to MIME_TYPE. Interestingly, IE was smart enough to recognize the PDF, but none of the other browsers were. Since all my dev work was on IE, and much of my testing as well, I missed this little fact. As soon as I added application/pdf to that field… magically, it began working on all my browsers again. Woohoo!!!
Now, I hope you can learn from me again… first off, test your WDP on multiple browsers, unless you know you’re only going to support one browser. This can’t be done in a customer facing application. Second, MIME_TYPE makes all the difference. It explicitly tells the system how to render the file. Don’t take it for granted.
Thanks for reading,