A360 Viewer vs. Glue Viewer
Machu Picchu Rock 'n' Rolls in A360 Viewer

Google Chrome Drops NPAPI Plugin Support

With the release of Google Chrome version 42, you can no longer run plugins, such Java and Silverlight by default. This is due to the Google’s decision to drop so-called NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface). At a moment, you can still turn on the support if you wish. But it will be a temporary remedy as, according to Google, it will cease all together by the release 45 later this year. For more information, please refer to this article.

How does this affect us?  BIM 360 Glue viewer component is Java application. If you are using Chrome as your default browser, Chrome will block the Glue viewer from running.  If you are using Firefox and IE, you don’t have this problem. (I haven’t tested with other browsers. Other browsers should continue to work as this is a Chrome specific issue.)  

This came as a surprise for me as I wasn’t aware of the exact timing that this is coming. Below is a bit more information about this issue in case you need to troubleshoot. 

The types of error message you might see are: 

BIM 360 401 error Chrome2

or this: 

BIM 360 401 error Chrome3

When you click on the link “our online help” shown above, it brings you to the article "Troubleshooting: Google Chrome Plug-In" in Glue product help.  

It tells you to install IE emulator called IE Tab by ietab.net. Follow the instruction on the page.

Further, if you are debugging with localhost, you will need to explicitly enable NPAPI. Here is how: 

  1. Go to chrome://flags/#enable-npapi
  2. Choose Enable.
  3. At the bottom left of your screen, click "Relaunch Now".

You can use this flag to run NPAPI plugins until Chrome version 45.

Alternatively, you can use other browsers, such as Firefox and IE.