Desktop integration from the browser

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The Shotgun web application has two features that require integration with your desktop to run properly.  The first feature, Local File Linking, is what lets Shotgun store a path to a file or directory in your filesystem and then open that path with a single click.  The second feature, Toolkit Integration, is what lets you launch apps like Maya and Nuke from Shotgun.  For security reasons, browsers do not allow websites enough access for features like these to function by default.  To get them working you need to enable one of the following integration paths.

Websocket server

Supported browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari
Supported Shotgun versions: 6.1.6+

SG Desktop with its bundled web socket server is currently the favored method of integration for all users.

Due to continuing security concerns around Java and NPAPI plugins in general, companies are uniformly moving away from plugins based on these technologies. Google has already deprecated support for plugins based on these technologies and Firefox has plans to deprecate support as well. Microsoft's new Edge browser does not support them by default.

We have developed an alternate method of providing local file linking and Toolkit integration that does not require a plugin. The newest setup installs a lightweight server that will run on your machine and is configured simply to accept websocket connections from your Shotgun web site.  The websocket server will run the same commands outside of the browser that Java and the browser plugin ran.  An approach like this, where the actual system access is done by a locally-installed application, is now Google's recommended approach for these types of features.  For information about the server, see this link: https://support.shotgunsoftware.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000040233

The websocket server is bundled with the Shotgun Desktop application. Download the current version here.  However, the code for the server can also run on its own; for information on how to set that up, email support@shotgunsoftware.com

>Note: For Firefox, you will need to manually install the certificate in order to talk to the websocket server. If you notice your Toolkit menus error in Shotgun with Firefox, this is a good first step to resolving.

Browser plugin (deprecated)

Supported browsers: Safari, Firefox (through 2016)

The Shotgun Browser Plugin is a compiled plugin (based on NPAPI technology) that only allows itself to be used on hosted Shotgun sites by default. It is a small plugin that is targeted to the specific functionality that is needed for the above two features.  It is possible to use the plugin with a locally installed Shotgun site, although additional configuration is required.  For more information about the plugin, along with how to install it and help troubleshooting an installation, see this link: https://github.com/shotgunsoftware/browser-plugin. Due to security implications and browsers dropping support for NPAPI-based plugins, development of the Browser Plugin has been suspended, though it is still supported.

Note: The plugin is not supported by the current release of Chrome. For both Safari and Firefox support for plugins is turned off by default and both Mozilla and Apple have indicated that they will be dropping support entirely in the near future. For instructions on how to enable plugins in Safari, go to https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202819. For instructions on how to enable plugins in Firefox, go to https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/why-do-i-have-click-activate-plugins and follow the instructions for clicking on the red plugin icon in the address bar.

Java applet (deprecated)

Supported browsers: Safari, Firefox (through 2016)

The original technology used for these features was a Java applet that had the same functionality as the plugin.  If Java is working in your browser, then using this applet is an option for you.  Due to constant security issues with Java, development of the applet has been suspended, though it is still supported. You can click here to see if Java works on your system.

Compatibility

Both the Java applet and the Shotgun browser plugin are based on NPAPI technology. Google removed support for NPAPI within Chrome in September, 2015.  Firefox will be removing support by the end of 2016. Because of this move away from NPAPI-based plugin support, we recommend using SG Desktop for all users. Currently SG Desktop remains the only supported path for desktop integration in Chrome.

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2 Comments

  • 0
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    Rob Aitchison

    Hi,

    I just spent a few hours chasing my tail and then realized that the Windows version is only compatible with the 32-bit version of Firefox, not the 64-bit version.  Just wanted to share in case someone else wonders why it does not work for them.

    Thanks!

  • 0
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    Rob Aitchison

    Found this today - V52 of Firefox has turned it off, you need to stop at V51.x if you need to use this capability.  Cheers!

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