This might be old news to the vast majority of 500eboard members out there, but as a relative newb, and someone who doesn't consider himself a TOTAL computer idiot, I had a hard time gaining access to MB EPC after signing up. I jumped through a few hoops, and finally got it working. I thought I would post the steps I took here in case someone else runs into the same bugaboos I did.
This is a quick installation guide for accessing EPC with a Windows 10 laptop. As the EPC site says, they do not support the EPC application on any other platform. Not wanting to believe that, I attempted to install on my Mac (a few different ways), and was unsuccessful. I guess they wern't lying. :P If someone else has a different experience, I'd love to hear it!
The root cause of the difficulties I had accessing my subscription was the fact that most (if not all) modern web browsers no longer support Java plug-ins. EPC launches itself by accessing the Java plug-in installed into your web browser, so its kind of a must. On top of that, EPC seems to be stuck in the dark ages with the version of Java that it requires (according to the installation guide here - Java 7 Rel 25 or 45 is 'best'), so after you have found and installed an old version of a web browser that supports Java plug-ins you have to download and install what is probably a MUCH older version of Java that what is currently installed on your machine for this to work. Fun right? Don't worry... I'm sure there aren't any security exceptions in that old code.
Step 1. Archaic Web Browser install! While most modern web browsers no longer support Java plug-ins, Mozilla still provides access to a web browser that does! It would seem that a lot of enterprises were 'surprised' by Java plug-in functionality being pulled from the virtual shelves, and so there is a market for one that does. Its called the Extended Support Release (ESR), and while it indicates its for enterprise users, you can download it too. Find it here! The current Mozilla version tied to the ESR is 52.3.0 (as of this post..in September of 2017) Click through, and select the version appropriate for your operating system. I'll assume you can successfully install a web browser...
Step 2. Archaic Java install! Once you have your old web browser installed... fire it up and head here. This is the Oracle Java Release 7 web page, where multiple versions of the now 'old' Release 7 Java can still be downloaded. The web page isn't suuuuper user friendly and there are a lot of Rel 7 options available. Look for this one (Its called 7u45):
'Accept' the user agreement via the radio button. This 'activates' the download links. I utilized the 'Windows x86 Offline' link to install my version. As with the web browser step, if you've made it this far, I think you can handle the rest of the Java install
Step 3. Validate Archaic Java install! Oracle has a pretty cool webpage (ok, its not THAT cool) you can visit to validate that you have Java installed in your browser and it is functional. You can find it here. You'll see this on the page:
See that note to Firefox ESR 52 users? Its for you!! Click the provided link.
You'll be taken to another page, you'll eventually be presented with a dialog box that looks like:
If your Java install was successful, you'll see this:
If so yay! If not, there must have been an issue with your Java install. Go back and repeat step 2.
Important: Do NOT click the upgrade link provided. You'll just end up undoing everything you just completed! Just back away slowly... and close that browser tab...
While EPC may run with newer versions of Java... I haven't tried it. Perhaps someone else can chime in here if they have been successful.
Step 4. Launch and enjoy EPC! As I have said before, if you have made it this far, you've got this from here! Simply go to the EPC login page here, and enter your credentials. Then click the 'Launch EPC' link on the home page. The first time you click, you might have to tell your computer what application to use to open the EPC program. When the dialog box pops up, select 'Java Web Start' from the menu. You'll then be presented with several dialog boxes asking if you want to 'Run' various programs (which you do). If you'd like to disable the dialog pop ups, just check the little box in the window before you click 'Run'.
Eventually you'll get to here:
So that's it! Hopefully this helps someone... Or possibly myself if I ever have to go through this again!
Since I'm just a newb at this, there are probably 99,999,999,999 better ways to achieve the same result. If you have variations on the above theme that have worked, I'd LOVE to hear them, I'd even be happy to edit the tutorial to include them if they are snappy enough.
Additionally, if you attempt to follow this crappy tutorial and become stuck, feel free to shoot me a PM. I'll help to the best of my abilities (which isn't saying much!) There is probably pretty good chance I have just left something vital out unintentionally out of haste.
I do have an email out to the EPC guys asking what they are planning on doing once support for Java in the Mozilla ESR browser goes away. I'll update this if I hear anything back from them on the subject.