The false savings of AntexWeb

UPDATE 2014/03/11: the information below is NOT up to date anymore. The current version of AntexWeb does not have those problems. You can read its current specifications in the answer I just received today from Antex

Antex is a company that (emphasis mine) “has been providing ideas and personnel management and administration services to promote the development and evolution of companies, and of the people that form them, for 50 years, making the most of integrated experiences and skills that are updated daily”

This would also take place through Web portals like Antex@woHRk that “combine innovative processes and exceptional technology”.

The false savings of AntexWeb /img/antexweb_firefox18.png

But a friend of mine, when I saw him shortly after Christmas, told me he couldn’t read or download his paycheck online “because the Antexweb.net website won’t even start”. Trying with him I understood what he actually meant. With Firefox (see screen) the text “Entra” (“Enter”) at Antexweb.net wasn’t clickable at all. After a few quick questions and Google searches, I found that the problem:

  1. (At that time) was present with practically any system you could use to surf the Web, except Internet Explorer on Windows
  2. had been known to other Antexweb users, and therefore also to Antex, for at least four years
  3. is due to a programming problem also known for almost six years

I am told that both my friend’s employer and Antex are aware of the first point but, presumably on the basis of their “integrated experiences and skills that dare updated daily”, don’t give a damn: “Uh? Use Explorer!”.

Even though Explorer stopped years ago to be the most used browser (even on standard computers) and that more and more people every year don’t even own a PC, because they go online only from tablets and smartphones.

In such a world, forcing anybody to use Explorer is as ridiculous as delivering paper paychecks that are only readable with glasses of a certain brand (not any brand, but the one that is less fashionable every year). What should these people do, buy a PC with Windows, or modify the one they have, just to download 23 pages per month?

The proof of points 2 and 3 is below, in the “Innovative processes and exceptional technology” paragraph. The short version is that, for several years, no one ever bothered to solve an extremely simple problem. Which isn’t even the only problem in that system.

When I saw my friend again, this month, we tried again, and found that Antexweb.net still doens’t work with Firefox. Chrome, instead, that had the same problem in January, after un upgrade sees the “Entra” string as clickable but… won’t let you use the service, for another, entirely different but equally foolish reason. An “Error 501” that is due to another problem from Antex.

Simplifying a lot, Chrome finds the internal Antexweb pages potentially unsafe because, while they are encrypted and signed, their “digital signature” is not certified. In practice, since Chrome can’t be sure if that site is what it claims to be, it will “protect” you by blocking its usage. Unless you try other fixes, that may or may not work, especially if you do not have enough experience and time to waste.

In general, when a browser considers unreliable a “signature” of that kind (the correct name is SSL certificate) it is because the site owner created it by himself, instead of paying for an “official” certified one (we’re are talking some hundred euros per year, peanuts for a large company).

But why should we care? Viewing and saving paychecks, that is “downloading files from a website” is basic, super-stable technology. In 2013, a website that simple should work without restrictions or more or less confusing warnings period, no matter how you browse it. There is no excuse, really.

Why, considering how many useless problems this causes to their end users, Antex hasn’t fixed yet the Antexweb home page and its SSL certificate?

I have no idea, but one thing I know for sure. My friends and all his coworkers without Explorer at home or in their pockets couldn’t surely stop checking their paychecks just because AntexWeb “doesn’t start”. So now they all merrily waste hours on the job, in line for one of the few “Explorer-enabled” computers available in their workplace. While they are paid to do something else, by an employer who smartly outsorced payroll to Antex to save money. Smartly, indeed.

Innovative processes and exceptional technology

You can see by yourself the second point I mentioned here. It’s italian, but you can recognize the relevant parts (URL and date) anyway, and the text of that page says:

Why can't I click on "Entra" when I insert username and password on this website?

I found evidence of the third point by looking at the source code of the page https://www.antexweb.net. The part that should manage and make clickable the “Entra” string was, (in early January 2013, but still there on 02/28/2013), this:

function doLogin(){ document.login.submit(); }

  document.onkeypress=function(e){
    if(window.event.keyCode == 13){
         window.event.keyCode = 0;
         doLogin();
    }
  }

Searching online I found almost immediately two discussions (one from 2009, the other from 2007. They state explicitly that window.event.keycode does’nt work in Firefox and that the solution is, of course, to change the code, not the browser.