I think this has to be a common issue, but I haven't found any clear solution.
We have several products that are accessed via a browser (IE 7) with JRE version 1.5.
We now need to be able to support another application using JRE 1.6.
I thought that one solution would be to install Firefox on the client and set 1.6 to only work with Mozilla-type browsers, but I've found that this doesn't actually work. I still got 1.6 in IE, which caused issues with the older applications.
Is there a way to separate which JRE is used by browser? Batch scripts or registry hacks would probably be fine.
Update - April 6th, 2011:
We have one application that insists on using IBM JRE 1.5 v9. If we try to run it with any other JRE version then it will simply prompt a download of the JRE from the server. Maybe it would work with JRE 1.6, however, it doesn't recognise any other version than the one it wants to use. The product we are using is ITM (IBM Tivoli Monitoring). I have also seen similar behaviour with other COTS products in the past e.g. Ciscoworks, which used to only work with JRE 1.4.2_06. Any other version and it prompts for a plugin install...
So my question is not about compatibility of one Java version with another. My question is about how to support applications that have to work with different version of JRE, from the same client
Oh, and I can't use anything that requires a user to enable/disable plugins as required, because this has to run on a restricted client system (on which the user will have very limited user level privileges). The current setup has application icons (Internet Explorer with a URL argument) that they select from the desktop.