Launch ClickOnce apps [such as Dodeca] through Firefox

I’m a Firefox man.  I’ve been a fan since version 1.5, liked version 2 (even though it was a memory pig), and I am quite happy with 3.0.  I am eagerly looking forward to some of the memory optimization and performance improvements that are coming down the pipe with 3.1.  I even look to Firefox as an example of subtley evolving a user-interface and polishing it as time goes on — I try to implement some of the same refinements in my own projects.

I also use Dodeca extensively as a front-end to much of my Essbase functionality.  As a ClickOnce app (.NET technologies), it has been necessary to launch it with Internet Explorer.  Of course, I can invoke it directly with a shortcut on my desktop, but frequently I find myself using a link to launch it since it’s just easier.  Sadly, this does not work out of the box with Firefox because Firefox just sees the .application file and doesn’t know what to do with it.  Some of my users have Firefox as their default web browser and have run into some slight issues as well.

Well, unbeknownst to me, there has been a Firefox ClickOnce add-in for some time.  One of the things I love and use in Firefox is it’s extension capabilities — I typically have the Foxmarks, Delicious, Greasemonkey, Web Developer, and Flashblock extensions installed as a minimum (I used to use Sage as well but I find myself in Google Reader now).  So I bounced over to the Mozilla addons page, clicked the button to install FFClickOnce, restarted my web browser, punched in my Dodeca URL, and without a hitch, I was prompted to run Dodeca.  Not that I have anything against Internet Explorer, but now I can do just about everything in Firefox and have less reason to fire up IE (I’m looking at you, Windows Update…).  Sometimes it’s the little things in life!

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