What we’re doing about Flash (updated 01/16/2020)

NOTE:  The discussion below is now outdated.  For the most updated information on how the end of Flash affects Articulate apps and courses, please click here.

You may have heard that Adobe is phasing out support for Flash in 2020. We’ve known that Flash has been on its way out for some time. To make sure we’re ready, we’ve been working hard to build tools that’ll fit your needs today and in the future.

We’ve been shifting to HTML5 for several years. That’s why Articulate 360 and Storyline 3 have HTML5-first or HTML5-only publishing options, making it easy for you to create e-learning that relies only on HTML5. You can read a bit more about our shift towards HTML5 here.

For your existing courses, you have a couple of options:

  • If you included HTML5 as a part of the published output, you can point to that directly over the Flash version and make sure your users are viewing the course in a supported HTML5 browser. Here’s how.
  • You can update your courses using Articulate 360 or Storyline 3, and publish for HTML5 only.

Articulate 360 is officially Flash-free, so the Flash Player isn’t required to use any Articulate 360 apps.  The same is true for Storyline 3.

Storyline 2 and Studio '13 rely on Flash for authoring.  We recommend that you upgrade to Storyline 3 or Articulate 360 since these applications do not have any Flash dependencies.

UPDATE (01/16/2020): Edited to link to this article.

246 Replies
Daniel  Feerst

Does it propagate personalized information on the certificate/? Please send!

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Reply to What we’re doing about Flash (updated 06/12/2019)

Phil Mayor replied:

I insert PDFmake as a web object and then generate a pdf using that. Works fine with The HTML5 on IE. Will upload a test file tomorrow. If it works for you I can send the files.

Sent from my iPhone
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Matthew Bibby
Ryan Brown

That could be the case. Is there any diagnostics I can run on my end to determine this or would I need to ask someone in IT?

I have a little tool for this. 

Just open this webpage in IE. 

If your browser is not running in compatibility mode, you'll get a result like this:

If you see the above, I would expect that Storyline's HTML5 output would work as IE11 is a supported browser as per the system requirements

However, if you get a result like the below, then the browser is running in compatibility mode:

The HTML5 content won't work with this configuration. And even if you publish to HTML5 with a Flash fallback, then you'll only see a blank white page when opening the course.

This is because when Storyline looks to see if the HTML5 output can be viewed, it sees IE11 and is happy. Because the HTML5 output works in IE11.

However, when the browser actually goes to display the course, it can't as it is using an old IE7 engine which doesn't understand HTML5.

The only options here are to publish to Flash with an HTML5 fallback or get IT to stop with all this compatibility mode stuff.

So contact IT and let them know that you need them to change the compatibility view settings.

Depending on how your computer is configured, you may be able to change this yourself to test if it resolves the issue. 

Don't be surprised if you can't access this setting, it is often disabled by over caring IT departments.

Anyway, if you can go to Settings > Compatibility View Settings in IE11:

And you'll see something like this:

If you add a website here, it'll run in compatibility mode.

If you remove it, it won't. 

If you put your left foot in... put your left foot out... 

Hope this helps.

Ryan Brown

@Matthew Bibby wow this is great information thank you so much.

I fully expected this test to return back that I am viewing things in compatibility mode due to some settings being managed by a system administrator.

But when I ran your test in my IE browser and it returned back that 'And due to compatibility mode it behaves like: 11'.

However, when I try to run a basic Storyline 360 file off of the LMS published to either HTML5 only or HTML5/Flash Fallback I end up with a blank screen in the IE window instead of the course content that I can view in the IE window with Flash/HTML5 Fallback or Flash only.

Any thoughts/recommendations? My goal is to have a seamless transition into a post-Flash world, with our library of hundreds of courses that were created with Storyline still able to run in an IE11 browser (because that is our corporate standard).

Lynn Puhr

Something to check – when you run your course do you get an ActiveX prompt to which you must check Yes to proceed. I’ve seen this – and when I publish on the server it goes away. I’m not sure if there is something set on the server that ignores that prompt or not. Something to explore?

[Description: LynnSmall]

Lynn M. Puhr
Senior Global Q&R Instructional Designer
GE Healthcare
T 1 262 548-2322
C 1 262 408-0137
Lynn.Puhr@ge.com
3000 N. Grandview Blvd W-440
Waukesha, WI 53188 United States
Global Quality Support Central<http://supportcentral.ge.com/products/sup

Lynn Puhr

By the way, I too was very cautious at first about switching over to HTML – but my experience has been very good so far with the changes made to 360. Make sure you download the latest greatest and install before you republish. Articulate is making great updates. Flash is going away. Period. Our IT department is planning an earlier than 2020 departure to be able to accommodate it. If your IT department does not, your courses will not work. It may be something that your leadership may have to discuss with IT Leadership. It is going to happen.

It may have a bigger impact than just your training. Something to consider.

It is wise of you to be working proactively. I hope your problems are soon resolved.

[Description: LynnSmall]

Lynn M. Puhr
Senior Global Q&R Instructional Designer
GE Healthcare
T 1 262 548-2322
C 1 262 408-0137
Lynn.Puhr@ge.com
3000 N. Grandview Blvd W-440
Waukesha, WI 53188 United States
Global Quality Support Central<http://supportcentral.ge.com/products/sup

Ryan Brown

@Lynn Puhr Yes that is an interesting point.

If I publish something I can double click and run the story_html5 file in the output folder in an IE browser but I am always prompted with an 'Allow blocked content' button and it will only run once this button is clicked. This button prompt is not seen once loaded onto the LMS. It just stays at the blank screen.

Is there some setting that needs to be enabled by the IT folks to allow the file to run on the LMS as if this 'Allow blocked content' button was clicked?

Lynn Puhr

I’m afraid I do not know- open this up to the masses to see if anyone else might be aware of the setting?

[Description: LynnSmall]

Lynn M. Puhr
Senior Global Q&R Instructional Designer
GE Healthcare
T 1 262 548-2322
C 1 262 408-0137
Lynn.Puhr@ge.com
3000 N. Grandview Blvd W-440
Waukesha, WI 53188 United States
Global Quality Support Central<http://supportcentral.ge.com/products/sup

Matthew Bibby
Ryan Brown

@Matthew Bibby wow this is great information thank you so much.

I fully expected this test to return back that I am viewing things in compatibility mode due to some settings being managed by a system administrator.

But when I ran your test in my IE browser and it returned back that 'And due to compatibility mode it behaves like: 11'.

However, when I try to run a basic Storyline 360 file off of the LMS published to either HTML5 only or HTML5/Flash Fallback I end up with a blank screen in the IE window instead of the course content that I can view in the IE window with Flash/HTML5 Fallback or Flash only.

Any thoughts/recommendations? My goal is to have a seamless transition into a post-Flash world, with our library of hundreds of courses that were created with Storyline still able to run in an IE11 browser (because that is our corporate standard).

It may be that just your LMS is running in compatibility mode, in which case the tool I provided earlier wouldn't help much as it sits on a different domain.

If possible, upload this SCORM package into your LMS and open the course using IE11.

This should give you more accurate information as it will be running from the right domain.

It's simply a version of the same code but embedded in Storyline. You can grab the source file here and preview it on the web here

Matthew Bibby
Ryan Brown

@Lynn Puhr Yes that is an interesting point.

If I publish something I can double click and run the story_html5 file in the output folder in an IE browser but I am always prompted with an 'Allow blocked content' button and it will only run once this button is clicked. This button prompt is not seen once loaded onto the LMS. It just stays at the blank screen.

Is there some setting that needs to be enabled by the IT folks to allow the file to run on the LMS as if this 'Allow blocked content' button was clicked?

I don't believe so. That message just appears because you are running the course locally. 

Ryan Brown

@Matthew Bibby thank you so much! I am definitely headed in the right direction with solving this. I published to the LMS and it says it is now running in compatibility mode and behaving like 8.

I guess now my team needs to get with Cornerstone, our LMS vendor, and possibly IT to try to figure this out.

Any suggestions on that front?

Ivor Thynne

Hi Ryan,

This might be nothing but I found that when I uploaded Rise content to Cornerstone the compatibility mode of the LMS (found under General settings), needed to be set to “None”.
It seems the Rise content will not function correctly when the setting is anything other than this.

You might have tried this anyway but it sounded similar so I thought I would mention it.

Regards

Ivor 

Ryan Brown

An update for anybody in similar shoes as me: I used the link from @Matthew Bibby to help isolate that Cornerstone LMS was forcing the file back to an IE8 Compatibility level (only able to run flash content in IE). There is a setting on the General tab of the learning object during the content uploading portion where you can change the 'Compatibility' from the default value 'None' to 'IE10' which will allow IE to run HTML5 content. I tested a file that had audio, video, hyperlinks, SL animations, question objects, and a results slide and all assets worked. Most importantly, IE was able to run something published as HTML5 only.

Mr Brown

Hi there...

Are there any plans to improve animation tools within Storyline, if Flash is being phased out next year? There are certain things that Flash can do (as an "animation only" tool rather than an "e-learning" tool). And coming from old school I find storyline lacking in animation controls. Especially a scrubbable timeline, keyframing, clickable items etc. I would still like to include a high level of interaction because clients sometimes make crazy requests for animation to the level of Pixar or Disney!!! Whilst I would never go that far, I still believe that there are very good uses for Flash (animation only) (or a similar tool) rather than including animated gifs which have limitation in interactions.

Just thought I'd ask...

Thanks