OnBase has a number of different user interfaces available which are called Clients. There is variety in the functionality and some specific advantages to each one. The OnBase team will help each area select the appropriate interface for their users as part of the project discovery and requirements. One implementation area can use multiple different user interfaces.

Any use of OnBase requires that you have a user login set up inside of OnBase. Login accounts are created and administered by the User Manager in your area. User Managers can create new accounts, add accounts to existing user security groups in OnBase, and re-set OnBase passwords if needed.

What if I am off campus?

If you are off-campus and want to access OnBase, you can do so with a web client. However you will ALSO need to be logged in to the BU VPN before connecting to OnBase.

What browser should I use?

OnBase was upgraded to version 15 on August 10th, 2015. The list of supported browsers has been updated below.
The next upgrade is planned for July 2016 at which time additional browsers will be certified and limited support for ‘evergreen’ browsers will be provided.

If you are using an OnBase Web Client you must have an OnBase compatible browser.  Not all web browsers are compatibile with our current version of OnBase. Here is a list of browsers that do and do not work with the two OnBase web clients most commonly in use at BU. Please also read the “What Client should I use?” section below for more details on which client you are likely using, browsers compatible with other OnBase web clients, and Mac vs. Windows platform considerations.

Browser Platform  OnBase 15
HTML Only Web Client
OnBase 15
Active X Web Client
Internet Explorer 6 Windows No No
Internet Explorer 7 Windows No No
Internet Explorer 8 Windows No No
Internet Explorer 9 Windows Yes Yes
IE 9 Required for use with ENSA Decision Upload Process
Internet Explorer 10 Windows Yes Yes
Internet Explorer 11 Windows Yes – Recommended! Yes – Recommended!
Firefox ESR 17 Windows
No No
Firefox ESR 24 Windows
No No
Firefox ESR 31 Windows
Yes – Recommended for MACs!
New with OnBase 15
Google Chrome Any No No
Safari 5.1 update 9
and greater (5.1.9+)
Safari 6.0 update 4
and greater (6.0.4+)
Safari 6.1 MAC OS X Yes
New with OnBase 15
Safari 6.2 MAC OS X Yes
New with OnBase 15
Safari 7.0 MAC OS X Yes
New with OnBase 15
Safari 7.1 MAC OS X Yes
New with OnBase 15
Safari 8.0 MAC OS X Yes
New with OnBase 15

Any browsers not listed as supported in the above table are UNSUPPORTED at this time.

Check out the Boston University Browser Information and Trouble Shooting page if you need more information about how to determine what version of a browser you are using or how to downgrade to an earlier version.

If you are using another application, such as BUworks, which requires a browser version not compatible with OnBase, you will need to choose one browser to use with OnBase and another to use with the other application and maintain their versions appropriately.

What Client should I use?

Which client you should be using depends on the OnBase application area that you work in. More information about each client appears in the Clients section below.

This section has been updated to reflect OnBase version 15 which is in use at Boston University as of 8/10/2015

Client Areas For Windows For MACS
HTML Only Web Client Financial Aid (OFA)
Graduate Engineering
Graduate Medical Sciences
HR Global (HRG)
MET Grad
Provost / eCAP Users
Student Employment (SEO)
See compatible browsers above. See compatible browsers above.
ActiveX Web Client Admissions / Enrollment
HR Personnel
MET Grad – Program Coordinators only
MET Undergrad Admissions
See compatible browsers above. Not for MAC
Java Web Client Formerly used by Provost & Grad Engineering This client is no longer available – replaced with HTML Only Client This client is no longer available – replaced with HTML Only Client
Thick Client All areas scanning stations
Servers & Developers
Administrators in some areas
Not browser based; desktop install
Requires an update to the C++ redistributable as a pre-requisite.
Requires a fixed IP address and firewall security clearance.Thick clients on any computers other than developers, servers or scanning stations should be replaced by the Unity Client.
Not for MAC
Thick Client on
Quest App Portal
Admissions / Enrollment
HR Benefits
MET Grad – Program Coordinators
not browser based; app portal access installed on desktop
Quest Portal
MAC / Linux Users with app portal access
Outlook 2013 MET Graduate
Graduate Medical Sciences
Graduate ENG
HR Global
HR Personnel
not browser based, per user installation
Outlook 2013MS Office must be 32 bit version
Windows can be 64 bit
Requires .NET 4.2.1 pre-requisite installationThis is an Outlook add-in which must be enabled
Not for MAC
Unity Client Selected users in various areas A Windows-like client installed on the desktop Not for MAC


Boston University upgraded from OnBase 13 to OnBase 15 over the weekend of August 8-9, 2015.  In many areas KACE was used to push upgrades to the Thick Client, Active X, Unity and Outlook clients out. HTML Only client users do not need to make any changes. ActiveX Web client users need the new ActiveX controls but the link to the client has not changed. If you need assistance please log a help desk ticket.

How can I tell what version of the web client I am running?

  • If the url link you are using has ‘uisobw1.bu.edu’ or ‘uisob2.bu.edu’ in it, then it is an OnBase 11 link that won’t work any more.
  • If the url link you are using has ‘onbase.bu.edu’ in it, then it is an OnBase 13 or later link which should work.

The Clients

For each of the interfaces listed below there are notes about the interface and some important functional items:

There is a grid that shows what each different client can do on the OnBase User Group web page.

Web Clients

Log in to web clients using your BU login and Kerboros password. You must still have an OnBase account set up but access will be granted through a single sign-on process. Web client access may also require that you have a SecureID if your OnBase application contains sensitive information on documents or keywords. It is likely that adjustments will also have to be made to the Internet Explorer security settings on your desktop in order to use one of the web clients smoothly.

  • HTML-Only Web Client – does not require an active X installation on the desktop for use.
  • ActiveX Web Client – a local installation of ActiveX controls on your desktop computer is a pre-requisite to using this interface. This is a full featured web client.
  • Java Client- this client is no longer available with OnBase version 13 and later.

Outlook Client

This interfaces offers the opportunity to quickly and easily commit emails and email attachments as documents to OnBase. You can also quickly send a document out of OnBase attached to an email if appropriate security rights have been granted. A desktop installation is required to use this interface. This interface is only certified to work with Windows platform Outlook installation.

Logging in to the Outlook client is prompted the first time OnBase functionality is called for from the Outlook ribbon. Users login with their OnBase login and password. You will stay logged in as long as you do not close Outlook or until an hour has gone by with no OnBase activity. Your OnBase user license will be consumed as long as you remain logged into Outlook or until an hour has gone by without activity, so concurrent licenses may be tied up.

If you would like to use the OnBase interface, please send a Service Now help desk request requesting this interface and specifying which users would like to use it.

Thick Client

The Thick Client is a heavy installation on the user desktop computer and is required for use on all scanning stations. When booting up the thick client in the production environment, make sure to use the desktop icon that specifies PROD and that “observerp” is displayed in the first drop down on the login window. Most Thick Client installations use the OnBase login and password rather than Kerboros. Thick Client access also requires a fixed IP address for your computer and adjustments to security firewalls as well as the installation of an Oracle database client and ODBC connections. We prefer not to install the Thick Client on staff working stations since it requires significant additional effort to install initially and upgrade to new versions. If there is a pressing need for functionality offered by the Thick Client which is not available in a web client, you can request a Thick Client installation.

App Portal

The Application Portal is an alternate way to use the Thick Client by accessing a remote server rather than having it installed on your desktop. This is also an alternative suitable for Linux and MAC users. Access to the App Portal must be set up on your desktop. More information about the Quest Portal.

NOTE: Access to OnBase from mobile devices (eg. IPads, Black Berries, Android Phones, etc.) is not currently available at BU. Modules which will allow access through these platforms are avaialable at additional cost and would require a project investigation through IS&T.


In addition to multiple user interfaces, there are two different OnBase environments that you might interact with. If you are asked to conduct testing on new development or changes to OnBase configurations, you might need a login to our Test environment. User Acceptance Testing should always be done in the same user interface(s) that will be used in Production.

OnBase user accounts are set up separately in Production and Test so you can not assume that if you have a login to one that you will have both. The User Manager for your area can set up accounts in both environments.

Web Clients

All the web clients listed above for the Production environment are also available in the Test environment. However they have different and separate web links (favorites). The appropriate link to the Test client will be provided to testers as needed. Be careful that you select the correct web link favorite for the environment you want to log into.

Thick Client

When booting up the thick client to access the TEST environment, make sure to use the desktop icon that specifies ‘TEST’ and that “observrt” is displayed in the first drop down on the login screen. Use your OnBase login and password (not Kerboros).