Being a technology consultant, I recommend to my customers that they stop using Internet Explorer and jump onto the band wagon of Mozilla Firefox. Not only does Firefox have thousands of addons to choose from, it also helps prevent spyware and malware from ever reaching your computer.
Most likely, you have reached this page because you have either switched over to Firefox, or you would like to switch to Firefox but haven't quite jumped the hurdle of getting Paragon MLS to work with Firefox.
Though I do not know the exact coding language of Paragon, I am guessing it is primarily an .asp back-end with some sort of Active-X control. Since Active-X is proprietary to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, you can't use Firefox for these types of websites. Regardless, Paragon look kinda goofy in Firefox...
Since the wonderful programmers at Fidelity MLS Solutions have agreed to only support Paragon for Internet Explorer, this makes it pretty much impossible to use Firefox for logging into Paragon... Or is it impossible...?
I recently helped a friend with a client, who is a real estate agent for the Wichita area. I had heard that Paragon wasn't too friendly to Firefox, but I didn't have any real experience with it until a couple of weeks ago at about 4:00am in the morning. My first thought was to make IE highly secure, add the local MLS site as a trusted site and create a shortcut straight to Paragon, instructing the client to use IE only for Paragon. But then it hit me...
Since Firefox allows a host of addons, one of my favorite (but not often used) addons is a rather small but power addon called: IE Tab. Once this addon is installed, it let's a person open just about any website they wish, into a new tab that is actually rendered by IE. So, you have a new Firefox tab that is actually calling on Internet Explorer to view the page! Believe it or not, it works like a charm for Paragon!
So, here are the steps for getting Paragon to work in Firefox:
Note: (This is assuming you already have Firefox installed)
1. Open firefox and go to the IE Tab page located at:
2. Click on the Add to Firefox button to install the addon. (It will bring up a new box, count down from 3...2...1 then display install. Just click 'install' once it is highlighted and press Restart Firefox when it is done)
3. Installing the addon is the easy part. Setting IE Tab to automatically open the Paragon site is a little trickier, but not too difficult. Go ahead and open your Paragon MLS webpage. (It should look really weird at this point)
4. Click on Tools then click on IE Tab Options.
5. You should see in the box next to "URL", the link to your MLS page. If the link is not the correct link, type it in and make sure it has the trailing '/'. For example, the local MLS site for Wichita is: http://sckmls.fnismls.com/ If everything is correct, click Add, then OK.
6. Refresh the page to your Paragon MLS site and you should see the "Blue e" next to the website address at the top and your page should look just like it does in Internet Explorer. If it does you did everything right!
Well, this concludes the tutorial on How to Login to Paragon using Firefox! I hope it helps! Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how it goes :)
Update 2008-11-26: I ran across this website which also explains how to login to Paragon 4 or other IE only websites.
Update 2009-02-06: Somewhere around the beginning of February 2009, Fnismls made some backend changes to the site which seems to be preventing "popup windows" from opening by using the Firefox + IE Tabs method such as adding a contact. An error pops up saying something about the Microsoft C++ Runtime Library's aren't working. I don't remember what the exact error was and I didn't have time to come up with a "fix" for the problem either. One of the things I did try to fix it, was by updating the Microsoft Visual Studio C++ Runtime to the 2008 version. This didn't help. My ultimate solution was to go back to using the true IE. If you are getting an error using IE saying something about the "connection manager is already open" download the fnismls system checker, run it on your computer, reboot and everything should work fine using IE.
Update 2009-10-27: I recently worked with my client and checked to see if anything had changed with Paragon on the IE Tab. For the most part, it works like a charm, however, anytime she goes into her contacts (I forget exactly where) She ends up with: Runtime Error! Program c:\program files\mozilla\firefox.exe
This application has requested the runtime to terminate it in an unusual way. Please contact the applications support team for more information. Then Firefox dies a harsh and painful death...
I haven't had a chance to look into it but I'm hoping it has to do with installing some runtime libraries of some sort. I'm pretty sure she was on Firefox 3.5 too... If I find a fix, I'll post it :)
I realize that it is kind of costly at this point for FNIS MLS to re-do the Paragon system and move it toward a more "universal" system, but I mean come on... When will "big" companies realize that IE is no longer the powerhouse? FNIS MLS is FORCING you to buy and use a Windows based computer because they are either too lazy or don't want to spend the money to upgrade their system to one that is universal among all browsers. It's almost like your real estate board telling you: "If you want to have a license to show, research or sell a house, you MUST buy and use a Ford Pinto". Who knows, maybe they are updating the Paragon system to get away from being proprietary to IE... I highly doubt it though... (ok, I'm off my soapbox)