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ActiveX control
Last modified: Thursday, February 06, 2003 

A control using ActiveX technologies. An ActiveX control can be automatically downloaded and executed by a Web browser. ActiveX is not a programming language, but rather a set of rules for how applications should share information. Programmers can develop ActiveX controls in a variety of languages, including C, C++, Visual Basic, and Java.

An ActiveX control is similar to a Java applet. Unlike Java applets, however, ActiveX controls have full access to the Windows operating system. This gives them much more power than Java applets, but with this power comes a certain risk that the applet may damage software or data on your machine. To control this risk, Microsoft developed a registration system so that browsers can identify and authenticate an ActiveX control before downloading it. Another difference between Java applets and ActiveX controls is that Java applets can be written to run on all platforms, whereas ActiveX controls are currently limited to Windows environments.

Related to ActiveX is a scripting language called VBScript that enables Web authors to embed interactive elements in HTML documents.

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For internet.com pages about ActiveX control . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

ActiveX Tutorial 
This lighthearted 5-part tutorial from developer.com walks the user through all aspects of using ActiveX controls.

Comparison on JavaBeans and ActiveX - article 
JavaWorld article (March 1997) on how to determine which component object model best suits your needs.

Developer.com 
Contains resources, tools, articles, discussion areas, and events of interest to Internet/intranet developers. Directories include: ActiveX, Java, JavaBeans, JavaScript, Microsoft and .NET, open source and VRML.

Armstrong's WidgetWare.com
This Windows developer's resource center contains links to FAQs, books, articles, and related Web resources for COM, OLE, ActiveX, MFC, and Win32. It is hosted by the author of several books on ActiveX and OLE.

Introduction to ActiveX Controls
The purpose of this topic is to provide guidelines for implementing Microsoft ActiveX Controls that interoperate well with containers and other controls. This article defines the minimum set of interfaces, methods, and features that are required of ActiveX Controls to accomplish seamless and useful interoperability.

Microsoft's COM site
Encompasses information about COM-based technologies such as Distributed COM (DCOM), COM+, Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS), and ActiveX controls. It includes tutorials, resources, whitepapers, and presentations.

Object linking and embedding with ActiveX
The Webmonkey Geek Talk column, from August 15, 1996, describes the differences between plug-ins and helper apps and explains how Microsoft's Active X differs from Netscape's plug-in architecture.

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