Creating Activex Controls

Written by Kimberly Clark
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An ActiveX control is a component or self-sufficient program that has been created in a Microsoft object oriented programming language. Basically, an ActiveX control is Microsoft's version of a Java applet. The primary advantage of an ActiveX control is that it can be accessed and used by a variety of applications at the same time.

Of course using ActiveX controls also make your applications more maintainable. This is because they allow the developer to break the application up into several smaller programs. In the event that a particular function fails, an ActiveX control makes it much easier for the developer to pinpoint exactly where the problem occurred.

Development Tools

ActiveX controls are denoted with the extension ".OCX", which stands for "Object Linking and Embedding control ." Several different programming languages and development tools can be used to create ActiveX controls. The following is just a partial list of the products that can be used for creating ActiveX controls:
1. C++
2. Borland Delphi
3. FoxPro
4. Visual Basice
5. VBScript
6. PowerBuiler

ActiveX controls built in one of the above languages can be used and accessed by other applications that were built in another language. ActiveX controls can be inserted into an HTML document and then viewed using a web browser. Currently Microsoft Internet Explorer is the only browser that supports ActiveX controls that is if it is run on the Windows, Macintosh, and/or UNIX operating systems.

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