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ActiveX Controls

What is ActiveX control?

ActiveX is a framework for defining reusable software components in a programming language-independent way. Software applications can then be composed from one or more of these components in order to provide their functionality

What is ActiveX control?

It was introduced in 1996 by Microsoft as a development of its Component Object Model (COM) and Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) technologies and is commonly used in its Windows operating system ActiveX controls are very important to the vitality and functionality of certain web-based programs. ActiveX controls are a type of building blocks that are capable of interlinking with each other and your computer to display animations, drop-down menus, Flash-based templates, dialogue boxes, command options, and much more. ActiveX controls behave similar to the Java programming language as they are both capable of performing these same tasks

What is ActiveX control?

ActiveX controls, mini program building blocks, can serve to create distributed applications working over the Internet through web browsers. Examples include customized applications for gathering data, viewing certain kinds of files, and displaying animation ActiveX controls are comparable to Java applets: programmers designed both of these mechanisms to allow web browsers to download and execute them. But Java applets can run on nearly any platform, while ActiveX components officially operate only with Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser and the Microsoft Windows operating system

What is ActiveX control?

Programmers can write ActiveX controls in any language which supports COM component development, including the following languages/environments: C++ either directly or with the help of libraries such as ATL or MFC[3] Borland Delphi Visual Basic .NET Framework (C#/VB.NET)

How To Use ActiveX Controls

ActiveX controls are really simple to use but are generally only available on websites that have ActiveX controls embedded into its programming. When a website that is using ActiveX controls wants to access your computer, a security message will appear at the top of your Internet Explorer browser and ask you if you want to install ActiveX controls. This message will give you the option of installing the ActiveX control, receive information about ActiveX controls, and read about the risks involved in using ActiveX controls. If you choose to install ActiveX controls on your computer, the website will then perform the function intended by the programmer.

Whats The Risk

While it is true that ActiveX controls serve a vital importance to computers, web browsers, and the programs that they run, ActiveX controls do still access your computer which can make them potential threats to you and your computer. ActiveX controls are capable of being programmed with malicious files such as viruses and trojan horses that can not only harm your computer but can also transmit data such as passwords, credit card information, and your latest search history to the programmer.

ActiveX controls can also be used to let in other harmful files and disable the popup blockers on your computer to allow certain popup ads to display repeatedly on your browser.

ActiveX Controls

Controls Have a User Interface Controls know about events, properties, and automation

container invokes control's methods

Control Container

control sends event notification

ActiveX Control

properties are examined and modified

ActiveX Control Functionality

A control is:

A control usually has:

A COM object: A User Interface: Createable

Properties, both stock and custom Event callbacks, both stock and custom Property change notification On-demand rendering of a view Support for containers: OLE control and in-place activation Persistance support Windowless activation: an initialization optimization Object safety settings Drag and Drop support Graphical editing of its properties Support for arranging properties by category Default keyboard handling: tabbing, arrow keys, help

ActiveX Control Events

A control can also communicate with its container, and other interested components as well, through events.
A control can define a set of events its container would then be expected to provide a way to react to each received event events are methods that a control invokes on its container to make this work the control must acquire a pointer to an interface supported by the container with methods that match the events the control wants to send

We say that the control supports a source interface for events and the container must provide a sink for that interface.