As web application developers, we want to give our users a highly functional application. We want to provide our users with functionality like printing streams, local socket programming ,local threading, cross domain scripting etc., but as we know that due to the disconnected architecture of the Internet and security restrictions of any standard browser, this task becomes difficult. That’s when the
ActiveX comes to the rescue. This is mostly for web applications where the users would not be apprehensive about doing a one time installation of the component. Also, in an intranet application these components can be a big boost to the functionality of the application.
Writing ActiveX Class in C#
We will first write an interface called
public. The main
AClass will inherit from this
interface. Above the main
ActiveX class we will mention the
AutoDual. This will indicate the type of the
interface generated for the main class which will automatically be generated and exposed to the
AutoDual is not recommended because it has some versioning limitations. We will use the
AutoDual because the purpose of this code is instructional. In the main class we will write two methods
SName() and one property
Age. In our example we will return the basic
datatypes but this can be implemented for complex
Compiling the ActiveX control
For those who do not know how to compile out of Visual Studio IDE, you need to search for the
csc.exe in the folder:
Place your AClass.cs file in the folder where the csc.exe exists. Then by command (DOS) interface go to that particular folder and execute the following command:
Registering the Assembly with the client
You can register the assembly in multiple ways of implementation and it mostly depends on the target users. For example, creating a setup file for download or having a self extractor file which could prompt in the browser, depends totally on the functionality requirement. However for our example we would register the assembly by using the command prompt which is the easiest and could be done by a batch file too. Therefore, in same folder as above immediately after the compilation step we execute the following command:
Also we must note that the .NET Framework needs to be installed on the client for registration and working.
Using the ActiveX control
We can then access our newly created
This will work like a charm in Internet Explorer but may need an API plugin for other browsers like FireFox or Safari.
In this article you have seen how we can increase the functionality of our web application by implementation of
ActiveX controls in
C#. The practical applications of
ActiveX are limitless especially for graphics and multimedia.
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