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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.
ActiveX is Microsoft's component technology based on Microsoft's COM (Component Object Model), which itself is based on OLE (Object Linking and Embedding). OLE provides a linking technology in which an object inserted into documents (such as a pie chart created in Excel) is automatically updated when the parent object (in the Excel spreadsheet) is updated. Documents with objects created in multiple programs are called compound documents and are discussed elsewhere. See the related entries page.
To promote ActiveX as a standard, in October 1996 Microsoft turned control of ActiveX over to the Open Group, which formed a subgroup called the Active Group specifically to manage the evolution of ActiveX technologies. It also provides development, branding, testing, and licensing services.
While Java and ActiveX compete in the market, there is a considerable amount of support for running both in the same environments, so you don't need to choose one over the other. Java applets can link to ActiveX controls, which in turn provide a link to higher-level operating system functions. Vendors that Support ActiveX, COM, and DCOM are listed here:
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.