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Rewrite needed[edit]

Whoever created this article is not familiar with ActiveX. The article needs a complete rewrite. Michael (talk) 20:19, 31 August 2015 (UTC)


This is one of the worst wiki pages I've read in a long time. It is muddled, confused, and makes no attempt to describe the technology only its defects of which there are a few. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:43, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

They introduced these controls in mid-1990? When there was no Internet Explorer? Hmm? 22:59, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Fixed.-- 05:08, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't think so. Does it mean late 1990, or late 1990s? I changed it to the latter. Nousernamesleft 18:43, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Yikes - The entire ActiveX article was incorrect from beginning to end! ActiveX the name for a object that inherits from IDispatch. That's it. Nothing more, nothing related to Internet Explorer, nothing related to Visual Basic or sticking a chart into Excel.

Take a look at the official documentation.

One of the most common use of ActiveX, and the most visible to end users, is hosting specialized ActiveX plugin controls into Internet Explorer. This is just a use of the ActiveX technology, not ActiveX itself. The article on "ActiveX Controls" appears to be a little more acurate. I would suggest merging the ActiveX article with OLE Automation and redirecting ActiveX there. OLE Automation objects are called ActiveX objects. There's no ActiveX technology per-se, it's just the name of an automation object!

ShadowChaser 22:26, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

ActiveX controls can also be developed in many other languages, most notably Delphi. Can someone please update this page. 10:34, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Many of the readers here are non-technical types who want to understand what the ActiveX dialog boxes mean. In the absence of these pop ups, most of us would be unaware ActiveX existed and would be content in that state. My interest in this topic is that I'm getting a dialog box that asks "if I want to allow software such as ActiveX and Plugins to run." I don't know what this means nor what the implications of saying yes or no are. Thus, I think this topic needs a technical section and a non-technical section. The non-technical section's sole purpose would be to let novices know what to do when the dialog boxes appear. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:54, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

Lack of FireFox and Opera Support[edit]

Should be something mentioned about this because it does affect the developer's choice in using ActiveX controls in a webpage and thus affects the product.

When I began using FF I noticed some issues with it because of web designers using AxtiveX but now I rarely, if ever, see it. Krozar (talk) 01:09, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

On the contrary, Mozilla would never adopt it even if MS licensed ActiveX control technology unless it is open source. Even if MS does make the technology open source, Firefox and Opera won't include it abusing ActiveX controls of being insecure. So it isn't exactly "lack of support" entirely from Microsoft. Just my two cents :) - xpclient Talk 14:26, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
This issue seems well explained in the article -- FF doen not inlcude activex plugins because FF is multiplatform and activex is windows only. Not because it is not open source -- Java, Flash, etc are closed but multiplatform.--BBird (talk) 16:10, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Not informative[edit]

I have always read that ActiveX is the cause for many big security problems. I read nothing about that in the article. Plus the whole article is not very Wikipedia-style. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:34, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree, there are several articles that explain ActiveX's security problems (,142201/article.html and , for exampe) (talk) 22:41, 23 June 2008 (UTC)


I'll include the Delphi info if you could please cite a reliable source. Thanks Dotancohen 13:16, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

How about the newsgroup?

ActiveX controls versus OLE custom controls[edit]

The article says ActiveX controls debuted in VB4. Back then they were called OLE custom controls. When you look at the Object Linking and Embedding article it says that ActiveX is a set of web-related extensions to OLE. Somehow this whole mess doesn't make much sense. Shinobu 16:57, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

From what I've read, the only difference between ActiveX controls and OLE custom controls is that for ActiveX controls all interfaces (except IUnknown) are optional. If this is true, which it probably is, that not only means that this article contains some incorrect or misleading statements, it also means that there is not really a reason to keep this as a separate article. Shinobu 08:10, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Removed from the article:

ActiveX controls debuted in v4.0 of the desktop development tool for Microsoft Windows called Visual Basic, but Microsoft later modified the Internet Explorer web browser to use them to incorporate applet-like functionality into web pages.

In VB4 several control interfaces were mandatory, whereas for ActiveX controls none are. Therefore this sentence is misleading, as VB4 does not in the general case support ActiveX controls. It only supports those ActiveX controls that are also OLE custom controls. Shinobu 13:26, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

corporate looking text with bad style[edit]

Looks like the entire page was copied from another website Fontenot 1031 00:51, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

See below. Shinobu 04:01, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Rewrite needed[edit]

 Done A rewrite of this page is most definitely needed, and soon. Not only is it not Wikified, it's written like an advertisement. I know nothing about ActiveX or I'd do it myself, but this page needs some serious work. --Pyreforge 12:42, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

The whole section was a copyvio; I deleted it. A re-write doesn't seem very useful at the moment since the article might be merged with the Automation article anytime. Since the offending text is scrapped, I will remove the POV tag. Shinobu 04:02, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Ah, most excellent. I had Googled it, but evidently it wasn't completely verbatim. Thanks :) --Pyreforge 12:42, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't agree that is is written like an advertisement. I come to an ActiveX article, of course it tells me about ActiveX. I go to Java (programming language) and the first sentence tells me about Sun. (I'm not suggesting a re-write of the Java/Sun page either) 23:44, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
It isn't written like an advertisement, it was written like an advertisement. The deletion of the massive copyright violation fixed most of the article's problems - apart from its lack of content. --Pyreforge 01:40, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

OLE automation article not great either.[edit]

Not to mention the overlap between OLE and COM articles. I would hate to see the ActiveX article go: to me OLE automation should be covered by the OLE, COM, or ActiveX articles. I don't mind seeing it in the ActiveX article, because the OLE and COM articles are long enough already, and the OLE basics should be moved back out to OLE or COM. 23:38, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Brand name?[edit]

Okay, I think I have a theory about where this article goes wrong: ActiveX is actually a brand name for anything Internet-related. That would explain why no one really knows what it is: we're all techies and can't bend our heads around something that doesn't really define a technology, but is Microsoft marketing speak for a hazily defined concept, and we assumed ActiveX was something and subsequently tried to figure out what it was. Much to the enjoyment of Microsoft's marketing department. Shinobu 08:46, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

merge from ActiveX control[edit]

The ActiveX technology is based on the usage of the IUnknown interface. I don't see a reason to devote an entire article to ActiveX controls when all of the same information is going to be in this one. I vote to Merge the ActiveX control article to a section here and try to make a Good Article out of this. I am more than happy to do the merge and edit myself if there are no complaints. Zab (talk) 10:29, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Active Technologies[edit]

Content Active Technologies is totally unrelated to the article and unnecessarily added. I can remove that if there are no objections. Also, I can simplify the existing definition and summary again if there are no objections from others. Harsha (talk)

Basic information missing[edit]

Who or what company created ActiveX?

What does the name mean?

Can a home-computer user put it on his or her computer, or does it only come as a part of a separate program, like Windows XP, Adobe Photoshop, Mozilla Firefox, etc.?

Is ActiveX a brand? Is it a trademark, like "Kleenex" or "JetSki"?

-- (talk) 02:35, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

Most of these are answered in the article, but I'll try to summarize. The article is awkwardly worded in places and may need some rephrasing, perhaps my answers can help in achieving that goal.
  1. Microsoft. It is largely a rebranding of COM/OLE. COM is a way of splitting software in separate components. Applications can create COM objects even if the actual implementation of the object is not in the executable itself, but in a library or even another process or another computer in the case of DCOM. You interact with objects by calling methods on their various interfaces. A slightly overused example: object Bello might provide interfaces Pet, Animal, Dog and Being. The interface Pet might contain methods like Feed, Stroke, Play, Walk etcetera. OLE is a technology originally designed to allow applications to display their documents as part of documents of other applications. For example, embedding a spreadsheet in a text document. It uses COM for its componentization. The objects in this case may be OLE documents or controls, that provide interfaces with methods allowing you to display them, print them, activate them for editing, save them to disk, copy them to the clipboard, etcetera.
  2. The name was probably thought up by a marketing droid.
  3. Since these technologies are in a large part like communication protocols. In that sense they aren't on your computer as such, just software supporting them. However, several support libraries are needed by most COM/OLE/ActiveX software. If you use Windows, these usually come preinstalled. In that sense ActiveX etcetera are probably already on your computer. If you use GNU/Linux, you may need to install Wine.
  4. I don't know. Probably.
Shinobu (talk) 02:04, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

what kind of functions of applilcaton should be use ActiveX?[edit]

Severely lacking[edit]

This article needs more sources; it currently only has a single one. Likewise it needs more information, specifically about its features and its security risks. (talk) 02:21, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I too wanted to know about security risks associated with activeX and any known historical exploits or advisories, like this , but to no avail. Any reason that there's NO mention of security? (talk) 06:23, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes there is a reason, its name is Bill Gates. ActiveX was brutally exploited over the years. That this article totally lacks any mention of this scandal can mean only one thing. And we all know what that thing is.

Compatible with just Microsoft Internet Explorer?[edit]

"while ActiveX components are only compatible with Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser and the Microsoft Windows operating system."

Doesn't Firefox, Opera and other browsers make use of ActiveX controls?-- (talk) 22:39, 7 January 2009 (UTC) - Never mind, I've researched and found that Firefox and other browsers use NPAPI —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:52, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes this is true —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Microsoft is phasing out ActiveX?[edit]

I recently read several times, that Microsoft is phasing ActiveX out, e.g.: (Last paragraph). Maybe somebody has a better source for this? -- iGEL (talk) 18:34, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

It is still supported in the upcoming Visual Studio 2010 per this link, though the content of those (VS.100) documents are in some type of beta right now so may change later on. On quick glance I didn't see anything mentioned about depreciation. ZabMilenkoHow am I driving? 06:07, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
As a technology, MS is replacing COM with NET. NET is more limited in scope and distribution: this means security is better, but functionality is worse. COM still owns some small object-interface markets (not the same markets as CORBA and JAVA Beans, but the same kind of technology). These COM interface markets aren't owned by MS (COM is a public standard) and MS isn't interested.
Because MS published the standard, for anyone to use, it doesn't matter if MS 'depricates' it or not. What matters is that MS is no longer publishing new COM interfaces. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:24, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Korea and China[edit]

The previous ref is an interesting one and raises an issue discussed in several sources e.g. [1] [2] (the best one probably being the earlier one) of the popularity of ActiveX in Korea and perhaps China which the article doesn't discuss Nil Einne (talk) 03:51, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

.NET support of ActiveX[edit]

I'm pretty certain the article is incorrect when it says that you can create ActiveX controls with the .NET Framework, whether C# or any other dialect. You can use ActiveX components, through the shims offered in the Interop facilities of .NET, but it certainly doesn't support writing ActiveX components.

Can anyone provide a link that contradicts this?

Update - I've just noticed the link that is there. It does not support what it claims to support: this is an article about consuming .NET framework components from an COM object / ActiveX control; it says nothing at all about writing ActiveX controls in .NET, so I'm going to remove that bit. (talk) 13:46, 2 July 2010 (UTC) is pretty much what is required to write an Activex with .Net. The majority of the work is passing IE's security. If not writing the ActiveX for IE, making the control visible to COM is good enough for many RAD frameworks.--Skyfiler (talk) 07:15, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

Review: Other_ActiveX_technologies Updated Review needed[edit]

The Other_ActiveX_technologies section currently starts off, "Microsoft has developed a large number of products and software platforms using ActiveX objects. Some remain in use as of 2009:". The last bit about, "... as of 2009 ..." leads me to believe this section could use a review by someone familiar with the current state of other ActiveX technologies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:26, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Link to book is broken[edit]

Comment from User:

Note: I've tried to see this book (I had to register to open-group in order to do that), but the book doesn't exist there: 7. "Documentation for ActiveX Core Technology". The Open Group.

I've reported the issue to the OpenGroup on their website. We'll see what happens. AlistairMcMillan (talk) 13:02, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

OpenGroup have fixed their link. AlistairMcMillan (talk) 16:44, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Security risks[edit]

The article lacks a section on security. Even Microsoft recommends that one stays away from them if possible: "Here's a good rule to follow: If an ActiveX control is not essential to your computer activity, avoid installing it." Mlewan (talk) 06:01, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Marketing people are intentionally confusing[edit]

Marketing people like to create new terms, even if it is nothing new. They are intentionally confusing because they care more about impressing than making sense. Technical people are frustrated by that. I think ActiveX is an example of a confusing term. It is difficult to get clear technical definitions of terms like ActiveX and Automation. My understanding of a critical feature of ActiveX is that they have a UI whereas Automation does not. These days, we usually just say COM Object and I am not sure if COM Object includes ActiveX. I wish this article would be more clear about whether ActiveX is a COM Object or if they are separate. Sam Tomato (talk) 23:41, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

ActiveX includes ActiveX Controls (which at minimum needs to support IUnknown), Active Scripting, Active Document, ActiveX Server Framework (ActiveX Server Scripting and ActiveX Server Controls). In most cases, especially in the context of Internet Explorer, ActiveX often means ActiveX Controls just like a man often means an adult male instead of a person. Anyway, neither UI nor automation is critical for an ActiveX. An ActiveX can be without UI (e.g. the Microsoft.XMLHTTP object used in Ajax), or automation support (if it does not care about scripting access). Even IOleObject is optional if event (IConnectionPointContainer) is sufficient for communication with the container, or even event is not needed since the control does not need to push unsolicited response to the container. Because existing ActiveX are so different (they each implement a different set of interfaces) the least common denominator is just IUnknown. --Skyfiler (talk) 18:12, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Definition Needed[edit]

What, exactly, is an Active X control? A definition is needed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:31, 30 March 2017 (UTC)