ActiveX is a programming technique, standards, and environment for creating interactive Internet and intranet-based Web applications. With ActiveX, adding multimedia effects, interactive objects, and sophisticated high-impact applications is within the grasp of any Webmaster. ActiveX is platform-independent, and, like Java, can operate with any browser that supports it.

Microsoft developed ActiveX as a way to extend the power of the BackOffice products to the world of the Internet/intranet. They have created a system that enables cross-platform software interoperability across a network.

Creating your own ActiveX applications is as easy as writing any other program, but it does require solid programming knowledge and experience. You can use almost any of the popular programming languages to create ActiveX applications. But, if your are not a programmer, you can easily license pre-built applications from vendors to distribute over your own site with minimal ActiveX knowledge.

A lot of techno-babble and programming-speak is associated with ActiveX. (We think it is an effort by Microsoft to confuse everyone into thinking that Microsoft actually knows what it's doing.) And most of it is fairly useless to anyone who isn't already a well-read computer programmer or a kid-genius know-it-all. So, we are gonna skip the fine detailed techno explanation of ActiveX (other than what we've already said, which is too much), and let you explore the depths of nonsense on your own.

You can learn about ActiveX in a variety of ways, including

* ActiveX's Web site:

* ActiveX Newsgroups hosted on the public news server

microsoft.public.activex.* (more than 30 sub-groups)

* ActiveX's Mailing Lists:

* To subscribe: Send an e-mail message to with a blank subject line and a message body of ìsubscribe ActiveXControls and your name,î ìsubscribe ActiveXScript your name,î or ìsubscribe ActiveXSearch your name.î

* To unsubscribe: Send an e-mail message to with a blank subject line and a message body of ìsignoff ActiveXControls,î ìsignoff ActiveXScript,î or ìsignoff ActiveXSearchî respectively.

You can also peruse the archives of these lists by visiting

To see some great examples of ActiveX in action, visit one of these sites:

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