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Calling external program from browser with parameters - cross-browser

We have an intranet website that currently uses ActiveX but we need to
make it cross-browser compatible and also get around the problems
we've been having with making it work with IE7 and Vista. We decided
to write an external application to do the work from the client side.
We are not sure how the web page can call the app though with
parameters.

For example, we want to do similar to what the MSDN Library and
Audible are doing with their File Transfer Manager and Audible
Download Manager. The user clicks a link on the website which calls
that download program and the program knows what to download.

How does one do this in a .NET app that is cross-browser compatible?
Thanks,
Jeff

Sep 28 '07 #1
13 3156
"Jeff" <dc******@hotmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@22g2000hsm.googlegro ups.com...
How does one do this in a .NET app that is cross-browser compatible?
Write a Java applet.
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net

Sep 28 '07 #2
On Sep 28, 12:00 pm, "Mark Rae [MVP]" <m...@markNOSPAMrae.netwrote:
How does one do this in a .NET app that is cross-browser compatible?

Write a Java applet.
Is that what those other 2 download programs are written in?
Unfortunately we don't have any Java coders here, just C# .NET ones.
Is there a way to do it in that?
Thanks,
Jeff

Sep 28 '07 #3
"Jeff" <dc******@hotmail.comwrote in message
news:11*********************@g4g2000hsf.googlegrou ps.com...
>Write a Java applet.

Is that what those other 2 download programs are written in?
No idea.
Unfortunately we don't have any Java coders here, just C# .NET ones.
Is there a way to do it in that?
No. Java is written in Java.
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net

Sep 28 '07 #4
On Sep 28, 1:02 pm, "Mark Rae [MVP]" <m...@markNOSPAMrae.netwrote:
Unfortunately we don't have any Java coders here, just C# .NET ones.
Is there a way to do it in that?

No. Java is written in Java.
I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. Is there a way to do the communication from
the browser to an external C# .NET application?

Sep 28 '07 #5
"Jeff" <dc******@hotmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@k79g2000hse.googlegr oups.com...
I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. Is there a way to do the communication from
the browser to an external C# .NET application?
Persuading a browser to launch an application installed on the client
(irrespective of what that app is written in) isn't particularly difficult,
so long as the browser is IE and you don't mind ramping down the security:
http://www.thescripts.com/forum/thread92803.html

However, ActiveX is an IE-only technology so, for cross-browser
compatibility, you need a Java applet.
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net

Sep 28 '07 #6
depends on how many browser you need to support.

write the external app in whatever language you want. then for the web
page to start and talk to it you need a browser component. (java applet
will not work due to security).

for IE, you write an active/x control
for firefox, safari and netscape you write a standard netscape plugin
(c/c++).

if you want firefox and safari on the mac, you need to build a universal
image plugin.
-- bruce (sqlwork.com)

Jeff wrote:
We have an intranet website that currently uses ActiveX but we need to
make it cross-browser compatible and also get around the problems
we've been having with making it work with IE7 and Vista. We decided
to write an external application to do the work from the client side.
We are not sure how the web page can call the app though with
parameters.

For example, we want to do similar to what the MSDN Library and
Audible are doing with their File Transfer Manager and Audible
Download Manager. The user clicks a link on the website which calls
that download program and the program knows what to download.

How does one do this in a .NET app that is cross-browser compatible?
Thanks,
Jeff
Sep 28 '07 #7
If you're AX control is in C++, you could do something like CreateProcessEx
to launch the program. Then you would use some form of interprocess
communication (IPC) to talk between the programs. I recommend TCP/IP or
shared memory. Of course there are other methods, but these are the easiest
IMHO.

"Mark Rae [MVP]" <ma**@markNOSPAMrae.netwrote in message
news:OH**************@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
"Jeff" <dc******@hotmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@k79g2000hse.googlegr oups.com...
>I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. Is there a way to do the communication from
the browser to an external C# .NET application?

Persuading a browser to launch an application installed on the client
(irrespective of what that app is written in) isn't particularly
difficult, so long as the browser is IE and you don't mind ramping down
the security: http://www.thescripts.com/forum/thread92803.html

However, ActiveX is an IE-only technology so, for cross-browser
compatibility, you need a Java applet.
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net
Sep 29 '07 #8
As a side note: Last time I checked firefox offers a control for running AX
controls. It has to be downloaded separately. This sounds like an intranet
application so you can pretty much tell them what they need to run. Good
luck.

"Jeff" <dc******@hotmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@22g2000hsm.googlegro ups.com...
We have an intranet website that currently uses ActiveX but we need to
make it cross-browser compatible and also get around the problems
we've been having with making it work with IE7 and Vista. We decided
to write an external application to do the work from the client side.
We are not sure how the web page can call the app though with
parameters.

For example, we want to do similar to what the MSDN Library and
Audible are doing with their File Transfer Manager and Audible
Download Manager. The user clicks a link on the website which calls
that download program and the program knows what to download.

How does one do this in a .NET app that is cross-browser compatible?
Thanks,
Jeff
Sep 29 '07 #9
"DS2 Systems" <to***@ds2systems.comwrote in message
news:30**********************************@microsof t.com...
This sounds like an intranet application
I wondered about that but was puzzled by the cross-browser compatibility
requirement - that's not a normal requirement for an intranet app...
--
Mark Rae
ASP.NET MVP
http://www.markrae.net

Sep 29 '07 #10
Thanks for all the replies but I'm still a little confused. As I first
said, it is an intranet website and my company has always required IE,
but will soon be supporting Firefox too hence the need for cross-
browser compatibility. We only need to support Windows users.

I did try the two Firefox plug-ins I found that are supposed to allow
ActiveX but it didn't work, at least for our ActiveX controls. It
sounds like the solution is that we still need to have an ActiveX
control in IE and a plug-in for Firefox to kick off the program.

Has anybody used MSDN Library's File Transfer Manager or Audible's
Download Manager? When I installed the File Transfer Manager, I don't
remember it installing a plug-in for Firefox so I'll need to look when
I get to work on Monday. I do know on Friday when I downloaded from
there in Firefox that it started up File Transfer Manager and let me
start the download. If there's a plug-in then that would answer the
question but if there isn't, then it's kicking off that download some
other way.

Sep 29 '07 #11
On Sep 29, 1:40 pm, Jeff <dcweb...@hotmail.comwrote:
Has anybody used MSDN Library's File Transfer Manager or Audible's
Download Manager? When I installed the File Transfer Manager, I don't
remember it installing a plug-in for Firefox so I'll need to look when
I get to work on Monday.
There is no Firefox add on that I can see for File Transfer Manager in
my browser. So somehow MS is still able to kick off a download without
a plug-in. Any suggestions on where I should check further for a
solution on how to do this?

Oct 1 '07 #12
For anybody interested, it appears that the cross-browser solution is
to create your own filename extension that you then associate with
your external program. The file contains instructions to your external
program. At least that's what File Transfer Manager does in Firefox.

Oct 3 '07 #13
Thanks for that last note on the solution you found. Sounds easy to
implement ... vanilla
"Jeff" <dc******@hotmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@k79g2000hse.googlegr oups.com...
For anybody interested, it appears that the cross-browser solution is
to create your own filename extension that you then associate with
your external program. The file contains instructions to your external
program. At least that's what File Transfer Manager does in Firefox.
Oct 6 '07 #14

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