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Active X vs. JavaBeans

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What is a JavaBean?

By definition a JavaBean is a reusable software component that works with Java. More specifically: a Java Bean is a reusable software component that can be visually manipulated in builder tools.

To see a brief tutorial and example of a JavaBean click here.

 

What is an ActiveX control?

One definition of ActiveX is as follows: ActiveX controls are software modules based on Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) architecture and appear to be Microsoft's preferred form of active content for Web pages. ActiveX controls are, in fact, almost identical in structure to MS Windows programs, and have full system access. The only security provision is a digital signature system called Authenticode which offers only "run/don't run" options, and has additional security problems.

To see a brief tutorial and example of an ActiveX Control click here.

 

Comparison

At their root both JavaBeans and ActiveX controls strive to be and perform the same purposes.  They are both self contained software modules that developers can plug into a web site rapidly with easy customization.  JavaBeans and ActiveX are very similar in that respect. They both also are manipulated with visual tools and have their attributes accessible to developers for customization.  Various tools allow this rapid customization and configuration for developers to plug them quickly into a project.

 

Contrast

While their goal is the same the actual guts of each technology is a bit different.  JavaBeans are specifically based upon the Java programming language.  In a way they are very similar to applets only have standardized components that make accessing their properties easier for developers.  ActiveX controls are not based on any one programming language and can be written in languages varying from VB to C++ to Java.  You might think this makes ActiveX the clear choice.  That is not necessarily the case.  The two technologies are different in the cross-platform support they offer too.  JavaBeans are basically available for many different operating systems whereas ActiveX controls really only run on its single target operating system. Edit Text

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