Calling external program from browser with parameters - cross-browser

Discussion in 'ASP .Net' started by Jeff, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    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
     
    Jeff, Sep 28, 2007
    #1
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  2. "Jeff" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > 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
     
    Mark Rae [MVP], Sep 28, 2007
    #2
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  3. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    On Sep 28, 12:00 pm, "Mark Rae [MVP]" <> wrote:
    > > 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
     
    Jeff, Sep 28, 2007
    #3
  4. "Jeff" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    >> 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
     
    Mark Rae [MVP], Sep 28, 2007
    #4
  5. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    On Sep 28, 1:02 pm, "Mark Rae [MVP]" <> wrote:
    > > 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?
     
    Jeff, Sep 28, 2007
    #5
  6. "Jeff" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > 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
     
    Mark Rae [MVP], Sep 28, 2007
    #6
  7. Jeff

    bruce barker Guest

    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
    >
     
    bruce barker, Sep 28, 2007
    #7
  8. Jeff

    DS2 Systems Guest

    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]" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Jeff" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >> 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
     
    DS2 Systems, Sep 29, 2007
    #8
  9. Jeff

    DS2 Systems Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
    >
     
    DS2 Systems, Sep 29, 2007
    #9
  10. "DS2 Systems" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > 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
     
    Mark Rae [MVP], Sep 29, 2007
    #10
  11. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    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.
     
    Jeff, Sep 29, 2007
    #11
  12. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    On Sep 29, 1:40 pm, Jeff <> wrote:
    > 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?
     
    Jeff, Oct 1, 2007
    #12
  13. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    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.
     
    Jeff, Oct 3, 2007
    #13
  14. Jeff

    vanilla Guest

    Thanks for that last note on the solution you found. Sounds easy to
    implement ... vanilla


    "Jeff" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
    >
     
    vanilla, Oct 6, 2007
    #14
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