Monday, October 11, 2010

ActiveX Barcode Control Basics

by Nate Schubert

Our last article touched on the benefits and drawbacks of barcode fonts in terms of generating barcodes in a variety of different environments, applications, etc. While barcode fonts are able to create one barcode type from a font, components exist that allow generation of many different barcode images that can be streamed into applications both internally and across the web. One such component is the ActiveX Control, which we will be discussing today.

What Is ActiveX?


ActiveX was first introduced by our friends at Microsoft in 1996 as a means to bridge the gap between programming languages in various applications so that different applications and environments can be compatible with one another through a common component. Essentially, ActiveX Controls can be thought of as a translator of sorts. Many Microsoft applications use ActiveX controls such as Excel, Visual Studio, Internet EXplorer, Office and much more. ActiveX isn't limited to just Microsoft, however, and seems to have taken off on the web which has resulted in many web browsers allowing ActiveX compatibility. Because ActiveX is in pretty wide use, it provides a fair amount of flexibility between applications.

What Does The ActiveX Barcode Control Do?

The IDAutomation ActiveX Barcode Control is a graphic object that can be embedded into an Application, web browser or even onto a web page and used to create barcodes as graphic images in .WMF format without bitmaps or special fonts. Installing an ActiveX Barcode Component to meet your generation needs is a great benefit when you need a dynamic barcode image to live in an application or on the web.

The Benefits of ActiveX Barcode Controls

One of the good things about using an ActiveX Control for barcode generation is compatibility. Virtually every Microsoft Application and almost all web browsers allow installation of ActiveX Controls, which means this barcode generation component will not only work to generate barcodes on a variety of computers and from the web, but can also view them.

Another great thing about creating graphic barcode images with ActiveX Barcode Controls rather than using barcode fonts is that those barcode images can actually be saved independently of the file, from the web for example. This will most likely provide the greatest benefit in terms of Internet barcode generation, meaning a greater number of your visitors will be able to view the barcode. The same can be done by embedding barcode fonts into the web page, but the process can be more complicated than using ActiveX Controls.

Lastly, the IDAutomation ActiveX Barcode Control is capable of generating a variety of different barcode types such as Code 128, Code 39, Intelligent Mail, UPC, Data Matrix, PDF417 and much more whereas barcode fonts allow the creation of only that specific barcode type. So, ActiveX Barcode Controls provide greater flexibility with respect to which types of barcodes can be generated.

Drawbacks of ActiveX Barcode Controls

One of the main drawbacks of using an ActiveX Barcode Control is the fact that ActiveX must be installed on the system where the barcode will be generated or viewed, or the object simply will not work. Many different applications and web browsers support ActiveX so this is not normally an issue, but some still do not and this will render ActiveX-based components useless.

Are ActiveX Barcode Controls Best For You?

Ultimately, deciding to go with an ActiveX Barcode Component over Barcode Fonts or a different barcode generation component will come down to the environment you are operating in as well as which, and how many barcode types you need to generate. IDAutomation ActiveX Barcode Controls are available in both Linear and Linear + 2D for optimal flexibility in the type of barcodes you need to create. Here are some additional benefits of our ActiveX Controls Package:
  • Compatible with 32 and 64-bit Windows operating systems.
  • Compatible with any application that supports COM or ActiveX components.
  • Barcode Image Generator included for pasting barcodes into other applications or saving a a graphic WMF file.
  • Works as a DLL and does not need to be loaded onto a form.
  • Licenses from $199 with 30-Day Priority Support & Upgrade Subscription.

No comments: