Accessing an ActiveX control from your application

This topic includes the following sections:


To access an ActiveX control from your application, you’ll need to do the following:

1. Register the file that contains the ActiveX control. See Registering an ActiveX control.
2. Write a routine that loads and processes the ActiveX control and call the routine from your program. For example, you might write a hyperlink method, a drill method, or a subroutine to process a menu entry, depending on how the user will access the ActiveX control.
3. Modify your user interface to allow access to the ActiveX control. For example, you might add a hyperlink prompt, drilldown button, or menu entry.

You could combine steps 2 and 3 and make your hyperlink or drill method (for example) the routine that loads and processes the ActiveX control.

Let’s say that we want users to be able to display a calendar to enter a date in a Renewal date field. We’ll use an ActiveX calendar control called AXCalendar, and the user will click on a drilldown button to display it, as shown below.

Example drilldown button for ActiveX control

To process the control, we write the routine ax_date_drillmethod, which includes a drill method that calls the ActiveX routine.

.subroutine ax_date_drillmethod
.include "DBLDIR:ActiveX.def" 
.include WND:tools.def
   tkwid        ,i4             ;Toolkit window ID 
   axwid        ,i4             ;ActiveX container ID 
   axid         ,i4             ;ActiveX control ID 
   method_id    ,i4             ;Window event ID
group a_date    ,a 
   day          ,d2 
   month        ,d2 
   year         ,d4
   tkwid = %ax_tkwin("tkdate",12,40, axwid)     ;Create toolkit container
   axid = %ax_load(axwid, "MSCAL.Calendar.7")   ;Load control 
   xcall ax_bind(axid, "DblClick", "OnDblClick") ;Bind double-click event
;Create and assign toolkit container window close event 
   xcall u_wndevents(D_ASSIGN,method_id,tkwid)
   xcall u_window(D_PLACE, tkwid, 10, 20)               ;Place Toolkit window 
   xcall ax_input(tkwid)                                ;Process control 
   if (g_entnam.eq.'DONE')                              ;Check for menu entry 
      begin = %ax_getint(axid, "Day") 
       a_date.month = %ax_getint(axid, "Month") 
       a_date.year = %ax_getint(axid, "Year") 
       xcall i_force(a_date) 
   xcall u_window(D_DELETE, tkwid)                      ;Delete Toolkit container 
   clear g_select 
.subroutine OnDblClick 
   xcall m_signal('DONE') 
.subroutine OnClose 
   xcall m_signal('CLOSE') 

Finally, we need to modify the script file entry for the Renewal date field to add the drilldown button. The entry will look something like this:

.field c_rd, d8, date, pos(3, 38), prompt("Renewal date"), fpos(3, 52),- 
  bzro, help("h_rd"), info("DDMMYY"), drill_method("ax_date_drillmethod")

Registering an ActiveX control

Before an application can use an ActiveX control, the control must be registered with the Windows operating system. Once the file is registered, it should not be moved or renamed. You can register a control manually or programmatically:

regsvr32 filename

We recommend you always check the loading of your ActiveX control with the ActiveX Diagnostic Utility before accessing the control from your application.

Error handling for ActiveX control exceptions

You can trap exceptions generated by ActiveX controls as you load them or use them in your Toolkit application. The EXITE mechanism is used to generate errors from these exceptions. These errors can be trapped by ONERROR statements if they are in effect when the ActiveX subroutine that loads or uses the control is called. When an error is trapped, control is transferred to the code for the error if the error is in the error list for the ONERROR statement (or there’s a catch-all label).

If the error isn’t trapped by the ONERROR statement, or if no ONERROR statement is in effect, any exception generated by the ActiveX control will cause a fatal runtime error at the line where the ActiveX subroutine was called.