ALP ALPFrame overview

ALPFrame is an application that hosts Microsoft Internet Explorer and implements two important features:

  • Dynamic loading of the ActiveX DLL files, designed to run without need to access the system registry.
  • Extends the DHTML object model with fully scriptable menus - window and context, window management and more.

What is the Dynamic loading of the ActiveX DLL files?

By default all the ActiveX development tools produce components that need to access the system registry in order to load their type libraries and provide automation (functional IDispatch interface) to the scripts. Thus ASP pages are able to use only components registered in the system. ALPFrame uses its configuration file to load the listed components and allow the pages to create objects implemented there without need to register these components first. The components listed there must be able to load their type information directly form their resources of some file. ALP engine and its core components are loaded using this technique and therefore ALPFrame allows ALP engine to start without need of prior installation. This is extremely useful for auto-run CDs and other situations in which installation is to be avoided if possible.

On the support site registered users may download the redistribution files in two standard packages - one of them is prepared for the above case - running ALP without prior installation. For a demo you can use the ALPFrame sample package on the public site - if you want to test your application with it - you can just replace samples with your application and correct the start page in the alpframe.cfg if needed.

More about the ALPFrame

ALPFrame currently uses windows without decorations. Future versions will use this mode as default - no matter what additional features will be added. The DHTML pages are able to resize that windows, change their style, make them "on top", minimize/maximize them and so on. See the Extended DTHML model for more information. Also ALPFrame uses the VarioMenu component to supply powerful menu management features to the pages. With ALPFrame DHTML pages are able to do with the menus the same things that the typical windows applications do. Menu management can be implemented easily by using the menu compiler ASP script (see the ALPFrame helper libraries) or/and deal with it directly using the VarioMenu components. Applications targeting look-and-feel closer to the standard windows application will benefit of these features and still implement their major functionality using the standard WEB techniques. Also - although ALPFrame is new and you cannot force final users to use it as browser replacement in certain cases - in some special situations such as corporate environment ALPFrame can be used for intranet and mixed intranet/ALP applications extending them with features like menus.

Interested? What to read first?

Take a look at the ALPFrame examples first (use the installed start menu icon or the desktop shortcut). If you are looking for an easy way to use menus - see the menu compiler example - it is presented as a tour and step by step gives you ability to pass through the process of menu creation.

Then use the Extended DHTML model topic as a start point in this documentation.

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