First introduced in 1996, ActiveX is a Microsoft software framework that unifies the company’s previously developed Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) and Component Object Model (COM) technologies, and is used by a variety if Windows applications to build their feature-set and condense their own functionality into ActiveX controls that can then be embedded into other applications. Microsoft’s Windows Explorer also permits the embedding of ActiveX controls in web pages, enabling a wide variety of interactive applications. Shortly after its initial release, Microsoft made ActiveX open source, so any programmer or developer can author his own applications that are programmable via Active Scripting languages.
Now more commonly referred to as Active Scripting, the most common applications of ActiveX Scripting include Windows Script Host, Internet Explorer and Active Server Pages (ASP) server scripts to automate routine tasks, like Windows Registry manipulation or login scripts, and to allow different software applications to share functionality and data; ActiveX controls are what allows Internet Explorer to play embedded Flash files (.swf) without opening the Adobe Flash Player separately, for example.
Using Active Scripting languages like JScript and VBScript, NationalNet Hosting clients can create rich, interactive websites and applications.