ActiveX is a Microsoft technology made up of small programs that are used within Microsoft products. Within JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, we have used this technology in Internet Explorer (IE) to provide specific enhanced functionality since the first web release of E1.
At the time E1 was first released to the web, Internet Explorer was the only supported browser. Having been the most stable and widest spread, this made the selection to use ActiveX easy as the enhanced functionality could be controlled through these small programs. When working with the grid and media objects, the specific areas affected are shown (images are with ActiveX enabled):
Fast forward many years down the road and now we have multiple strong browsers which provide alternatives to customers. No longer is Internet Explorer (IE) the dominant browser, with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all competing in this space. Now, the question comes, what alternative options can Oracle provide customers to the Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) only ActiveX controls?
Further, what alternatives can be provided before Microsoft support for ActiveX ends? Although JD Edwards EnterpriseOne supports the new Microsoft Edge browser with Windows 10, ActiveX controls are not supported with the Edge browser by Microsoft. Instead, they have chosen to end support with the IE11 release. Further, Microsoft has indicated IE11 support will end with Windows 10, making Windows 10 the last officially supported OS release for IE11.
Starting as far back as 8.98.3, Oracle JD Edwards has been providing a non-ActiveX solution to customers.
When first moving from the ActiveX to non-ActiveX, the grid functionality for copy / paste and export / import did not provide the same level of functionality as the ActiveX controls. This is mainly because the functionality was provided to us in the ActiveX control to work with Excel. This functionality is not inherent in html or java code.
Over time, this functionality has been enhanced and now, the grid, with ActiveX and non-ActiveX provide the same functionality for copy / paste and export / import, with the following exceptions (images are with ActiveX disabled).
Alternatively, an import is done from either CSV or the Clipboard. An import from the clipboard is similar to a copy / paste.
The export options included are the same as ActiveX, however, there is no option to select a specific file or worksheet in the Excel export as there is with ActiveX.
Media Object (MOBJ)
This change in functionality allows for Text attachments to be created using an ADF HTML editor instead of the ActiveX rtf editor. This change requires the files to be stored in a different format in the database. With the 9.2 release, they are referred to as etxt attachment types.
Due to the change in storage, there is a conversion available to move the attachment types from the ActiveX rtf storage into the new etxt attachment type.
Please note, once you create an attachment in the ADF editor or run the conversion over the data to convert to this type, there is no method of moving the data back to the ActiveX format.
In the following image, you can see how the toolbar is different when ActiveX is disabled as well as no OLE option.
Troubleshooting Tip – If ActiveX is enabled, the option to work with a text attachment will not show in any browser other than Internet Explorer. As we have learned, this is because ActiveX is Microsoft’s technology and only works with IE. If ActiveX is disabled, the text editor will display in all browsers. Below is a screen shot where ActiveX controls are enabled and the user logged in with the Chrome browser. Notice, both the Text and OLE options are missing from the toolbar in the following image.
Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) is another Microsoft product. Basically, OLE is a file management container, which allows for embedding the attachment into the file and then retrieving the file for viewing. Other functionality exists within the OLE container, which has been utilized, but since this interaction is entirely built around ActiveX functionality, it is only available with Internet Explorer.
There are two options in Server Manager which will enable the OLE functionality. True for ActiveX and OLE only. The OLE only option will turn off ActiveX functionality for text attachments and grid, but will enable it for the OLE MOBJ storage. This allows any customers who have used OLE to still access these attachments while still being able to go browser independent for text and grid functionality.
Please note, when ActiveX or OLE-Only is enabled, the ability to access the Advanced Media Object functionality with 9.2 is disabled. Further, Bug 25495854 - ADD A NOTE IN SUPPORTACTIVEXIE JAS.INI was added requesting a pop-up message in Server Manager when changes are made.
Selecting ActiveX or non-ActiveX
From the paragraphs above, we understand there is business justification for either using or not using ActiveX controls. This is a business decision which will have to be made by each company. Below is a summary of attributes for each.
- Stores text in ActiveX RTF mode
- Able to export to a specific Excel file / workbook
- Able to import from a specific Excel file / workbook
- Requires Internet Explorer
- Only supported up to IE11
- Support for IE11 has a set end of life
- Cannot use Advanced Media Object functionality
- Stores text in etxt format
- Browser Independent (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari)
- Do not have to worry about end of life support
- Can convert existing ActiveX RTF to etxt
- Once you go to etxt, there is not an option to go back to ActiveX RTF
- OLE – Optional
- Use Advanced Media Object functionality (only with OLE and ActiveX disabled)
- Export / Import functionality the same except
- Import from Excel is not available
- Cannot Export to an existing file
EOL Microsoft support for ActiveX controls
- Has the Web Browser EDGE or Windows 10 been Certified for E1? (Doc ID 2040422.1)
In Your Face Message when Changing ActiveX settings
- Bug 25495854 - ADD A NOTE IN SUPPORTACTIVEXIE JAS.INI
Add import from Excel with ActiveX off
- Bug 18399260 : IMPORT FROM EXCEL WITH ACTIVEX TURNED OFF
- For members of Quest, you can vote on this bug to move it up the list. See Enhancement Requests via Quest User Groups (Doc ID 1192883.1) for details.
ActiveX turned off
- Non-ActiveX Controls (HTML) for EnterpriseOne Grid Import / Export and Media Object Attachments for all browsers Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer (IE), Safari (Doc ID 780761.1)
- Working with E1 Web Client ActiveX Controls for Media Object and Grid Export / Import with Internet Explorer (Doc ID 1056203.1)
Advanced Media Object Functionality (Tools Release 9.2)
- Understanding Advanced Media Object (MOBJ) functionality available in 9.2.1 and newer (Doc ID 2199562.1)