Agentry ActiveX SDK
The Agentry ActiveX SDK is a collection of resources provided to developers to support interprocess communications between the Agentry Client and another process or application running the same client device.
There are two options available for interacting with external processes: ActiveX, or using the Client API. The ActiveX interface to the Agentry Client has been available for quite some time and has been expanded and augmented with continuing increases in the exposure of the Agentry Client functionality and data. The Agentry Client API exposes the ability to execute actions, instantiate and apply transactions, and request a rule evaluation, all from an external process running on the same device as the Agentry Client.
The Agentry ActiveX SDK includes the resources needed to use the APIs it provides, and some samples. It may be beneficial to review these samples, and possibly even compile and build one or more of them to become more familiar with the overall structure and logic involved in building processes or controls that interact with the Agentry Client.
Agentry ActiveX Client API
The Agentry ActiveX Client API (ActiveX API) provides numerous resources for creating an ActiveX control that appears on the Agentry Client’s user interface and that can interact with the Agentry Client in several different ways, including passing various types of data between the Agentry Client and ActiveX control, executing actions for requests made by client controls, and making the Agentry Client aware of various control-related events such as data entry and changes in focus.
The ActiveX API provided includes numerous resources needed by the ActiveX control that must be included in the build and compile stages. There are methods within the Agentry Client that are exposed to the ActiveX control, as well as methods that must exist within the control that is called at various times by the Agentry Client to notify the control of certain events related to the control and a user’s interaction with it.
Agentry Client API
The Agentry Client API exposes certain functionality within the Agentry Client to external processes. Similar to the ActiveX API, the external process can request the Agentry Client to execute actions.The process can also request the Agentry Client to instantiate a transaction using values provided by the external process, and to then apply that transaction. The external process can also call through the Client API to request a rule evaluation and to receive the value returned by that rule.
A significant difference between the Client API and the ActiveX API is how communication is supported. When you use the ActiveX API, you must show any ActiveX control you are using on the Agentry Client’s user interface. In some situations this is either not practical, or such a control makes no sense for the intended purpose. The Agentry Client API allows for interaction between an external process and the Agentry Client with such a control. You must build the xternal process using the provided resources in the Agentry SDK, and call the methods provided by the Client API to perform the desired processing.
System Support, Usage, and API Differences
Both the Agentry ActiveX Client API and the Agentry Client API are available for use with Agentry Clients running on Windows devices, desktops, and laptops. ActiveX is a Microsoft protocol that is provided exclusively for their family of Windows operating systems, and therefore cannot be used with Agentry Clients for platforms other than Windows. The Agentry Client API isavailable only for Windows platforms as well.
The primary driver for selecting the Agentry Client API for external processes or the Agentry ActiveX Client API is whether control needs to be shown on the Agentry Client’s user interface. If there is no need for such a control, or if such a control does not make sense in the context in which the processing or work flow is performed, then the developer should investigate using the Agentry Client API for external processes. If, however, a control is needed, then the Agentry ActiveX Client API must be used.
Other differences include the functionality that is exposed and available by each API. The Agentry Client API for external processes allows action execution, rule evaluation, and transaction instantiation and application. These processes are all performed in the context of the module MainObject.
Changes to the Agentry ActiveX SDK
For developers who are familiar with the Agentry ActiveX Client API, it is important to note some items related to the recent addition of the Agentry Client API for external processes. The most important difference is that the Client API does not utilize any of the resources provided by the SDK for ActiveX, nor does it use the methods, field types, action types, or other components provided to support ActiveX controls. The Agentry Client API for external processes is a separate entity and all support and resources related to its usage are mutually exclusive from the resources that are related to the Agentry ActiveX Client API
No changes have been made to the ActiveX API that are related to the addition of the Agentry Client API.