Introduction to ActiveX - Part Three "Security and Security Zones"

One of the most common warning dialogs, is the "gold bar" message or even the infamous "Red X" image being displayed where the ActiveX control should be loaded. In some instances, the problem is caused by a failure of the control itself. However, the more common cause is due to the way that the Internet […]

One of the most common warning dialogs, is the "gold bar" message or even the infamous "Red X" image being displayed where the ActiveX control should be loaded. In some instances, the problem is caused by a failure of the control itself. However, the more common cause is due to the way that the Internet Explorer Zone security settings are configured that prevents the control from loading (or disabling some of its features). Below are the ActiveX failure messages that we've all seen:

To resolve these zone issues, the ActiveX control needs to comply with several security measures that are in place. One such method of resolving the issue is code signing the ActiveX control. This is done with a certificate that is specifically created for code signing. Before signing, the ActiveX control should be packaged into a .CAB file that contains not only the binary file of the control but also the .INF file used to install the control. For more information on code signing, please see the Introduction to Code Signing Article on MSDN and also Richard Lewis' blog post on Application Security.

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