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Use Windows Power User or Administrator accounts to download ActiveX controls to user workstations

Updated on May 2, 2019

Process Commander's thin-client architecture allows most workstation capabilities to be implemented in HTML and JavaScript and delivered by the server to the user's workstation in a browser window.

However, to augment workstation capabilities beyond what is possible with HTML and JavaScript alone, Process Commander automatically downloads and installs a small number of Windows ActiveX controls (also called OCX files) when they are first needed. Application users need at most a few of these controls; application developers need a larger set.

This automatic download process can fail if the user's Windows account does not allow ActiveX installation . This happens, for example, if for security reasons the workstation is "locked down" and registry updates are disabled.

In these cases, you can pre-install the needed ActiveX controls (OCX files) using of an appropriately privileged Windows account.

Suggested Approach

The downloads are triggered either when the ActiveX control has never been installed on the client workstation or when the version of the control on the Process Commander server is higher than that on the client.  (The ActiveX controls are stored on the server in Windows CAB files, which are digitally signed by Pegasystems.)

Once downloaded, the ActiveX controls are installed in the \WINDOWS\Downloaded Program Files directory on the local drive, where they remain available for all users of that workstation. Each control is named with a pr prefix:

  • prScreenCapture - for capturing screens as images
  • prOpenAuthoring - for using various editors for HTML, XML, and Java
  • prClassExplorer - for displaying the Class Explorer
  • prVisioInterface - for creating and editing graphical flows in Visio
  • prBatchScanning - for scanning paper documents in batch mode
  • prPackageComInt - for generating DLLs for Rule-Service-Com rules

To permit ActiveX controls to download to the client:

  • The Window user account must have either Microsoft Windows Power User or Administrator privileges. (This is required for digitally signed ActiveX controls from any vendor.) After the ActiveX controls have downloaded, the client no longer needs Power User or Administrator privileges.
  • Accept the default Security settings in Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Before any ActiveX control downloads, Windows presents a security warning:

ActiveX Security Warning

It is best that you not check the Always trust content from Pegasystems Inc. field and click Yes.  This way, the Security Warning always appears, allowing users to know when an ActiveX control is downloading.

In rare cases , you must restart a client workstation after one of these downloads completes. This usually means that older, obsolete versions of Microsoft-distributed Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files have been replaced by newer versions.  A prompt appears in this case, indicating that the workstation must be restarted.

Some Process Commander functions — such as the Export to Excel feature in reports, or the Application Document feature that creates a Word document — may call of ActiveX components that have been installed in conjunction with Microsoft Office.  During the first activation of these features, updates to these shared ActiveX components may be triggered. These updates normally occur without additional user intervention. 

However, some versions of Microsoft Office (for example, Office 2000 prior to SP1) may detect the update or use of shared components and invoke the Windows Installer, which asks you to insert an Office CD.   If this occurs, Pegasystems recommends that you update your Microsoft Office installation to the most current service pack available from Microsoft..

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