[ Go to March 1997 Table of Contents ]

Distributed Programming: The Next Generation

-- by Martin Heller

Active Directory is built of components accessible through COM. The Active Directory Components can be used from any language that supports COM: C, C++, Visual Basic, Visual J++, VBScript, JScript, Visual FoxPro, Delphi, Clarion, PowerBuilder and several others. Because Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) supports COM and has been included in dozens of programs, many applications-including Microsoft Office 97-can work with Active Directory Components directly.

In general, using a COM object is simply a matter of getting a handle to the object and invoking its methods. In VB and Visual J++ this is particularly simple, because the COM calls to create the object and manage its reference counts have been hidden in the implementation.

VBScript and JScript will be available on any Cairo system, and they conform to Microsoft's ActiveX scripting interface standards.

Active Directory includes a Windows Scripting Host tool that can run as a Windows application (WSCRIPT.EXE) or as a command shell program (CSCRIPT.EXE). It uses an OCX to provide its scripting shell and network objects, and works with any registered Active Scripting engines-including the supplied VBScript and JScript.

Microsoft expects developers will use Active Directory Components through a "real" language like C++. Administrators are more likely to use VB or a scripting language, while end users would likely use a scripting language.

Developers do have an alternative to Active Directory Components-LDAP programming. The LDAP API is pretty much system-independent, and it's possible to write LDAP programs that will run equally well on many different clients talking to both UNIX and Cairo systems. Copyright (c) 1997 CMP Media Inc.

Windows Magazine, March 1997, page 196.

[ Go to March 1997 Table of Contents ]