Understanding the ActiveX

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Updated:

  • OS: Windows 7+
  • Browser: IE9+
  • Office: N/A
  • Product: ActiveX

NetDocuments uses an ActiveX control for use with Internet Explorer (9, 10, and 11) on Windows 7, 8, and 10 to facilitate the editing of documents.

An Update will often include a new version of the ActiveX add-on for Internet Explorer. This small client software is a browser add-on that provides additional functionality to the NetDocuments Service for those using Internet Explorer. At the time of the Update, users will be prompted to update or install this add-on when they go to the login page unless their system Administrator has pre-installed it. System Administrators may install this add-on prior to the actual update.  The ActiveX install is made available at the time the beta process starts which is typically 3 weeks prior to the actual Update. This allows customers to install this client software for their users at their convenience prior to the Update. 

If users require an IT group to install or allow access to install the ActiveX, prior arrangements should be made for that to occur before each Update. NetDocuments will always provide a minimum 3 weeks notice prior to any Update requiring an ActiveX install and will make the software available when the Beta starts. Not all Updates require an update to the ActiveX, however it should be anticipated with each Update to ensure appropriate preparations have been made to install the ActiveX when required. For any given Update, updates to the ActiveX may change up until the Beta period begins. 

There are two ways the ActiveX can be installed:

1. Forced Update when Using IE

This forced update is triggered when there is no ActiveX already installed in the IE browser or because NetDocuments has determined that an updated ActiveX must be installed into IE to manage document usage.

This can be a silent or prompted install/update based on your IE settings.

When this happens, three files will be downloaded to C:\windows\downloaded program files:

  • neNote.exe
  • neWebCL.dll
  • newebcl.inf

In Windows 8 you must use a command prompt with admin privileges to remove these files, and all IE and ActiveX related programs must be shut down. Note that there may also be CONFLICT.1 type directories with older elements in them (CONFLICT.2, .3 and so forth for each time there is a conflict).

2. Optional update

Users may elect to install a new ActiveX that is not required. For instance, with 15.2, an update to the ActiveX was not required unless the user also was running 1.5 ndOffice. There are two ways to perform this upgrade. Either the user can restore the system to its original state and allow the forced update listed above to occur, OR the user can manually run neWebCL.msi to install it.

If the second option is done, the following files are created in C:\Program Files (x86)\NetDocuments:

  • neNote.exe
  • newebCL.dll
  • neCrypto.dll  

Version Numbers

If you don’t install the MSI version (which lives at https://vault.netvoyage.com/neweb2/apps/newebcl.msi) it will not appear in Programs and Features. The latest version of the MSI install shows in Programs and Features as 2.1.6 and is called NetDocuments Document Activation. If you remove it from here, there may still be a DLL that is being used. Check both locations above to remove all instances.

Whether you install from the MSI, or the DLL version, in IE you will see 4.5.7.0 as the add-on neRemoteDoc Class.

ndOffice

When you click on a document, and if ndOffice 1.5 is installed (we look at the registry entry HKCR\\ndOffice.NdOfficeService), then documents that are considered Office documents (as determined by a static list corresponding the the open types in each Office app, with the exception of TXT and PDF) will be opened by having ActiveX obtain the Document ID and name from the Client API, and will hand this information to ndOffice which will then simply open the file.

Files that are not considered ndOffice files will be opened by ActiveX in any registered app on the system. All saves to such documents will be stored in the echo location (whether temporary or not) and then uploaded and checked back in once the documents are closed and the check-in button is pressed.

Non-Office documents

Opening non-Office documents opens them as ActiveX documents, whether opening from a list or container view or from the versions dialogs.

Documents can contain both non-Office documents and Office documents as versions. While you can open multiple Office versions, you can not open a non-Office version if the Office version is open and vice-versa. If a user forces the check-in of the open Office document to open the non-Office version, then ndOffice will be confused about the state of the document's checked status. You can correct this by exiting ndOffice and renaming the echo location.

Checkmarks

Checkmarks are placed dynamically when a document is checked out. If you open a document using ndOffice, the document's checked status will be updated automatically in the web UI.

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