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Rob Relyea weighs in on XBAP vs. ActiveX

| by James Vastbinder Follow 0 Followers on Nov 21, 2006. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

XBAP is the technology formerly known as "Web Browser Applications" or WBA, (wubbas), and Karen Corby provides a slightly dated introductory whitepaper on MSDN.  In simple terms, an XBAP application is written in XAML, hosted in a web browser sandbox, and does not need to be installed like a click-once application.  It does, however, require the .NET 3.0 Framework to be installed on the target machine and will trigger a .NET 3.0 Framework download before the XBAP application initializes, which is an important item to be aware of when considering XBAP.

Rob Relyea, a Program Manager working on WPF read Anne Zelenka's blog posting on the .NET framework 3.0 launch and wrote a comparison of ActiveX with XBAP. In a nutshell when compared with ActiveX:

  • XBAPs are easier to work with than DHTML
  • XBAPS run in a secure sandbox
  • XBAPS do not require approval prompts due to limited access to the local machine
  • XBAPS can use 98.2% of the power of WPF when building user interfaces
  • XBAPS must live inside an iFrame or top level window, which the WPF team hopes to fix in the future
  • The XBAP hosting strategy is currently as a DocumentObject application meaning communication must be done via a querystring.
  • XBAPS are only supported in IE6 or IE7 today. 

How difficult is it to convert your WPF applications into XBAPs?    Charles Petzold provided a follow up blog post last week detailing in 6 steps the process to convert an application to an XBAP

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What? Microsoft gets a sandbox?!! by Paul Fremantle

I remember back in about 1997 when Microsoft was saying that they didn't need a sandbox because signed ActiveX controls would work just fine!

Nice to see its only taken them 10 years to catch up on the idea of a sandbox :-)

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