ActiveX is a high level programming interface. ActiveX, formerly known as OCX and OLE, was developed as a proposed standard by Microsoft in the mid 1990s and is built upon Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM). One of the most popular uses for ActiveX controls is developing interactive content for rich and sophisticated Web applications and desktop applications to produce image animations, other multimedia effects and user interaction.
There are a wide range of ActiveX components available that can be used to extend the capabilities of ActiveX-aware web browsers like Internet Explorer versions 4 and above. ActiveX controls are easy to use; implementing a web page to scale images or convert images from one format to another can be done with just a few lines of script. ActiveX components can include rich functionality to enable a web site developer to build robust imaging applications as if they were an imaging expert.
For a web administrator, ActiveX components open the door to add new features to their web server and to their web pages in an efficient compiled form. For a website's end-user, ActiveX is a way to extend and enhance their Internet Explorer web browser to enjoy a richer experience.