Minibrowser Window

DM2000 Minibrowser, like Script Window, uses several components of Microsoft Internet Explorer to display HTML documents. In general, this is regular MSIE, but unlike separate browser windows Minibrowser is a part of DM2000 process and has access to the DM2000 object model. Hence, all scripts embedded or linked with HTML document, loaded into Minibrowser, have full control over DM2000 application.

Recent versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer have rich and flexible dynamic HTML object model and support wide set of internal HTML controls as well as additional ActiveX components (see links for more information about HTML authoring and ActiveX scripting). One of the most important applications of Minibrowser are measurement control systems based on custom ActiveX hardware drivers (see picture).

These features allows you to extend product functionality and easily create powerful applications with sophisticated user interface (Microsoft Outlook, InstallShield and many other commercial software packages use similar technology). Moreover, you don't need any development tools like MSVC, Visual Basic or Delphi, because HTML documents and scripts may be created with simple text editor like Windows Notepad or embedded Script window (use Insert command to copy text from this editor into Minibrowser without saving it to the disk file). Of course, you can use "visual" environments like Microsoft Frontpage 2000 for authoring and debugging web pages and scripts for DM2000.

Script programs embedded into HTML documents should obtain access to the DM2000 application object via special "window.external" reference. For compatibility with Script Window it is recommended to define global (top-level) Server variable: "Server=window.external". See examples supplied with DM2000 for more details how to create HTML-based applications for DM2000.

Like Script Window, Minibrowser may be floating or docked into DM2000 main window. When floating, it has its own status line and toolbar with address drop-down list and a standard set of buttons. When Minibrowser is docked, these controls are invisible and it uses toolbar and status line of the main window instead (browser commands may be placed on the main toolbar or main menu). For example, when Minibrowser has input focus, edit commands from the main menu will act on the contents of this window. Keep in mind that File|Open command from the main menu always opens HTML documents in the Minibrowser.

Warning: when you dock (or undock) Minibrowser into the main window, window handle of the shell document viewer will change and document must be reloaded. In addition, Minibrowser cannot be docked for MSIE4. At present I don't know how to avoid this inconvenience. If you have an answer, please write me!