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Custom protocol handlers - way to integrate the thick and thin clients

Everyone likes links. I LOVE links. When you can press a link - this is cool!

Everyone likes Web. I LOVE Web! The Google is my best friend during a day. When the internet goes down - I'm feeling lonely even with 5 other people in the room.

Everyone likes thick clients. They're cool! I'm looking forward when the IE or FF or Safari will allow me to develop thin clients as REAL THICK-CLIENT apps! (Don't tell me about all the workarounds - they're there but work 90% only - 10% is almost impossible to do).

One of the cool items that we had to do was - integrate the Web Page with a thick client application. The requirement was simple - when user presses the link in the web page - it launches the necessary (proprietary) application and executes custom actions in it (e.g. opens the form for editing the support ticket).

That was a cool thing!


We started from solution #1:
Writing the custom ActiveX, which has necessary methods to interact with the application - pass necessary parameters, etc.
It was EASY! But, worked only until the moment when customer said we need to support a FF. :)

We tried to think what is better - write a plug-in for FF or do something different....
We were thinking some time, until someone from team didn't send the svn:// link to other team members....

You know the answer right now :)

Next version of the thick client had registered the custom protocol (something like myapp://) in the registry and that made the trick.

Now all our calls to the application were like:

We were able to integrate the application with Crystal Reports, with web pages, with flash etc. No more custom ActiveXs!

Hope it will help someone!

P.S. The attached registry shows how to register your custom protocol handler

tsvn.txt (2.22 kb)

Posted by denism on Saturday, May 23, 2009 5:40 PM
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Thursday, December 09, 2010 2:18 PM


Integration between applications through custom protocols

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