Why are ActiveX controls necessary for contributor webclient?

I received this question from a client. Are there alternatives for ActiveX? They are running Planning 8.3 right now.


The ActiveX control is the only way to use the complex functionality provided by Contributor in releases up to 8.3.

If you upgrade to Planning Contributor 8.4 then you have the new Java based “Rich Client” available as well as the ActiveX control.

The new rich client is much easier to deploy as it is installed by default into the users profile folders under AppData. This means you don’t have the restrictions of the ActiveX control such as requiring local administrator rights to install.

Contributor is uses a thin-client architecture which is implemented through a distributed application. ActiveX controls
not only provide a richer UI, but have the capability to perform their own local processing. A Planning user is not doing just simple read/write activity on the database.

The planning user reads some data to set up his/hers analysis, then they perform a number of functions which spawn thousands or millions of re-calculations of other related numbers. ActiveX controls are needed to provide for both transaction and analytical functionality.

Using ActiveX by accessing contributor via Citrix or Terminal Servers. Of course that negates most of the performance benefits and scalability benefits we get from Contributor and it will take more hardware resources to support such an environment.

Like Planit CPM already said. since 8.4 there is a new .NET contributor version with more functionality then the classic ActiveX version. But Performance of this new client is sometime pretty bad compared with the classic client… :-\