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Use of Ciansoft Products with Windows Vista

All Ciansoft software products are fully compatible with Windows Vista and IIS 7.0, the version of IIS included with Vista. However, the new security features in Vista present some difficulties in installation and use of ActiveX controls and ASP components.

This page provides useful information to help you get our products working in Vista.

Background Information: User Account Control (UAC) in Vista

To anybody using Vista for the first time, User Account Control (UAC) is one of the most noticeable changes from earlier Windows operating systems. This new feature is intended to ensure that no administrative tasks can be run on your computer without the user's knowledge. The most obvious effect of UAC is that a dialogue box will appear on screen demanding your attention every time you try to run an executable, save a file in a protected location, etc.

There is one important fact to understand about UAC. Just because you are logged on to your computer as an Administrator, this does not mean that any programmes you start will also have Administrator rights. This is a significant change in behaviour from previous operating systems.

To run a programme with Administrator rights, you must specifically request this. This is done by right mouse clicking on the file and selecting the option 'Run as Administrator'. Vista will then request permission for the file to run. If you are already logged on as an Administrator, this will involve clicking a button in a dialogue box. If you are only logged on as a Standard user, an Administrator account name and Password will have to be entered.

A programme that always needs to be run as an Administrator can be set to do this by default. Right mouse click on the file and select Properties, select the Compatibility tab and check the box for 'Run this program as an administrator'.

Installation of ActiveX Controls (TwainControlX, PDFBuilderX, ClipManagerX)

All our ActiveX controls are supplied as executable installers. These installers must be run with administrator rights as they need to carry out two administrator tasks: copying files to the 'Program Files' area, and registering the ActiveX control.

If you are logged on as an Administrator, then Vista will detect that the installer needs Administrator rights and will automatically prompt you to grant permission. A dialogue box with the message 'A program needs your permission to continue' will be shown and you should click 'Continue'.

If you are logged on as a Standard User, then the installer itself will give a warning that Administrator rights are not available and asking if you want to continue. Do not click 'Yes' to continue as the installation will fail. The correct approach is to click 'No', then run the installer again using 'Run as Administrator' as explained in the description about UAC above.

Sometimes you may wish to register the OCX file manually instead of using the installer. This can be done using the command line utility RegSvr32.exe. This needs Administrator rights, but it is the Command Prompt that must be given those rights. From the Start button select Start / All Programs / Accessories, then right mouse click over Command Prompt and select 'Run as Administrator'.

Use of ActiveX Controls in a Development Environment

Some legacy development environments that were written before the existence of Vista will encounter difficulties in using ActiveX controls. For example, if you try to use Visual Basic 5 on Vista, it will not be possible to add an ActiveX control to the ToolBox. Once again this is an issue of Administrator rights, as the Visual Basic executable (VB5.exe) does not have the same permissions that the logged on user has. The solution is to run VB5.exe (or any other development environment) using the 'Run as Administrator' option, then everything will work correctly as on earlier operating systems.

Installation of the ASP Component PDFBuilderASP

PDFBuilderASP is supplied in a ZIP file and must be registered manually. This can be done using the command line utility RegSvr32.exe. This needs Administrator rights, but it is the Command Prompt that must be given those rights. From the Start button select Start / All Programs / Accessories, then right mouse click over Command Prompt and select 'Run as Administrator'.

ASP in IIS 7.0

Note that when installing IIS 7.0 on Windows Vista, ASP is not installed by default. To use ASP, this option must be explicitly selected from the 'Turn Windows features on or off' option in the Control Panel under Internet Information Services / World Wide Web Services / Application Development Features / ASP.

To debug an ASP script it is important to be able to receive meaningful messages in the browser window. In earlier versions of Windows, this was achieved by going to Internet Options in Internet Explorer, selecting the Advanced tab and unchecking the option 'Show friendly HTTP error messages'. In IIS 7.0 it is also necessary to modify the server configuration. In IIS Manager open 'ASP' and under 'Debugging Properties' set 'Send Errors To Browser' to True, and Apply.

To use PDFBuilderASP, the Internet Guest User must have Read and Execute permissions on the DLL file. It must also have Write permission on any directory where a PDF file is to be written. In earlier Windows versions, the Internet Guest User was usually identified by the machine name prefixed with "IUSR_". On Vista, it is simply called "IUSR".

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