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Choosing Between an Active Document EXE and an Active Document DLL

When you create an Active Document project, VB gives you the same two choices as when you create an ActiveX server: EXE or DLL. As discussed in Chapter 9, an EXE provides you with an out-of-process component while a DLL provides you with an in-process component. When you are deciding between an ActiveX DLL document and an ActiveX EXE document, keep these differences in mind:

  • An EXE supports both modeless and modal forms while DLLs only support modal forms.

  • An EXE can run as a standalone application apart from a container application. A DLL must always show its data within a container application.

  • A DLL offers faster performance.

In short, you must choose an EXE if

  • You need to display modeless Forms from your Active Document application.

  • You are concerned about keeping a completely separate address space for each instance of the Active Document application.

  • You want to create an application similar to Microsoft Excel or Word that can also run as a stand-alone application. In other words you don't require that the user must use a container application to view your application's data.

If none of the above three conditions applies, then you should choose a DLL because it will give you better performance.


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