Sage CRM 2020 R1: Document Drop in all browsers

1 minute read time.
Before Sage CRM 2020 R1 the document drop feature was enabled within Internet Explorer by an ActiveX plugin. ActiveX is an old proprietary technology first developed by Microsoft in 1996.

The purpose of ActiveX is to allow applications to share information, regardless of the programming language in which they are written.  ActiveX allows Microsoft's browser (Internet Explorer) to easily communicate with the Operating System (Windows).  

In theory, ActiveX is not dependent on Microsoft technology, but in practice, most ActiveX controls only run within Microsoft products.    Even within Internet Explorer, the use of ActiveX plugin can be problematic and many corporate network policies disable ActiveX controls by default or do not support them at all.   ActiveX is not used by modern browsers including Microsoft Edge, though support may be added using a browser extension.  Only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser fully supports ActiveX.

This dependency on ActiveX had limited our customers to using Internet Explorer if they wanted to use certain features such as installing the Outlook plugin or using the 'Document Drop' control. These controls (plugins) were embedded in the web pages generated by Sage CRM. The control for the document drop feature was downloaded and installed from the Sage CRM web server and was subsequently loaded in-process and rendered in Internet Explorer each time a user visited the library/documents page in Sage CRM.

We are very pleased that in Sage CRM 2020 R1 we have removed this dependency on ActiveX.  The need for ActiveX controls in Sage CRM has been significantly reduced by HTML5-era capabilities, which permits us to produce code interoperable across all browsers.

And now Document Drop is available in all browsers.

Removing dependency on ActiveX as a "legacy technology" in Sage CRM has several benefits beyond providing better support for modern browsers.  We believe that by using common techniques supported by all modern browsers we can improve performance, security & reliability.  Importantly we can also reduce code complexity. Like all good developers, Sage developers love to delete code and by creating a consistent way of doing things will make for a better support experience.