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Overview: Application Controls


1. acAppAutoRun - allows to automatically execute your application on every Windows startup. Unlike others similar components, it have some additional features, like displaying message on Windows login, plus have special event which informs you about automatic start. acAppAutoRun is successor of acCaptionButton and may have built-in caption button acAppAutoRun on form's title bar and associated menu item in the system menu.


2. acAppStartCounter - used to count up the number of program startups and log the time when the program was started first time to the registry. If you would like to show welcome message on first start, or reminder message on every twentieth restart or any other operation regarding the count of program startups - this component is that you need! Also it can be useful for you if you want to measure the lifespan of the application and record it to some remote database when the application uninstalls.


3. acCronJob - is the thread-based alarm implementation for Delphi/BCB which acts like cronjob utility in Unix. The component produces periodical OnAlert events by schedule specified in CRON format (actually it uses extended CRON format with new "seconds" field, to let the event to be triggered even every second).


4. acAccurateTimer - is the thread-based timer which periodically triggers the OnTimer events by specified Interval. Unlike standard TTimer, which based on Win32API and thus loses timer messages on high application overload, this timer runs in the separate thread and accurately triggers each OnTimer event at right time. It allows to specify the Interval with higher precision (less than 55msec, limited in Win9x) and does not dependent to the system-wide limitations.


5. acAwayTimer - monitors user activity and increase its time counter when keyboard and mouse are inactive (user distracted from PC or away). Also it triggers special event when system is about to start the screensaver, or after some defined period of user inactivity.


6. acAppEvents - intended for modifications of some hidden application properties (of the TApplication class) and hooking the application events (such like idle, activate / deactivate, minimize / restore etc). Besides usual features it's able to animate the application icon, hide the taskbar icon and fix the smooth animated minimize/restore effect for Delphi 2/3/4. The acAppEvents hooks everything application-related. It can even hook ALL key presses and ALL mouse clicks and movements within entire application.


7. acAppCursors - allows to specify the cursor images for non-client parts of your application. You can specify your own default cursor for all controls, custom cursors for form captions, regular caption buttons, scroll bars, borders, menus and menu items and so forth… One component can change appearance of cursors for entire application, even in standard Windows dialogs (such as OpenDialog / SaveDialog), that you are using in your program.


8. acOnlyOne - detects already running instances of the application and disallow to start of second copy of the same program.


9. acTrayIcon - handy component for manipulating the system tray icons in the taskbar status area. Allows to use the animated icons and contains the number of great features such like additional caption button on form's title bar Minimize to System Tray and menu item in the system menu. In the Windows 2000 it supports the cartoon-style balloon tooltips which appears after minimizing of the form to the system tray (a non intrusive way to display an explanatory message for a status bar icon is to implement a balloon tooltip with its stem pointing to the icon). Also it automatically detects when Windows Explorer crashes or restarts and automatically restores the icon in the tray. Contains a lot of various features which allow you to associate your forms with tray icons and configure the icon's behaviors without ANY single line of code!


10. acShortcut - creates shortcuts (also known as shell links) to files and folders in any location, and determines detailed information about existing shortcut files (.lnk).


11. acExtAssociation - lets an application to read, modify, install and uninstall the file types (extension associations) in the Windows shell. Component provides with detailed information about any file types installed to the system (ie. pas, .wav, .doc, .gif, .html), determines location to executable file, argument string, media-type, icon file, icon index and two icon images (32x32 and 16x16) associated with specified file type.
Also, with dcShellExtension you can install new file types or modify existing, changing the location of executable file or an icon image, associated with specified file type. For example, you can install “.yourdatafile” extension, specify the executable program for this file type and point the file icon that will associated with this file extension in the shell. After opening the any file with “.yourdatafile” extension (clicking the file icon), the application associated with this file type will be executed to process some data from “.yourdatafile”.


12. acClipboard - monitors the clipboard for changes and triggers special event when the content of the clipboard changes. Also it provides with super easy way to retrieve and put to clipboard the Bitmap images, plain or unicode text and list of files (the bitmap, plain text or file list are usual properties, so the clipboard content can be modified even at design-time!). In case if you are working with some more complicated or custom clipboard formats, you can use several special methods which can help you to access the clipboard just like you working with usual strings or streams.


13. acSendMail - used for sending e-mail messages via SMTP servers. The messages can be either in plain text or HTML format, contain attachments or embedded images for HTML contents. You can use the acSendMail for dispatching of messages by mailing lists, specifying multiple recipients.


14. acAutoUpgrader - able to automatically upgrade from the Web any Delphi/BCB application. The AutoUpgrader will check your website for the newer releases of your software and, if the newer version is available — it will download and upgrade your application “on the fly”. All this without SINGLE LINE of code!
The acAutoUpgrader contains built-in Application Update Wizard (screenshot #1), built-in multi-language support (it automatically recognize language used on user's PC and show all messages in native language (screenshot #2)). Current version automatically translates all wizard's content to more than 25 languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Catalan, Chinese, etc. However, if you don't want to use built-in Wizard, you can make customized progress-dialogs using numerous events.
If you store newer version of your program in password protected Web directories, you can pre-configure the username/password to access files, or let AutoUpgrader to ask login information when it necessary (screenshot #3).
With AutoUpgrader your customers will use only latest versions of your software!


15. acHTTP - easy to use WinInet-based HTTP client component which allows to post and get any data from the Web via HTTP protocol. With acHTTP you can grab Web pages, download files and documents (or only their headers without the content), get results of the CGI programs (for example, results of web-based search engines / databases), or even upload files to the Web-based programs.
The acHTTP can grab web contents both in binary and text formats, supports cache of Internet Explorer, can resume broken downloads, read data from password protected directories and supports basic proxy authentication scheme.


16. acHTTPDownloadQueue -


17. acRSSFeed -


18. acRSSFeedContainer -


19. acAppBar - lets your forms to behave like an Application Desktop Toolbar — to dock on the edges of the screen like usual taskbar or MS-Office panel. Though appbars are usually docked on an edges of the user's screen, they also can float as usual windows.
When the AppBar is anchored to the screen edge, it can be automatically hidden from screen when other window activated and popup on screen again when user point the mouse to the thin line on screen edge. User can dock or undock the appbar just moving it with mouse pointer. All automatic movements of the appbar can be displayed with smooth sliding effect. Component contains a whole bunch of neat additional features, such like docking and sizing rules, float restrictions, registry saver, animation effects and so forth…


20. acCaptionButton - applies an additional custom button to the title bars of your forms + special menu item associated with this caption button to the system menu. Contains a lot of customization features such like a popup menus, multiple button states, custom tooltips, custom cursors etc.


21. acAnimationEffect - adds a smooth animation effects on opening and closing of your windows and dialog boxes. Available effects: Spin, Vortex, ScatterGather, Spike, Fireworks.


22. acWin2kEffects - allows to produce some special effects of the Windows 98 / 2000 (and higher). You can show roll, slide and alpha-blending animation effects on showing and hiding windows, make your forms translucent, flash the caption bars and taskbar icons.


23. acFormHelp - adds the context-sensitive help features to your Delphi/BCB forms without any bulky help files. It traps the context-sensitive help calls and creates its own popup windows from a control's hint. You can choose whether to interpret the hint string as plain text or as kind of rich text allowing you to apply different fonts colors, styles and line breaks. Don't worry about your hints — FormHelp uses the secondary part of a control's hint that is separated by a vertical bar "|". Mouse hints still works as well. With FormHelp, neither help context numbers nor extra help files are required to display context sensitive help. FormHelp's popup windows looks and feels like native context help in standard Windows applications.
In addition, it can apply the “What's This?” menu item to every control with context-sensitive help in the secondary part of hint, and invokes the context help either after pressing the "Help" button on the title bar Help, or after selecting “What's This?” menu item.
For easement of context-help authoring, component contains a WYSIWYG help-designer (drop acFormHelp onto your form and try to edit secondary part of Hint property of any visible control like TButton, TCheckBox or TGroupBox).


24. acFormHints - applies the balloon hints for your controls instead of regular, rectangular hints. Balloon hints are displayed in a cartoon-style "balloon" with rounded corners and a stem pointing to the tool. They can be either single-line or multi-line. You can specify the default balloon direction, text alignment, degree of transparency and other features that affect on hint appearance. One component changes appearance for all hints in entire application.


25. acFormMagnet - allows to magnetize your forms to a screen edges and to other forms. Forms can be attached each to others, so when user moves the form, others, attached forms will be moved too. With acFormMagnet, your forms can looks and feels like windows of famous WinAmp player.


26. acFormSystemMenu - encapsulates the properties and methods of the system menu and allows to work with system menu of your form as with usual TPopupMenu component. You can disable and delete regular menu items, or insert custom menu items to the existing system menu.


27. acFormTopmost - controls Z-order of your forms and allows to place your form over other windows. Since acFormTopmost is successor of acCaptionButton, it also able to add the custom button Always on top on form's title bar and associated menu item to the system menu. Add “Always on top” feature to your forms without any line of code!


28. acFormRoller - allows to reduce or expand (roll up / down) Delphi/BCB forms without minimizing them to taskbar or system tray, giving the impression that the form is shrinking or expanding. Rolling process can be displayed with smooth animation. Since the acFormRoller is successor of the acCaptionButton, it's also able to add the custom button Roll up on form's title bar and associated menu item to the system menu.


29. acFormPlacementSaver - saves and restores the form placement and Z-order from system registry. Just drop this component onto your form and component will remember form's placement after every program restart.


30. acFormSizeRestrictions - set up the restrictions to the form size and controls minimum and maximum tracking size of your windows.


31. acFormResizeGrip - attaches the SizeGrip rectangle to the bottom-right corner of the form at run-time. This allows the user to resize the form dragging this grip.


32. acFormBackground - paints the background (wallpaper) on your form using various gradient effects or bitmap image. Supports 3 smooth gradient effects and 4 styles of drawing the picture as wallpaper: tiled, stretched, tiled with zigzag (like bricks in the wall), and aligning the picture by center of form.


33. acFormHook - hooks all windows messages (WM_xxx) that passes to your form and allow their handling in special events + allow users to drop files onto your forms. Contains number of great features such like disabling of regular Close button on form's title bar, placing the form on top over other windows, removing the title bar from form, allowing users to move your forms by client area, and so on…


34. acEmbeddedForm - used to insert the form and all its content to any successor of TWinControl (i.e: Panels, GroupBoxes, Labels, pages of PageControl etc). This is better than usual frames that comes with Delphi/BCB beginning from v5 since:
1. You can dynamically change the container of the embedded form at run-time (dynamically insert or remove the form from any successor of TWinControl).
2. Still have all functionality of usual form (some controls can be placed only to form or its successor).


35. acFileStorage - is able to store (upload) files onto your Delphi/BCB forms. If your software requires any additional files (.DLL's, WAV's, .TXT's etc), these files could be uploaded straight onto your form and be extracted from executable file at run-time. Also you can access to stored files directly from memory without extracting them to the disk.


36. acWavPlayer - used for playing default system sounds, associated with some certain events, or custom Wave-Audio (*.wav) files uploaded onto your form.


37. acCursorLocker - able to lock the movements of the mouse pointer within the Delphi/BCB forms or within bounds of any control on these forms.


38. acThread - extremely easy to use enhancement of standard TThread class. All properties and event handlers can be specified directly in the Object Inspector.


39. acThreadSafeLog - the log-writter component, which can be safely accessed from various different threads simultaneously, without additional synchronization. It can write the logged text both to specified file or "memo" control, and automatically inserts the specified prefix before each line. The prefix of each record can contain the current time, thread identifier and number of CPU ticks passed from application startup. Also the acThreadSafeLog can send email message with last N log entries to administrator in case of fatal error.


40. acInfoBox - quick and simpe implementation of smart dialog boxes. You probably already seen these smart dialog boxes with some notification message and "Don't show me this message again" option below text. If user will find message annoying and don't want to see this notification again, it simply check this box and message will not appear anymore.
acInfoBox can show the message with rich-formatted text with graphic icon at the left side of dialog, and contains the corresponding check box (with customizeable caption). The state for this check box is kept in registry. All implementation with just one line of code.


41. acAppGlobalSwitch - an utility which helps you to receive special "alert events" in various places (forms, units) of your application, when you need to take some specific action in another forms.


42. acAppGlobalAlert - small utility which may help you to control some general option (boolean value) and its changes in entire application. When you change the boolean value in one acAppGlobalSwitch, other components connected to it, will reflect change, and trigger special event.


43. acProcessList - used to retrieve the list of all running system processes. You can retrieve the full list simly calling the Refresh method and gain access to the information about each process, using the component as usual TList. TacProcess objects contains the information about process and has Kill method which able to imediately terminate the process.


44. acConnectionList - retrieves the list of all active Internet connection and returns information in the form similar to NetStat tool. You can retrieve the list using Refresh method and get access to the information about each connection, using the component as usual TList, with objects which contains detailed information about connection (local and remote port and host name, protocol, and even possible software behind the protocol).


45. acIESniffer - monitors all running instances of Internet Explorer (or just some certain browser window(s)), sniffs the URL address from address line and gives an access to all their properties, methods and events (without implementing/installing ANY Browser Helper Objects). The component can work either in stand-alone Delphi/BCB application or can be put to Explorer Toolbar written with Delphi/BCB. The IESniffer allows:
   list the URLs which currently are available in the address lines of each browser window, and to be notified when the address changes;
   detect when new Internet Explorer window appears and when user close the window;
   hook each event of the Internet Explorer, modify its properties and call their methods, just like you are using usual TWebBrowser component;
   retrieve and modify the content of each page (its text, tags, links, images etc), for example you may highlight some text, remove or change the text, tags etc;
   automatically fill the Web forms;
   redirect navigation to different URL when some keywords are detected in the address line;
   automatically redirect searches from default MSN to another specified search engine (it works when user enters search terms right in address line without specifying correct address);
   prevent popup windows to be opened (documentation deminstrates an example how to eliminate ALL popup windows), and so on…


46. acIESnifferAutoFillUserInfo - the "plug-in" for acIESniffer component, used to fill the Web forms with specified information.

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Page last updated: Oct 31, 2011 at 16:05. V: 87297