There are three ways you can interface to the plugin:
The Plugin is a Windows DLL or Macintosh Shared Library which implements the user interface.
The CDPHelper DLL acts as a conduit between the Plugin and the Java implementation. A different implementation is used for Netscape and Internet Explorer due to their differing native code interface implementations.
The CDPHelper Java object takes care of loading the CDPHelper DLL and making the connection to the plugin. Since it loads native code, it must be digitally signed. Because of different security models and signing technology, it also must be implemented separately for Netscape 4 and Internet Explorer. Netscape 4 requires a JAR file signed with the Netscape Signing Tool, and Internet Explorer requires a CAB file signed with Authenticode.
Alternatively, anyone can write a Java applet which creates instances of the CDPHelper object to communicate to a plugin. These Java applets can be local applications, or they can communicate with a server by whatever means are necessary, including JDBC, HTTP, CORBA, or even raw TCP sockets.
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