Recently I was asked to implement the receipt printing module for a web based POS. This application runs on the internal network. So first it seems it had two straight methods. To use flash to do it, or just use a java applet. The simple print page method was not what we needed. There had the need to send some special printer commands and etc. Basically I needed direct access to the printer.
So on and off I worked on the applet, since I was no flash guy. At the end I realized it was a bad choice. It was so hard to access the printer directly from an applet. Maybe its my lack of java experience, which made it hard. Anyway I have this java dude; who is paid for a contract java job. So I asked him; for his expert advise. Well; he too kinda agreed with me. So not to waste any more time; (since I wasted enough playing around) I decided to make an activex object for the job. Since the application runs internally and they run on IE; no complications. Not the best way to do it; but it worked like a charm. So This time the activex saved my day.