SuperCom Serial Communication ActiveX
Frequently Asked Questions on MSComm and other third party serial ActiveX

We use MSComm for some years now ...

SuperCom ActiveX is nearly the same long time on market as the MSComm. From the beginning (since 1996) compatible with the MSComm including way more functions, free technical support, real world samples, continuous enhancements and optimizations as new operating systems and development environment appear. The SuperCom ActiveX was from start the alternative for pro's needed a faster and more stable data communication solution.

How do I replace MSCOMM32 ?

With the SuperCom Serial Communication ActiveX, replacing MSComm is usually done in less than a couple of minutes. You can find the steps to replace MSComm here.

The SuperCom Serial ActiveX is a modern alternative to MSComm and it is used since 1996 to replace MSComm and extend applications functionality.

Is the SuperCom ActiveX for serial communication compatible with MSCOMM32?

Yes, the SuperCom ActiveX for serial communication is compatible with the MSComm control and thus it's very easy to update existing applications using it. Replacing the MSCOMM OCX with SuperCom ActiveX is a fast and smooth operation.

What is the main difference between SuperCom ActiveX and MSCOMM32 OCX ?

SuperCom offers under VB6 and VB net the known properties, methods and events as the MSComm control thus upgrading is usually easy and fast. The SuperCom ActiveX control is performing non blocking I/O in background and the application will not block. Based on the license, the SuperCom ActiveX supports data communication through serial ports, modem, TCP/IP abd ISDN.

I need to migrate application from Visual Basic 6 to Visual Basic NET

If you need to port / migrate a VB 6 application, which is using the MSComm, to VB net just use the SuperCom ActiveX control or use the SuperCom NET Class Library, which offers a similar API (ActiveX API) as MSComm for C# and VB NET via the included SuperCom NET class TSCom.
SuperCom offers under VB6 and VB net the known properties and events as the MSComm. So your application will behave almost the same and upgrading is usually easy and fast.

Converting VB6 MSComm to VB.NET e.g. SerialPort ?

Using SuperCom one has at least three options:

Using the SuperCom software gives you two options that need no-time or very little time to do the port.
The SuperCom software is a very mature and stable software offering high data throughput. SuperCom is continuously updated, it offers 32 and 64 bit version and also technical support.

Need non-blocking serial control for VB6

The SuperCom Serial ActiveX control is performing non blocking I/O in background and the application will not block. Your application can do other thinks while SuperCom is transmitting data, data-packets, files, connects or monitors for special data or data packets non-blocking in background. Plenty of events can be monitored in order to receive data, data-packets, status information and other.

Error 8020 while reading (KB318784)

This error occured with a third party serial ActiveX while reading the serial port.
SuperCom does not have such problems or limitations. SuperCom handles serial hardware the proper way while reading data. Running the available DEMO software on your serial ports will prove this instantly.

Run-time error 429, ActiveX component can't create object MSComm

Run-time errors often reported by customers. Replacing the MSComm with the SuperCom ActiveX you get rid of MSComm run-time errors once for all.

Your MSComm application appears to hang?

While you are sending or receiving data your application suddenly appears to hang and unstable. That cannot happen with SuperCom. SuperCom does not block while sending or receiving data because it transmits and receives data completely transparent in background. Even file transfers are performed in background.

Your MSComm application crashes?

That will not happen with SuperCom. SuperCom is a mature library used since Windows 95 to replace MSComm. No memory leaks or other bugs known from MSComm. Try our complete samples found here and perform your stress tests.

Need to control more than 16 serial ports

SuperCom controls up to 255 serial connections or ports simultaneously. Setup and run up to 255 concurrent connections doing data transfers or file transfers is realy easy. This is possible because of it's high efficient multiprocessing implementation.

MSComm failed to transmit binary data properly

Binary data transfer can be tricky or even not possible if the used library doesn't support you. With the SuperCom ActiveX you can transmit any byte combination with values from 0 to 255 in binary mode (Binary Data Transmission). Short samples within the manual and source code samples demostrate how. No magic behind it.

Need to trap special characters ?

It's often necessary to react on special characters like SOH, STX, ETX etc. It's surely time consuming and rather complex to parse every received data string for such data. It's easier to use SuperCom's Trigger or EventChar. Using Triggers not only single characters but complete strings can be observed. Immediately when the special character(s) or string(s) is/are received SuperCom places OnComm event while your application can perform other thinks.
If you need to capture complete data packets you can also use DPCollect. Additional intelligent functions.

Need to send hexadecimal data to serial port

With the SuperCom ActiveX you can transmit any byte combination with values from 0 to 255 in binary mode (Binary Data Transmission). If you want instead to transmit directly hex values like 1F, FF you only need to set the property InputMode to InputModeHexString and provide your data as two hex chars. SuperCom ActiveX will do the rest.
  SCom.InputMode = InputModeHexString
  SCom.Output = "414243" ' hex ascii values of "ABC".

This function also serves some programming languages that cannot handle binary data directly. In that case one can provide the binary data as hex string.

DLLRegisterServer failed with error code 0x80040200, how to avoid and correct ?

A very frustrating issue especially when it happens on customer site. That is very easy to avoid with the SuperCom ActiveX.
One can use the current SuperCom ActiveX under Windows (11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP) without the need for administrator user rights or the need to register the ActiveX with the Windows Registry*.
Easy use of the SuperCom ActiveX like a DLL. No need for RegOCX or Regsvr32.
*most ActiveX will not function that way!

What about the latency ?

SuperCom controls the serial hardware in a way that it behaves nearly the same independently from the actual speed (baud rate). The method used ensures that no time is spending without doing something productive. Thus it increases the data throughput and does it's job transparent to the application with low CPU load.

Need to receive GPS data ?

Forget time-outs and data errors when capturing GPS data. With SuperCom you get error free and stable serial communication connection to GPS receiver.

Is it possible to know the name and type of a serial port?

Yes. The method PortPresentEx returns availability, device name and device type (Standard, USB, Ethernet etc.).

Need to embed into a HTML page and use with Internet Explorer (IE) ?

You can embed the SuperCom ActiveX control within HTML pages and load with Internet Explorer. Event driven sample available.

Does the 32 bit SuperCom ActiveX also run under 64 Bit Windows? (e.g. Windows 7 x64)

Yes. Applications that use the SuperCom ActiveX can run under 32 bit and 64 bit Windows (x86, x64). The DEMO programs are 32 bit and demonstrate this.

Is it possible to turn my application to 64 Bit ?

When using a SuperCom package with x64 support and a x64 capable compiler (e.g. Visual Studio 2005 and later) it's possible to create 64-Bit applications. The included SuperCom DLLs (DLL API) are 64 Bit, the included SuperCom ActiveX is 64 Bit (and still MSComm compatible) and the included SuperCom NET Class Library (ActiveX API) is 64 Bit. 64-Bit samples are included.
For 64 bit serial data communications you may use product 626400 which also includes the MSComm compatible SuperCom x64 ActiveX.

Is it possible to use the SuperCom ActiveX with MS Office (e.g. Access, Excel) ?


Is it possible to use the 64 bit SuperCom ActiveX with Excel x64 ?

Yes, easily. An example spreadsheet build with Excel 2013 x64 is available. The SuperCom ActiveX is a very complete serial port control for Excel 64 bit.
For 64 bit serial data communications you may use product 626400 which also includes the MSComm compatible SuperCom x64 ActiveX.

Why not use MSComm32 with NET ?

Using a NET class is the preferred way to develop NET application. The MSComm OCX is not a NET class and wrapper DLL needed to integrate it into your project. One also should be worried about the known problems (see above) and possibly the new one that expected to arrise when using MSComm under NET.
The SuperCom .NET Class Library fits perfectly within the NET environment. The SuperCom .NET Class Library offers a flexible API including compatibility to MSComm and SerialPort. Alternatively one can also use the SuperCom ActiveX control.

Is it possible to replace the MSComm control with the SuperCom .NET Class Library ?

Yes. The same methods, properties and events offered. Some minors changes may be required due the different kind of interfaces (ActiveX vs. NET Class) but this is not really time consuming. Small projects may replace within a few minutes.
The SuperCom .NET Class Library fits perfectly within the NET environment. The SuperCom .NET Class Library can be used with NET compiler like C++, C# and Visual Basic NET.

What about replacing SaxComm ?

It is possible to replace the SaxComm control through the SuperCom ActiveX API (SuperCom ActiveX control or the SuperCom NET Class Library). Although MSComm and PDQComm compatible it also includes non existent functions that need to be renamed or slightly wrapped through similar SuperCom functions. So based on what functions used some manual rework may be required. For example:

  Comm.OutputLine = "Hello World"
    '- is becoming with SuperCom
  Comm.Output = "Hello World" & vbCr
SuperCom user can find more details on this issue in the ActiveX API manual.

What about CPU usage ?

When using SuperCom - no matter if DLL or ActiveX API - the same application consumes by far less CPU and runs faster and smoother. This is also continously confirmed by many of our customers. In extreme situations it dropped from nearly 100% to 10% or 15% and sometimes even less. Our technicians gladly provide information and technical background on this but usually this is automated when using SuperCom.
SuperCom was designed and used from the beginning (since MS-DOS) for high demanding commercial and industrial data communication applications.

Is the SuperCom ActiveX written in C/C++ or VB6 ?

SuperCom incl. the ActiveX control is written in C/C++. This is the best way to maximize flexibility, portability and speed. Only a portable tool like SuperCom will give you a complete 32 bit (x86) and 64 bit (x64) version also. VB6 controls do not exist as x64 versions. SuperCom is securing todays investment in time and money for many years in the future.

Windows Script Host ?

Yes, you can use the SuperCom Active with Windows scripts / VBScripts an also event driven e. g.

  Set SCom1=CreateObject("SCOM.SComCtrl.1")
User of an actual license (year and newer) may request the samples ZIP.


A short description about the installation.


What developers say

... and replacing Microsofts MSComm control and use more than 16 COMM ports was really easy with SuperCom. Thanks!
P... from USA

Fabulous! And as always, thanks for the prompt and thorough support. You have a fan in California. Thanks!
Bob... from California

Wow, within 20 mins of receiving your product my problem with Vista, PDQComm (MSComm clone) and my USB RS232 Adaptor has gone away. I just dropped the control on a form and renamed it - sorted. :) Many thanks for producing this solid product.
K... from UK

Amazing, CPU usage dropped from 100% to 15% and it runs faster! Excelent work guys, thanks!
Paul.., UK.

"MSComm32 - error 8020":
Converting programs to use your SuperCom is very quick and easy - excellent! So far very pleased - thank you.
... the datapacket facility is going to be very helpful for another project I have in mind.
Bob... from UK

Upgrading Microsofts MSComm control to use more than 16 ports was realy easy with SuperCom !
O... from Finnland


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Data communication software, ActiveX communication libraries and components
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Updated on: 2023-11-21 13:13:58


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