Remote Access Services  

The Remote Access Services (RAS) control enables an application to connect to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) using a standard Dial-Up Networking connection. Using this control, the application can discover what dial-up devices are available, what dial-up networking entries, known as "connectoids", are available on the local system and allows the program to manage those connections. Existing connections can be monitored, new connections created and a single control can be used to manage multiple dial-up connections if the system has more than one modem. While Windows can be configured to simply autodial a service provider whenever a network connection is needed, this component gives your application complete control over the process of connecting to a service provider, monitoring that connection and then terminating that connection if needed.

The following properties, methods and events are available for use by your application:

Initialize the control and load the Remote Access Services libraries for the current process. This method is normally not used if the control is placed on a form in languages such as Visual Basic. However, if the control is being created dynamically using a function similar to CreateObject, then the application must call this method to initialize the component before setting any properties or calling any other methods in the control.

Establish a connection to the dial-up networking server. Once the connection has been established, the control will authenticate the session and the local system will have a network connection to the service provider.

Disconnect from the server and release any resources that have been allocated for the dial-up networking session. After this method is called, the session is no longer valid.

Unload the Remote Access Services libraries and release any resources that have been allocated for the current process. This is the last method call that the application should make prior to terminating. This is only necessary if the application has previously called the Initialize method.

Connection Properties
The properties of the control are used to set or return information about the current dial-up networking connection. To load a dial-up networking connection, called a connectoid or phonebook entry, use the LoadEntry method. There are a large number of properties, however the most significant of those properties are as follows:

This property specifies the name of the device that is used to establish the dial-up networking connection. In most cases this is the name of an analog modem using a serial communications port, connected to a standard telephone line. If your application needs to enumerate the available dial-up networking devices, refer to the DeviceCount, DeviceEntry and DeviceType properties.

This property determines if the dial-up networking connection uses a dynamically assigned IP address returned by the server, or a specific IP address configured on the local host. In most cases, this property should be set to True, unless otherwise specified by your service provider.

This property determines if the dial-up networking connection uses dynamically assigned nameservers, used to resolve domain names into IP addresses. In most cases, this property should be set to True. If your service provider requires that you explicitly specify the nameservers to use, then set this property to False and set the NameServer property array to the address of the nameserver(s) to use.

This property returns the IP address assigned to the current dial-up networking session, if a connection has been established. It can also be used to explicitly specify an IP address if the DynamicAddress property is set to False.

This is a property array which specifies the IP addresses of the nameservers that are to be used for the current dial-up networking session. If a connection has been established, this property array will return the addresses of those nameservers that have been assigned to you. If the DynamicNameserver property is set to False, this property array can also be used to explicitly specify the nameservers to be used by the dial-up networking connection.

This property specifies the password used to authenticate the dial-up networking connection.

This property specifies the name of the connectoid for the current dial-up networking connection. If no connection is active and no connectoid has been loaded, then this property will return an empty string.

This property specifies the telephone number for the dial-up networking connection. You should also check the value of the CountryCode property, which will tell your application if area code dialing rules are being used. If the CountryCode property is set to zero, then no area code dialing rules are in effect and the telephone number is dialed as-is. Otherwise you should check the value of the AreaCode property if you need to determine the area code being used for the connection.

This property specifies the username used to authenticate the dial-up networking connection.

Managing Connectoids
A connectoid contains the information needed to establish a connection, and is represented as the icon in the Network Connections for the local system. Connectoids are referenced by name and typically are named after the service provider, such as "EarthLink" or "Verizon". In addition to simply connecting to a dial-up networking server, the control also enables your application to create, edit and delete these connectoids. Note that in the control documentation, connectoids are also referred to as "entry names" or "phonebook entries". The connectoids are stored as entries in a database files called "phonebooks" and in most cases, we recommend that you simply use the default phonebook.

This method displays a dialog box that allows the user to specify the information needed to create a new connectoid. This is similar to the dialog that is displayed whenever the user chooses to create a new Dial-Up Networking connection. Note that if you want to create a connectoid without showing a dialog to the user, use the SaveEntry method instead.

This method deletes an existing dial-up networking connection. Exercise caution when using this method; once a connectoid has been deleted, there is no way to recover it.

This method loads an existing connectoid, and updates the control's properties to reflect the connectoid's settings. Changing one or more of those properties and then calling the SaveEntry method is how you can modify an existing connectoid.

This method renames an existing connectoid.

This method modifies or creates a new connectoid based on the current properties of the control. If the connectoid already exists, it is modified, otherwise a new connectoid is created. Unlike the CreateEntry method, this method will not display any dialogs, so it is the responsibility of the application to provide a user interface if needed.