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There's no direct way to call an executable on a user's computer and for good reason.  If a site could cause a program to be executed locally, this would constitute a massibe security hole.
You can call VBScript and JavaScript code, but browser scripting would probably not give you enough power/flexibility to meet your needs.  Another option would be to have users associate a file extension/mime type with the executable in question.  You could then present them with a file of this type, at which point the browser would ask them whether they wanted to "open" the file.  This file would contain the information you wanted to pass to the client-side program.

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Sent by Donald McDonald on 12/23/2002 03:16:32 PM:
foxweb 1.x, winxp is my server os, vfp6.0, apache web server.
want to call a program on the clients machine from the browser (ie) and pass it a variable from the vfp database on the server.  this will be  a closed system with each client having the executable on their machines. 
so lost i don't know if this is a simple 'well .... duh.' or is it a specific call of vbscript or something like that.
my reasearch would indicate that going with vbscript may be the most fruitfull approach.
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