Plug-ins and applets are generally small applications that requires the client (the person viewing your page) to download that code from a server in order to view a presentation within a web site. Typically, plug-ins and applets are used to view a movie, as played back in Quick Time, Windows Media Player, or Macromedia's Flash player when a movie or an audio recording is presented within a web page. Plug-ins and applets are generally a product service used by application vendors that allow the client to receive a necessary file from the server to view information contained in a web site that requires that presentation file to work properly.
Plug-ins and applets are essential elements of presentation applications that use multimedia and visual aspects of a presentation. Others plug-ins and applets, on the other hand, are essentail to rendering print materials, such as an Adobe Viewer to view a PDF file.
When web sites are designed to include multimedia or PDF presentations, be sure to add a link to the main page of the site so that the end user can download the appropriate plug-in or applet that will be required for viewing the presentation. Make sure that your web designer provides the end user directions for downloading and or installing the plug-in or applet.
Visit the Student Services software downloads page for links to download players, readers and viewer programs and plug-ins (ie: Adobe Acrobat Reader, Flash Player, etc.)* For an expanded explanation on this procedure, view W3C Guideline 6: Ensure that pages featuring new technologies transform gracefully.