Good-to-Know Information
Before Programming with Chilkat

This page provides some basic information that is good to know before you begin programming with Chilkat's API's.

Unlocking Chilkat

An application, script, etc., should call UnlockBundle once at the start, each time it runs. See this example:

ASP C C++ C# DataFlex Delphi ActiveX Delphi DLL Excel FoxPro Go Java Node.js Objective-C Perl PHP ActiveX PHP Extension PowerBuilder PowerShell PureBasic Python CkPython Ruby SQL Server Swift 2 Swift 3/4 Tcl Unicode C Unicode C++ VB6 VB.NET VBScript Xojo

About the Unlock Code

Your unlock code contains a month and year. For example, the following unlock code is valid for versions of Chilkat released before the end of July 2019: SAMPLE.CB1072019_abcd7tqxyzz

  • Your unlock code is valid for versions of Chilkat released before the end of the month/year embedded in the unlock code.
  • The unlock code is also valid for older versions of Chilkat
  • An unlock code will never stop working as long as it's used with a version of Chilkat not released after the month/year in the unlock code.
  • If you update to a newer version of Chilkat, make sure you're using an unlock code valid for that version.

C++ Memory Leaks?

Making sure there are NO memory leaks is extremely important to Chilkat.

Please read this blog post regarding memory leaks.

Many programmers mistakenly think memory leaks exist when it is actually not the case.

Success/Failure Return Values

.NET and Visual C++ methods that return status information will return true for success, and false for failure.

ActiveX methods that return status information will return 1 for success, and 0 for failure.

If an method returns a reference to an object, a failure is indicated by returning a NULL reference.

Retrieving Error Information

When a method fails, extended error information can be retrieved as XML, HTML, or plain-text. The LastErrorHtml, LastErrorText, and LastErrorXml properties contain this information. These properties should be examined when a failure status is returned. The last error information can also be saved to an XML formatted file by calling SaveLastError. Note: the LastErrorHtml, LastErrorText, and LastErrorXml properties will contain information even in the case of success.

30-Day Trial

Chilkat's non-free components are unlocked at runtime by calling the UnlockBundle method once at the beginning of a program. The full-versions of all Chilkat components and libraries are publicly available at http:/

Fully-functional Chilkat components can be tested for 30-days by passing an arbitrary string to UnlockBundle.


Chilkat component and library methods never raise exceptions. If a method fails, it returns a status (true/false or 1/0) and the last-error information is available in LastErrorText, LastErrorXml, LastErrorHtml, or via SaveLastError. A returned NULL object reference also indicates failure.