Microsoft has coined the abbreviation HTA to stand for HTML Applications. These are applications - programs by another name - that run inside Internet Explorer Version 5 and above. You can read all the technical details on their site MSDN Home > MSDN Library > HTML Applications (HTA)
Most of the pages that you view over the internet are supplied to you as HTML files; you can tell that from their names - they have endings after the dot of .htm or .html eg. mywebsite.htm or mywebsite.html
These pages contain HTML tagged text and perhaps have some 'computer program like' capacity because they contain Visual Basic Scripts or Java Scripts. But they cannot do much in the way of reading and writing data to your disk drives.
Microsoft has now decided in 2002 to relax this restriction because they want to see developers use Internet Explorer as the user interface to other programmers' programs. So if you now write web pages that have the .htm changed to .hta there is the capacity for the programmer to utilise your rights to read and write to your local disk drives - and this .hta webpage is an example ... a simple text editor rather like MS Notepad.
Why is this of interest to Medlabstats ? Well it gives us the opportunity to write programs that write your 'private' data to your disk drives and not ours on the Medlabstats webserver! Once you have written your data to your local disk drives we can supply Java Applets over the internet to process those data and present the results to you in your Internet Explorer browser.
So what we would be expecting to use this for in your work ? - Most probably to tabulate comma delimited data from your research eg.
Patient, Age, Sex, Wt, Dose, PreBP, PostBp 234567, 45, M, 79, 100, 155, 135 784562, 54, M, 85, 120, 165, 140
In this regular format it is easy for us to write programs to manipulate the data in the columns or rows in any way that you want.