The aim of this paper is to show that a real order generalization of the dissipative concepts is a useful tool to determine the stability (in the Lyapunov and in the input-output sense) and to design control strategies not only for fractional order non-linear systems, but also for systems composed of integer and fractional order subsystems (mixed-order systems). In particular, the fractional control of integer order system (e.g. PIλ control) can be formalized. The key point is that the gradations of dissipativeness, passivity and positive realness concepts are related among them. Passivating systems is used as a strategy to stabilize them, which is studied in the non-adaptive as well as in the adaptive case.