As I've mentioned, ODSOLE originally stood for Open Data Services Object Linking and Embedding, however, the meaning of the term “OLE” has changed over time and is no longer associated mainly with linking and embedding objects. The term “OLE Automation” itself has fallen out of favor, and now “Automation” is generally preferred.

Automation is a language-independent method of controlling and using COM objects. Lots of applications expose functionality via COM interfaces. Many of Microsoft's retail products, as well as many from other vendors, expose some type of functionality via COM objects. You can use those objects to manipulate the host application through an Automation controller—a facility that knows how to interact with the IDispatch ...

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