OLE Automation

The Win32::OLE modules give Perl support for OLE automation. OLE automation is a Microsoft technology based on COM that allows objects created by another application to be used and manipulated by a program through a common interface.

The application (or DLL) that implements the automation interface is called the automation server. The application that creates and uses the interface is called the automation controller or automation client. Many popular applications expose their objects through automation. Microsoft Word, Excel, and other Office applications can be used as automation servers. Automation is widely used by Active Server Pages (ASP) and CGI scripts to access data repositories, perhaps via ActiveX Data Objects (ADO). You can even use automation to control many development environments and editors.

In order to create an automation object, the server needs to be registered on the system. This is typically done by the server’s installation program, but can be done manually using a utility like regsvr32.exe. This involves adding entries to the system registry to tell COM how to find the component, what types of interfaces it provides, what type of server it is, etc. You should be able to find the object model, available methods and properties of the interface in the documentation provided by the application. This object model can be used via Perl’s object syntax to create and control objects in your programs.

Four modules provide automation functionality to ...

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