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COM Objects, how to discover what they are

Posted on 2004-08-17
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I'll try to phrase this question in a way that makes sense..

I've only recently been turned on to the power of COM objects and what their potential is, so I've had a little fun with Outlook and automating it.  However, I'd like to look at other applications and the way THEY can be "played with" using COM Objects.

Unfortunately, not every program is as simple as "Outlook.Application", and not every program has a nice site set up like MSDN to show bluntly what these things are.

How do I go about finding what this is in other programs besides Microsoft Applications? (For instance, I know Winamp's would be "WinampCOM.Application").
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Question by:Jezuit
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AzraSound earned 125 total points
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Not every application is going to expose an object model.  You can use this tool:
http://www.vbaccelerator.com/home/VB/Utilities/ActiveX_Documenter/VB6_ActiveX_Documenter.asp

To investigate exes/dlls/ocxs/olbs etc that may show a particular application provides a COM interface you can utilize.
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by:Jezuit
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Understood, at that.  Is every application going to have, even though it is not widely known or publicly distributed, a way to perform automation in this way?  Or can some applications simply choose not to allow things of this nature?
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by:AzraSound
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Most applications, in fact, will not provide automation in this way.  For example, if you create a simple exe in VB there is no way to automate it.  You would have to create an ActiveX EXE (ActiveX and COM are one in the same).  Unless the developer of the program decides from inception that they are going to expose their application in this way, it will not be available to you.
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by:Jezuit
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How terribly unfortunate... That would've been a great deal of fun to have, in all truth.  Can't win them all, I suppose.

Thanks for your time.
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