Acceptance that object-oriented programming is likely to be the wave of the immediate future is growing fast, and Microsoft Corp is pushing the movement along with the announcement of its preliminary specification for object linking and embedding, which it claims provides graphical applications developers with a powerful new set of capabilities for integrating information created […]
Acceptance that object-oriented programming is likely to be the wave of the immediate future is growing fast, and Microsoft Corp is pushing the movement along with the announcement of its preliminary specification for object linking and embedding, which it claims provides graphical applications developers with a powerful new set of capabilities for integrating information created by different applications. Calling it the OLE specification, the company says that developers can access the new capabilities by making simple extensions to existing graphical applications that run under Windows 3.0, OS/2 Presentation Manager and Apple Macintosh System 7.0. Its backers hope that Object linking and embedding will prove an open, industry-wide specification; it was developed by the Microsoft applications group, incorporating input and contributions from Lotus Development Corp, Aldus Corp, WordPerfect Corp and Micrografx Corp. The specification has been made available in preliminary form to some 200 software developers, and moves on from the static Windows clipboard and dynamic data exchange linking capabilities. It supports two ways of importing information into a document – a user can either embed it, or insert a link to the source information, and data is exchanged as objects that either contain the application’s data or a link to that data so that exchange of objects en ables a graphical word processing document to access information from any other graph ical application that supports object link ing and embedding, and as with the general ity of objects, the application into which it is inserted does not need to understand the contents of the object – a word proces sor would simply call Application Programm ing Interfaces in the OLE dynamic link lib rary when it needed to invoke or edit the object. The dynamic link library manages the OLE protocol, and by using OLE to dev elop a compound document, suggests Micro soft, makes it simpler user to create and update a monthly report containing informa tion from various applications such as formatted text files, spreadsheets, and maps and diagrams from a graphics package. The new OLE system requires that graphical applications are written for Windows, OS/2 Presentation Manager or Macintosh System 7.0, and incorporate the OLE specification. The dynamic link library subroutines are planned to become a standard part of the next Windows release, together with OLE library support for Mac System 7.0 and OS/2 Presentation Manager, are set for mid-1991.