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Chapter 13. DRIVING OFFICE APPLICATIONS ... > DRIVING OTHER APPLICATIONS WITH DDE

DRIVING OTHER APPLICATIONS WITH DDE

As easy as it is to program Automation, not all applications can be driven by using Automation. Most applications that run in Windows and use Automation at least use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE). What DDE provides for developers is exactly what the name implies—the capability to exchange data dynamically from one application to another. DDE is an ancestor of Automation. In fact, the first version of Automation was built over a layer of DDE. DDE has been around since Windows 1.0 and continues to be a standard that most applications follow to communicate with other applications under Windows.

Like Automation, a DDE session (called a conversation) is made up of a client (also known as the controller), such as Access, and the server, such as Excel. Unlike Automation, with DDE the server application must already be running to begin a session with that application. Access works around this by using the Shell() function to start the server.


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