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Chapter 31. Exchanging Data with Automat... > Introducing Microsoft's ActiveX Tech...

Introducing Microsoft's ActiveX Technology

OLE and ActiveX technologies both are built on Microsoft's Common Object Model (COM). COM is a specification for designing reusable software components (objects) that you can combine to create useful applications, such as Access database front-ends. The COM specification defines the connection (a set of interfaces) between a client, such as Access, and a programmable object—typically the DAO for Access clients. Microsoft's implementation of COM is for Windows; third parties currently are porting COM to the Macintosh and UNIX operating systems. COM objects and their clients must be located on the same computer. Distributed COM (DCOM), which is included in Windows NT 4.0, gives clients access to server-based COM objects via a networked connection.

Note

The preliminary specification for COM is available at http://www.microsoft.com/workshop/prog/com/. You can read the first two chapters, which cover the basics of COM, in HTML format or download the entire specification in Word 6.0 format.

Microsoft's ActiveX Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/activeplatform/default.asp provides links to a wide variety of information on ActiveX controls, including many useful controls you can download and use in your Access applications.



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