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Chapter 21. Automating Other Applications > Understanding Automation

Understanding Automation

The techniques you’ve used so far in this book have been anchored firmly in the capabilities of Microsoft Access itself. But as you undoubtedly know, Access is part of the Microsoft Office suite, a group of products designed to be used together. That’s where automation comes in. By writing automation code, you can use one application (such as Access) to control another application (such as Word, PowerPoint, or Excel). This capability isn’t limited just to Microsoft Office applications. There are hundreds of other applications, from AutoCAD to XMLSpy, that can be controlled by automation.

Automation code always involves two applications: a client and a server. The client is the application where the VBA code is running; in this case, it’s always Access. The server is the application that supplies functionality to the automation code. The client creates one or more objects from the server, and then uses the methods and properties of those objects to do something useful.


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