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Automation

Automation is the process of launching another application and controlling it programmatically through a public interface. All Office applications support automation and provide a COM interface that is accessible from ColdFusion. However, when an Office application is launched through automation, the resources and effect are the same as when launching the application as a logged-in user.

This poses many problems for server-side integration, as with ColdFusion. The fact that there is no logged-in user can in some circumstances cause the Office application to lock up on launch, and it will cause lock-ups at any point during use if an error occurs that presents a modal dialog box. The dialog will pop up and wait for a user to dismiss it. This can pose a serious problem if you're not sitting at the server constantly. The same is true if the application runs into a feature that isn't installed and presents the “Install on first use” dialog box.


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