Saturday, April 5, 2008

OLE: An Introduction

In 1991, Microsoft introduced a new specification called OLE 1.0. The OLE in OLE 1.0 stood for object linking and embedding. OLE 1.0 was basically a way of doing compound documents. A compound document is a way of storing data in multiple formats, such as text, graphics, video, and sound, in a single document. Object-oriented was the new programming buzzword, and the OLE 1.0 specification was a move to a more object-oriented paradigm. Furthermore, OLE 1.0 was an effort to move toward a more document-centric approach, instead of an applications-centric approach. Unfortunately, OLE 1.0 was coldly received by software developers. Very few independent software vendors (ISVs) and corporations raced to embrace OLE 1.0 and OLE-enable their applications. This reluctance to deploy OLE 1.0 in applications was mainly because OLE 1.0 had a steep learning curve. In addition, OLE 1.0 had to be coded using a very complex C API, which embodied programming concepts new to most developers.