OLE support in PowerBuilder

OLE, originally an acronym for Object Linking and Embedding, is a facility that allows Windows programs to share data and program functionality. PowerBuilder OLE controls are containers that can call upon OLE server applications to display and manipulate OLE objects.

OLE control

The OLE control in the Window painter allows you to link or embed components from several applications in a window. For most servers, you can also control the server application using functions and properties defined by that server.

In PowerBuilder, the OLE control is a container for an OLE object. The user can activate the control and edit the object using functionality supplied by the server application. You can also automate OLE interactions by programmatically activating the object and sending commands to the server. OLE servers might be either DLLs or separate EXE files. They could be running on a different computer.

You can use PowerScript automation on an OLE control that is visible in a window, or use it invisibly on an object whose reference is stored in an OLEObject variable. The OLEObject datatype lets you create an OLE object without having an OLE container visible in a window.


A second control, OLECustomControl, is a container for an ActiveX control (also called an OLE custom control or OCX control). ActiveX controls are DLLs (sometimes with the extension OCX) that always run in the same process as the application that contains them.

Managing OLE objects

You can manage OLE objects by storing them in variables and saving them in files. There are two object types for this purpose: OLEStorage and OLEStream. Most applications will not require these objects, but if you need to do something complicated (such as combining several OLE objects into a single data structure), you can use these objects and their associated functions.

Other areas of OLE support

For information about OLE objects in a DataWindow object, see Using OLE in a DataWindow Object in Users Guide.