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Generating Automation Objects from Interface Definition Language

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123525D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 1 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Durrell, J: AUTHOR

Abstract

A software tool is available from Microsoft Corporation for accepting an industry standard Interface Definition Language (IDL) file as an input and for generating an automation object as an output. Automation is a specific instance of the Microsoft COM technology that allows a scripting language to determine the number and types of parameters to a function at runtime. Automation, however, supports only a limited set of IDL types (e.g. integers, strings and object references) all of which are simple types which are easily marshalled and which are not user-defined. Thus, even simple structures and unions are not usable.

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Generating Automation Objects from Interface Definition Language

   A software tool is available from Microsoft Corporation
for accepting an industry standard Interface Definition Language
(IDL) file as an input and for generating an automation object as an
output.  Automation is a specific instance of the Microsoft COM
technology that allows a scripting language to determine the number
and types of parameters to a function at runtime.  Automation,
however, supports only a limited set of IDL types (e.g. integers,
strings and object references) all of which are simple types which
are easily marshalled and which are not user-defined.  Thus, even
simple structures and unions are not usable.

   This concept has been expanded to allow user-defined
types to be supported, thus allowing more complex types.

   The improved tool described here supports the entire
IDL interface.  To do so, it generates automation objects that
encapsulate any complex types in an IDL file and allows a simple
high-level language (e.g. Visual BASIC* or PowerBuilder**) which
does not use complex types (e.g. pointer support) to use interfaces
that require complex types.  The process is completely automated (no
user written code) and supports the full IDL.
   * Trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
  ** Trademark of Powersoft Corporation.