OLEBridge for Java
Original Publication Date: 2001-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Introduction OLEBridge is a product which exposes OLE Objects from Windows machines to any Java platform supporting JDK1.1.4 or better. By using a variety of communication mechanisms, object wrappings, and object and data translation mechanisms, OLEBridge allows a program to instantiate an OLE enabled software product on a remote or local machine and call methods on it as if using VB, C++, or some other WIN SDK enabled development environment. Problem Statement Typically, programmers make use of the Java Native Interface (JNI) to access locally resident services. This process usually involves wrapping the target interface (OLE, DLL, Program API) with C code and invoking those services via the JNI. The result of this process is a one to one mapping between the C wrappers and the target interfaces. Several existing products support this approach. In fact, our first attempts utilized this approach. What we found was that this approach produces fragile code. When the vendor released a newer version of their OLE enabled application, they did not extend their dll's as expected. Rather they rewrote them and changed the order of the method call names. Consequently we were forced regenerate our wrappers to conform to the new interface.