Interacting with Other Applications


In this chapter, I outline the ways in which your Excel applications can interact with other applications. Of course, I also provide several examples.

♦ Starting or activating another application from Excel

♦ Displaying Windows Control Panel dialogs

♦ Using Automation to control another application

♦ A simple example of using ADO to retrieve data

♦ Using SendKeys as a last resort

In the early days of personal computing, interapplication communication was rare. In the pre-multitasking era, users had no choice but to use one program at a time. Interapplication communication was usually limited to importing files; even copying information and pasting it into another application — something that virtually every user now takes for granted —was impossible.

Nowadays, most software is designed to support at least some type of communication with other applications. At the very least, most Windows programs support the Clipboard for copy-and-paste operations between applications. Many Windows products support Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), and other products also support Automation.

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