June 15, 1997
June 15, 1997
June 18, 1997
2.478.1 - 2.478.9
Using Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) as an Integration Tool
Troy E. Kostek Purdue University
Introduction Today, OLE (object linking and embedding) technology can be used to integrate an entire manufacturing operation ranging from the factory floor to the organization’s information and management systems. Industrial OLE-based component products (such as Rockwell Software’s RSTools™), combined with a Microsoft Windows development tool (Visual Basic, for instance), are providing many benefits to manufacturing engineers and systems integrators. In some applications, component products are replacing traditional Man-Machine Interface (MMI) software packages6.
OLE technology is easy to use and increases the software developer’s productivity. With the help of OLE technology, novice programmers are now capable of writing powerful programs that only computer science majors were capable of writing a few short years ago. If this technology is properly taught to students pursuing a degree in manufacturing engineering or manufacturing technology, the graduates of these programs will be capable of contributing to a company’s manufacturing integration efforts in a significant way and thus greatly benefit their employers.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the benefits of using OLE-based component products and to provide an example of a leading edge commercially available product which incorporates OLE technology. The paper will also suggest how this technology can be used in a manufacturing curriculum.
I. Introduction To OLE Technology OLE enables two or more applications to work together and share data. OLE technology (first released by Microsoft in 1991) was originally an evolution of DDE (dynamic data exchange). DDE is a messaging system which allows two Microsoft Windows applications to share data. Compared to DDE, the average computer user will find OLE technology relatively easier to implement (for additional information on DDE and how it can be used to teach manufacturing integration, see reference 1).
Many people associate OLE with applications such as spreadsheet data being embedded or linked into a word processing document. In this application, changes can then be made to the embedded (or linked) spreadsheet data by double clicking on the data. OLE automation, however, continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Today, OLE-based technology is heavily used by Microsoft operating systems (Windows 95 and Windows NT), Windows development tools such as Microsoft’s Visual Basic, Internet/Intranet Web browsers, and industrial software companies such as Rockwell Software Inc.
Kostek, T. E. (1997, June), Using Object Linking And Embedding (Ole) As An Integration Tool Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. https://peer.asee.org/6881
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