In the early 1990s, Microsoft evolved Windows to include component-based inter-process communications capabilities such as OLE Automation. This was an improvement on its first such efforts, called Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), which was hard to use and only offered object linking and embedding capabilities, the inspiration for the name of its successor, OLE.
I wrote about the transition from DDE to OLE 1.0 and then OLE 2.0 in Programming Windows: OLE (Premium). Here, I’d like to offer up a quick hello, world style application, written in Visual Basic 4, that takes advantage of OLE 2.0’s OLE Automation feature to interact with Microsoft Excel 5.0. Running on Windows NT 3.51 because why not. (This would work identically in Windows 3.x and probably the next several versions of Windows too.)