Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) and the first version of its successor, Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), were implemented in early versions of Windows to enable cross-application communication and data sharing, bringing to life one of the biggest advantages of its Windows GUI. But because these technologies were based on the Windows messaging subsystem, which relied on the platform’s shaky cooperative multitasking capabilities, they were unreliable and hard for developers to use. So Microsoft went back to the drawing board to come up with something more sophisticated. Something that could serve as the foundation of more than just compound documents.
And this time, Microsoft hit one out of the park.