On Sun, 10 Feb 2002 08:30:44 EST, Steve Hendrix wrote:

>At this point I suspect that it has something to do with a registry entry, 
>which I'll explore when I get time. Could anyone on this list explain how 
>Protel accepts applications such as Word (and potentially Acrobat Reader) to 
>work as servers?

I doubt it is a simple registry modification. Basically if an application
is installed and registers itself as an OLE server then Protel should know
about it and will use OLE mechanisms in that application to import
documents as OLE objects. 

OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) is a system allowing documents from one
application to be embedded as an object within documents of another

If you open Wordpad and select Insert | Object you will get a list of OLE
server applications which Wordpad sees installed.  If Acrobat isn't there
then Protel isn't going to see it either and maybe the Acrobat reader
simply isn't an OLE server (while the full package is). 

Protel does not embed OLE objects in its documents but stores them as OLE
scrap object files in its database. Theses are files which have some kind
of header followed by the document in its OLE embedded format and stupidly
have the same name and extension as the document which was embedded (I
believe with a .SCP extension which is always hidden). 

Some applications (Word and Excel) can directly open these scrap objects as
documents but most can't and will complain of invalid files.

Basically Protel's database and design explorer is a half-assed solution
which looks like windows explorer making you think you know how to drive it
and how it will work but plenty of the time you don't and it doesn't work
like you think it will. It would be so much simpler and work better if it
really was like Windows explorer and the Windows file system letting you
store real documents and shortcuts. You would loose having everything
stored in a humongous access database file and the much unused security and
access control features. (I suspect under NTFS much of the security and
access control could be achieved with file system permissions anyway). 

It sounds like the next release of Protel might have an option to work like

Cheers, Terry.

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