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OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) is Microsoft's framework for a compound document technology. Briefly, a compound document is something like a display desktop that can contain visual and information objects of all kinds: text, calendars, animations, sound, motion video, 3-D, continually updated news, controls, and so forth. Each desktop object is an independent program entity that can interact with a user and also communicate with other objects on the desktop. Part of Microsoft's ActiveX technologies, OLE takes advantage and is part of a larger, more general concept, the Component Object Model (COM) and its distributed version, DCOM . An OLE object is necessarily also a component (or COM object).