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[archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

[Migrated content. Thread originally posted on 08 March 2005]

I am wondering if anyone has written a COM wrapper for AcuCobol that will allow users to setup as a "trusted" source for Outlook.

We have a lot of Outlook capabilities built into our software, but with the newer security contraints in LookOut (I mean Outlook), a message asks the user for access to Outlook each time. Many of our customers would like to have our software as "trusted" through Outlook.

Anyone done this? I recall that AcuCobol didn't support this until 6.2, but from what I understand it should work in 6.2+...

Rob
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

Take a look at Outlook Redemption
It's a COM library that works around Outlook Security restrictions.

Another COM library that looks even simpler to use is here: http://www.add-in-express.com/outlook-security/

Your Lookout pun did not go unnoticed. 😉 What's really funny is that Lookout is an actual product for Outlook that indexes and searches outlook messages. It's free and works great, I use it whenever I need to find those hard to remember emails. Check it out here: http://www.lookoutsoft.com/Lookout/
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

Thanks, Dan. Has anyone tried any of these? They look simple and straight forward...

BTW, Happy Birthday to Gisle! - since I know he'll read.

Rob
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

Thanks Robstan 🙂 But hush, it is a secret 😄
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

Originally posted by Robstan
I am wondering if anyone has written a COM wrapper for AcuCobol that will allow users to setup as a "trusted" source for Outlook.
...
I recall that AcuCobol didn't support this until 6.2, but from what I understand it should work in 6.2+...

Rob


I am not sure what you mean by saying supported by ACUCOBOL-GT, ACUCOBOL-GT will not suit as a COM wrapper not with 6.2 or later if that was what you meant. But we have been able to USE a COM AddIn (which is what this really is about) since we started supporting COM.
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

Gisle,

I think I like Dan's solution better, so I'll probably pursue that avenue anyways...

But to clarify what I mentioned before about the COM... Outlook has an ability to trust a list of "COM add-ins". I made an inquiry to AcuCorp support a while back asking what it would take for AcuCobol to be a trusted COM add-in and they said that presently is wasn't available, but should be in 6.2 (this was a LONG time ago). Perhaps I (or someone) is confusing the issue, but I like the solution of using an Active-X control better anyway.

Regards,
Rob
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

Rob, to create a COM add-in for MS Office you would have to create a COM wrapper around the acucobol automation server in VB or C++ that implements certain interfaces that the MS Office add-in manager would look for. There are several MSDN articles on this. It is certainly not a trivial matter. Also, this does not sound like a viable option considering the runtime is using office automation and not the other way around and so I don't think you would be able to gain proper trust to Outlook security this way. I could be wrong, just a quick observation on my part.
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

You are correct Dan.

Now guys, here is my stand on this: Implementing COM-Addins support in the runtime is not going to happen. If we were to do anything, it could be an opportunity too make a COM-Addin that the runtime then could use as a gateway, but that is another story, and frankly, I think we can make better use of our resources than doing that. Particularly when there are already other 3rd party vendors that have a solution.

But, of course, as James Bond would put it; "Never say never again" 🙂
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

Using a solution like Outlook Security Manager from add-in-express.com or Redemption does however expose a security risk to end users in that other "rogue" software could look for these installed components and try to use them in an abusive way. Redemption seems to have a good solution for this here: http://www.dimastr.com/redemption/security.htm
I don't know how the Outlook Security Manager from add-in-express.com handles this.

The idea of an acucobol secure MS Oulook "gateway" add-in might perhaps be a project one of Acucorps' partners could consider. Of course there would have to be a good business reason(viable market) to invest developing this. For instance, Landmark Software(http://mapiland.land-mark.com.au/) has an email dll library(MapiLand) that they market to aucobol developers. I wonder how they recommend dealing with Outlook Security issue?
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

Well, here's bringing back an issue from a little while back... For anyone interested, we have been able to implement an ActiveX Control into our application that avoids the Outlook messages that appear when you use the Outlook Object Model to manage contacts, tasks, e-mails, etc.

With Gisle's expertise, we were able to implement the Outlook Security Manager control (http://www.add-in-express.com/outlook-security/). This was very easy to implement, just a few lines of code. Essentially how this works is that immediately before you make the calls to Outlook, you disable the warning messages and when you're done you enable them back.

I'm not exactly sure why something like this can exist because it seems like virus writers and hackers would just use it in their viruses, but...

This looks like it is going to work for our purposes and thought I'd mention it in case someone is looking to do this. Unfortunately, this control doesn't have a trial version, but instead offers a 30-day money back guarantee. If anyone is interested in a sample program, just let me know. Of course, it won't work without the control. 🙂

Rob
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

To all of you that consider Rob's code here, please note the use of the new reserved word AS and the way it is used to provide the native handle of the object.

Effectively, this means you need 6.2.0 or later of ACUCOBOL-GT to use this.
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RE: [archive] COM Wrapper for AcuCobol

But could somebody post a demo program that contain everything in it!
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