How to: Provide automation for windows

You can provide automation for document and tool windows. Providing automation is advisable whenever you want to make automation objects available on a window, and the environment does not already provide a ready-made automation object, as it does with a task list.

Automation for tool windows

The environment provides automation on a tool window by returning a standard Window object as explained in the following procedure:

  1. Call the GetProperty method via the environment with __VSFPROPID.VSFPROPID_ExtWindowObject as VSFPROPID parameter to get the Window object.

  2. When a caller requests a VSPackage-specific automation object for your tool window through Object, the environment calls QueryInterface for IExtensibleObject, IVsExtensibleObject, or the IDispatch interfaces. Both IExtensibleObject and IVsExtensibleObject provide a GetAutomationObject method.

  3. When the environment then calls the GetAutomationObject method passing NULL, respond by passing back your VSPackage-specific object.

  4. If calling QueryInterface for IExtensibleObject and IVsExtensibleObject fails, then the environment calls QueryInterface for IDispatch.

Automation for document windows

A standard Document object is also available from the environment, although an editor can have its own implementation of the Document object by implementing IExtensibleObject interface and responding to GetAutomationObject.

In addition, an editor can provide a VSPackage-specific automation object, retrieved through the Object method, by implementing the IVsExtensibleObject or IExtensibleObject interfaces. The VSSDK samples contributes an RTF document-specific automation object.

See also