The part of the OLE standard that describes how code is shared between applications and how services are shared among applications. Using OLE Automation allows an application to manipulate an object from another application.
In Microsoft Windows applications programming, OLE Automation (later renamed by Microsoft to just Automation, although the old term remained with widespread use), is the formal interprocess communication mechanism based on Component Object Model (COM). It provides an infrastructure whereby applications called automation controllers can access and manipulate (i.e. set properties of or call methods on) shared automation objects that are exported by other applications. It supersedes Dynamic Data Exchange, an older mechanism for applications to control one another. — McComb decribes how to use OLE Automation instead of DDE to control Word Perfect As with DDE, in OLE Automation the automation controller is the "client" and the application exporting the automation objects is the "server".