XV. COM 和 .Net(Windows)函数


COM is an acronym for Component Object Model; it is an object orientated layer (and associated services) on top of DCE RPC (an open standard) and defines a common calling convention that enables code written in any language to call and interoperate with code written in any other language (provided those languages are COM aware). Not only can the code be written in any language, but it need not even be part of the same executable; the code can be loaded from a DLL, be found in another process running on the same machine, or, with DCOM (Distributed COM), be found in another process on a remote machine, all without your code even needing to know where a component resides.

There is a subset of COM known as OLE Automation which comprises a set of COM interfaces that allow loose binding to COM objects, so that they can be introspected and called at run-time without compile-time knowledge of how the object works. The PHP COM extension utilizes the OLE Automation interfaces to allow you to create and call compatible objects from your scripts. Technically speaking, this should really be called the "OLE Automation Extension for PHP", since not all COM objects are OLE compatible.

Now, why would or should you use COM? COM is one of the main ways to glue applications and components together on the Windows platform; using COM you can launch Microsoft Word, fill in a document template and save the result as a Word document and send it to a visitor of your web site. You can also use COM to perform administrative tasks for your network and to configure your IIS; these are just the most common uses; you can do much more with COM.

Starting with PHP 5, this extension (and this documentation) was rewritten from scratch and much of the old confusing and bogus cruft has be removed. Additionally, we support the instantiation and creation of .Net assemblies using the COM interoperability layer provided by Microsoft.

Please read this article for an overview of the changes in this extension in PHP 5.


COM functions are only available for the Windows version of PHP.

.Net support requires PHP 5 and the .Net runtime.


本函数库作为 PHP 内核的一部分,不用安装就能使用。

PHP 的 Windows 版本已经内置该扩展模块的支持。无需加载任何附加扩展库即可使用这些函数。

You are responsible for installing support for the various COM objects that you intend to use (such as MS Word); we don't and can't bundle all of those with PHP.

For Each

Starting with PHP 5, you may use PHP's own the 节 called foreach 在 16 章 statement to iterate over the contents of a standard COM/OLE IEnumVariant. In laymans terms, this means that you can use foreach in places where you would have used For Each in VB/ASP code.

例子 1. For Each in ASP

Set domainObject = GetObject("WinNT://Domain")
For Each obj in domainObject
  Response.Write obj.Name & "<br />"

例子 2. while() ... Next() in PHP 4

= new COM("WinNT://Domain");
while (
$obj = $domainObject->Next()) {
$obj->Name . "<br />";

例子 3. foreach in PHP 5

= new COM("WinNT://Domain");
foreach (
$domainObject as $obj) {
$obj->Name . "<br />";

Arrays and Array-style COM properties

Many COM objects expose their properties as arrays, or using array-style access. In PHP 4, you may use PHP array syntax to read/write such a property, but only a single dimension is allowed. If you want to read a multi-dimensional property, you could instead make the property access into a function call, with each parameter representing each dimension of the array access, but there is no way to write to such a property.

PHP 5 introduces the following new features to make your life easier:

  • Access multi-dimensional arrays, or COM properties that require multiple parameters using PHP array syntax. You can also write or set properties using this technique.

  • Iterate SafeArrays ("true" arrays) using the the 节 called foreach 在 16 章 control structure. This works because SafeArrays include information about their size. If an array-style property implements IEnumVariant then you can also use foreach for that property too; take a look at the 节 called For Each for more information on this topic.

Exceptions (PHP 5)

This extension will throw instances of the class com_exception whenever there is a potentially fatal error reported by COM. All COM exceptions have a well-defined code property that corresponds to the HRESULT return value from the various COM operations. You may use this code to make programmatic decisions on how to handle the exception.


这些函数的行为受 php.ini 的影响。

表格 1. COM 配置选项

com.allow_dcom"0"PHP_INI_SYSTEM自 PHP 4.0.5 起可用
com.autoregister_typelib"0"PHP_INI_ALL在 PHP 4 中是 PHP_INI_SYSTEM。自 PHP 4.1.0 起可用
com.autoregister_verbose"0"PHP_INI_ALL在 PHP 4 中是 PHP_INI_SYSTEM。自 PHP 4.1.0 起可用
com.autoregister_casesensitive"1"PHP_INI_ALL在 PHP 4 中是 PHP_INI_SYSTEM。自 PHP 4.1.0 起可用
com.code_page""PHP_INI_ALL自 PHP 5.0.0 起可用
com.typelib_file""PHP_INI_SYSTEM自 PHP 4.0.5 起可用
有关 PHP_INI_* 常量进一步的细节与定义参见附录 G



如果打开此选项,PHP 将被允许以一个 D-COM(Distributed COM)客户方式操作并允许 PHP 脚本在远程服务器上实例化 COM 对象。


When this is turned on, PHP will attempt to register constants from the typelibrary of objects that it instantiates, if those objects implement the interfaces required to obtain that information. The case sensitivity of the constants it registers is controlled by the com.autoregister_casesensitive configuration directive.


When this is turned on, any problems with loading a typelibrary during object instantiation will be reported using the PHP error mechanism. The default is off, which does not emit any indication if there was an error finding or loading the type library.


When this is turned on (the default), constants found in auto-loaded type libraries will be registered case sensitively. See com_load_typelib() for more details.


It controls the default character set code-page to use when passing strings to and from COM objects. If set to an empty string, PHP will assume that you want CP_ACP, which is the default system ANSI code page.

If the text in your scripts is encoded using a different encoding/character set by default, setting this directive will save you from having to pass the code page as a parameter to the COM class constructor. Please note that by using this directive (as with any PHP configuration directive), your PHP script becomes less portable; you should use the COM constructor parameter whenever possible.

注: This configuration directive was introduced with PHP 5.


When set, this should hold the path to a file that contains a list of typelibraries that should be loaded on startup. Each line of the file will be treated as the type library name and loaded as though you had called com_load_typelib(). The constants will be registered persistently, so that the library only needs to be loaded once. If a type library name ends with the string #cis or #case_insensitive, then the constants from that library will be registered case insensitively.


以下常量由本扩展模块定义,因此只有在本扩展模块被编译到 PHP 中,或者在运行时被动态加载后才有效。






CLSCTX_ALL (integer)

VT_NULL (integer)

VT_EMPTY (integer)

VT_UI1 (integer)

VT_I2 (integer)

VT_I4 (integer)

VT_R4 (integer)

VT_R8 (integer)

VT_BOOL (integer)

VT_ERROR (integer)

VT_CY (integer)

VT_DATE (integer)

VT_BSTR (integer)

VT_DECIMAL (integer)

VT_UNKNOWN (integer)

VT_DISPATCH (integer)

VT_VARIANT (integer)

VT_I1 (integer)

VT_UI2 (integer)

VT_UI4 (integer)

VT_INT (integer)

VT_UINT (integer)

VT_ARRAY (integer)

VT_BYREF (integer)

CP_ACP (integer)

CP_MACCP (integer)

CP_OEMCP (integer)

CP_UTF7 (integer)

CP_UTF8 (integer)

CP_SYMBOL (integer)

CP_THREAD_ACP (integer)

VARCMP_LT (integer)

VARCMP_EQ (integer)

VARCMP_GT (integer)

VARCMP_NULL (integer)











For further information on COM read the COM specification or perhaps take a look at Don Box's Yet Another COM Library (YACL). You might find some additional useful information in our FAQ for 55 章. If you're thinking of using MS Office applications on the server side, you should read the information here: Considerations for Server-Side Automation of Office.

COM -- COM 类
com_addref --  增加组件引用计数。[被废弃]
com_create_guid --  Generate a globally unique identifier (GUID)
com_event_sink --  Connect events from a COM object to a PHP object
com_get_active_object --  Returns a handle to an already running instance of a COM object
com_get --  获取 COM 组件的属性值 [被废弃]
com_invoke --  调用 COM 组件的方法。
com_isenum -- 获取一个 IEnumVariant
com_load_typelib -- 装载一个 Typelib
com_load --  创建新的 COM 组件的引用
com_message_pump --  Process COM messages, sleeping for up to timeoutms milliseconds
com_print_typeinfo --  Print out a PHP class definition for a dispatchable interface
com_propget -- com_get() 的别名
com_propput -- com_set() 的别名
com_propset -- com_set() 的别名
com_release --  减少组件引用计数。[被废弃]
com_set --  给 COM 组件的属性赋值
variant_abs --  Returns the absolute value of a variant
variant_add --  "Adds" two variant values together and returns the result
variant_and --  performs a bitwise AND operation between two variants and returns the result
variant_cast --  Convert a variant into a new variant object of another type
variant_cat --  concatenates two variant values together and returns the result
variant_cmp --  Compares two variants
variant_date_from_timestamp --  Returns a variant date representation of a unix timestamp
variant_date_to_timestamp --  Converts a variant date/time value to unix timestamp
variant_div --  Returns the result from dividing two variants
variant_eqv --  Performs a bitwise equivalence on two variants
variant_fix --  Returns the integer portion ? of a variant
variant_get_type -- Returns the type of a variant object
variant_idiv --  Converts variants to integers and then returns the result from dividing them
variant_imp --  Performs a bitwise implication on two variants
variant_int --  Returns the integer portion of a variant
variant_mod --  Divides two variants and returns only the remainder
variant_mul --  multiplies the values of the two variants and returns the result
variant_neg --  Performs logical negation on a variant
variant_not --  Performs bitwise not negation on a variant
variant_or --  Performs a logical disjunction on two variants
variant_pow --  Returns the result of performing the power function with two variants
variant_round --  Rounds a variant to the specified number of decimal places
variant_set_type --  Convert a variant into another type "in-place"
variant_set --  Assigns a new value for a variant object
variant_sub --  subtracts the value of the right variant from the left variant value and returns the result
variant_xor --  Performs a logical exclusion on two variants

add a note add a note User Contributed Notes
03-Oct-2006 07:11
If someone want to get a COM object out of a DCOM object can do something like that:

= new COM('dacom.object','remotehost') or die("Unable to get DCOM object!");
$com_obj = new Variant(NULL);
$dcom_obj->Get_Module($com_obj); //user function which returns a custom IDispatch (casted as variant*)

Hopefully this will help someone, because it took me quite long to figure this out.
kiotech at hotmail dot com
18-Jul-2006 09:35
For use parameters with PHP this is a Code Example
$ObjectFactory= New COM("CrystalReports11.ObjectFactory.1");
  $crapp = $ObjectFactory->CreateObject("CrystalDesignRunTime.Application");
  $creport = $crapp->OpenReport("//report1.rpt", 1);

     $z= $creport->ParameterFields(1)->SetCurrentValue("Mango");
     $z= $creport->ParameterFields(2)->SetCurrentValue(5000);

  $creport->ExportOptions->DestinationType=1;  $creport->ExportOptions->FormatType=31;

$len = filesize("reportin.pdf");
header("Content-type: application/pdf");
header("Content-Length: $len");
header("Content-Disposition: inline; filename=reportin.pdf");
djogopatrao at gmail dot com
23-Mar-2006 02:44
Since my last post, I struggled hard to find a way to pass parameters to Crystal. Luckly, all I needed was to restrict results from a query, so I found this simple solution:

  // by dfcp/mar/06
  $ObjectFactory= New COM("CrystalReports11.ObjectFactory.1");
  $crapp = $ObjectFactory->CreateObject("CrystalDesignRunTime.Application");
  $creport = $crapp->OpenReport($my_report, 1);

  $creport->FormulaSyntax = 0;
  $creport->RecordSelectionFormula = "{cadastro.id}>10 and {cadastro.id}<20";

notice that RecordSelectionFormula must be in Crystal Syntax, and the FormulaSyntax=0 makes it work 100% of the time (I suspect that it's bug, although they1 don't seem to think so).

If you need to pass parameters to, say, multiply some field by, IMHO the right way is to use ParameterFields, but the code above hangs on the last line:

$z = $creport->ParameterFieldDefinitions->Item(1); //gets the first parameter
$z->SetCurrentValue( "teste" ); // hangs here

I saw this at some ASPX foruns... no idea why it doesn't work here on PHP... feedback would be highly appreciated.

[1] http://support.businessobjects.com/library/kbase/articles/c2018734.asp
djogopatrao at gmail dot com
16-Mar-2006 10:34
This function converts the crystal report in file $my_report to a PDF file $my_pdf. Exceptions may raise, so put it in a try..catch block.

I struggled so hard to get this done... any comments, please contact me.

function exportCrystalReportToPDF( $my_report, $my_pdf )
  // by dfcp/mar/06
  $ObjectFactory= New COM("CrystalReports11.ObjectFactory.1");
  $crapp = $ObjectFactory->CreateObject("CrystalDesignRunTime.Application");
  $creport = $crapp->OpenReport($my_report, 1);

  $creport->ExportOptions->DestinationType=1; // Export to File
  $creport->ExportOptions->FormatType=31; // Type: PDF
a dot kulikov at pool4tool dot com
14-Mar-2006 01:36
In case you are wondering how to group rows or columns in the freshly created EXCEL files, then this may help you

   * Grouping Rows optically in Excel Using a COM Object
   * That was not easy, I have spent several hours of trial and error to get
   * this thing to work!!!
   * @author Kulikov Alexey <a.kulikov@gmail.com>
   * @since  13.03.2006
   * @see    Open Excel, Hit Alt+F11, thne Hit F2 -- this is your COM bible

   //starting excel
$excel = new COM("excel.application") or die("Unable to instanciate excel");
"Loaded excel, version {$excel->Version}\n";

//bring it to front
   #$excel->Visible = 1;//NOT

   //dont want alerts ... run silent
$excel->DisplayAlerts = 0;

//create a new workbook
$wkb = $excel->Workbooks->Add();

//select the default sheet

//make it the active sheet

//fill it with some bogus data
       for (

$cell->value = 'pool4tool 4eva ' . $row . ' ' . $col . ' ak';
//end of colcount for loop

   // Select Rows 2 to 5
$r = $sheet->Range("2:5")->Rows;

// group them baby, yeah

// save the new file
$strPath = 'tfile.xls';
   if (
file_exists($strPath)) {unlink($strPath);}

//close the book

//free up the RAM

//closing excel

//free the object
$excel = null;
08-Mar-2006 04:06
I couldn't find much on Crystal Reports and COM's when I went to tackle it
so I thought a few lines of code here may help out anyone looking for where
to get started in the future.
$crapp = new COM("CrystalRuntime.Application.10");
$creport = $crapp->OpenReport($reportToRun, 1);
//reportToRun=full path to *.rpt file

Item(1)->ConnectionProperties['User ID'] =  $user;

Item(1)->ConnectionProperties['Password'] = $pass;

//fomatType = integer 22=xls, 31=pdf etc
 $creport->ExportOptions->FormatType = $formatType;
//type 1 is to output to a file I think 2 is email
 $creport->ExportOptions->DestinationType = 1;
//location = full path to report output file
$creport->ExportOptions->DiskFileName = $location;
Pedro Heliodoro
06-Mar-2006 06:38
Using the Windows Media Player OCX and the latest snap of PHP 5.1 i was able to eject a CD-ROM drive

//create an instance of Windows Media Player
$mp = new COM("WMPlayer.OCX");
//ejects the first cd-rom on the drive list

vedanta dot barooah at gmail dot com
29-Jan-2006 11:59
Microsoft provides two binaries to create windows services: INSTSRV.EXE and SRVANY.EXE, using these php scripts can be run as windows services.

More information is available at: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=137890
sadi at unicornsoftbd dot com
17-Nov-2005 08:18
There's no way to use static dlls in php. only way to use a dll in php is to make it a com object first and then using it in php like this

=new COM("uni.example");

once we created the COM object this can be used like any other php classes.
allan666 at gmail dot com
29-Sep-2005 06:37
If you are using a COM object that opens windows or dialogs (like Office applications), those windows or dialogs will not appear and will stay invisible even if you use codes like   

$word->visible = true;

To solve this problem, go to the web service properties (Administrative Tools) and click (in the Logon TAB) "Allow the Service to Iterate with desktop".

This explain lots of problems to close applications. When you try to close, the dialos asking to save the file must appear, but only in the option to iterate with desktop is on.

Hope it helps.
26-May-2005 04:53
For permissions problems, etc. including "Could Not Open Macro Storage" with Word;
How To Configure Office Applications to Run Under the Interactive User Account

mpg123 at thinstall dot com
10-May-2005 04:21
I found the lack of good online docs about how to access a windows environment very frustrating.  I finally found something here: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=92358 but it's a php4 way.  I cleaned up the code, added introspection for methods and voila.  Thanks and credit to the original posters.

// php translation of asp script by Bill Wooten from
// http://www.4guysfromrolla.com/webtech/082802-1.shtml
function showServices($vComputerName, $vClass)  {
$objLocator = new COM("WbemScripting.SWbemLocator");

$vComputerName == "") $objService = $objLocator->ConnectServer();
$objService = $objLocator->ConnectServer($vComputerName);

$objWEBM = $objService->Get($vClass);
$objProp = $objWEBM->Properties_;
$objMeth = $objWEBM->Methods_;

$objMeth as $methItem) echo "Method: " . $methItem->Name ."\r\n";


$objWEBMCol = $objWEBM->Instances_();

$objWEBMCol as $objItem) {

"[" . $objItem->Name . "]\r\n";

$objProp as $propItem) {
$tmp = $propItem->Name;
"$tmp: " . $objItem->$tmp . "\r\n";


// Test the function:
showServices("", "Win32_Processor");
showServices("", "Win32_LogicalDisk");
angelo [at] mandato <dot> com
26-Apr-2005 12:11

Using a COM("ADODB.Connection") object in PHP4 and PHP5 to return date fields in databases will have different results.

In PHP4, the date is returned as a string as represented in the database.  In my case, '2005-04-11 11:35:44'.

In PHP5, the date is returned as a VARIANT type, when printed or implicitly casted would result as '4/11/2005 11:35:44 AM'.

For this example, the solution is to use the variant conversion function variant_date_to_timestamp() to convert the value to a Unix timestamp.

Please refer to this as an example.  Other date types may be converted using one of the other variant_<convert> functions.
bruce at yourweb dot com dot au
24-Apr-2005 08:47
Simple convert xls to csv
// starting excel
$excel = new COM("excel.application") or die("Unable to instanciate excel");
"Loaded excel, version {$excel->Version}\n";

//bring it to front
#$excel->Visible = 1;//NOT
//dont want alerts ... run silent
$excel->DisplayAlerts = 0;

//open  document
//XlFileFormat.xlcsv file format is 6
//saveas command (file,format ......)

//closing excel

//free the object
$excel = null;
Jack dot CHLiang at gmail dot com
11-Apr-2005 01:02
If you want to search an Excel file and don't connect with ODBC, you can try the function I provide. It will search a keyword in the Excel find and return its sheet name, text, field and the row which found the keyword.


// The example of print out the result
$result = array();
searchEXL("C:/test.xls", "test", $result);

$result as $sheet => $rs){
"Found at $sheet";
"<table width=\"100%\" border=\"1\"><tr>";
$i = 0; $i < count($rs["FIELD"]); $i++)
"<th>" . $rs["FIELD"][$i] . "</th>";
$i = 0; $i < count($rs["TEXT"]); $i++) {
$j = 0; $j < count($rs["FIELD"]); $j++)
"<td>" . $rs["ROW"][$i][$j] . "</td>";


 * @param $file string The excel file path
 * @param $keyword string The keyword
 * @param $result array The search result

function searchEXL($file, $keyword, &$result) {
$exlObj = new COM("Excel.Application") or Die ("Did not connect");
$exlBook = $exlObj->ActiveWorkBook;
$exlSheets = $exlBook->Sheets;
$i = 1; $i <= $exlSheets->Count; $i++) {
$exlSheet = $exlBook->WorkSheets($i);
$sheetName = $exlSheet->Name;
$exlRange = $exlSheet->Cells->Find($keyword)) {
$col = 1;
$fields = $exlSheet->Cells(1, $col)) {
$fields->Text == "")
$result[$sheetName]["FIELD"][] = $fields->Text;
$firstAddress = $exlRange->Address;
$finding = 1;           
$result[$sheetName]["TEXT"][] = $exlRange->Text;
$j = 1; $j <= count($result[$sheetName]["FIELD"]); $j++) {
$cell = $exlSheet->Cells($exlRange->Row ,$j);
$result[$sheetName]["ROW"][$finding - 1][$j - 1] = $cell->Text;

$exlRange = $exlRange->Cells->Find($keyword)) {
$exlRange->Address == $firstAddress)
$result[$sheetName]["TEXT"][] = $exlRange->Text;
$j = 1; $j <= count($result[$sheetName]["FIELD"]); $j++) {
$cell = $exlSheet->Cells($exlRange->Row ,$j);
$result[$sheetName]["ROW"][$finding - 1][$j - 1] = $cell->Text;

For more information, please visit my blog site (written in Chinese)
14-Mar-2005 01:17
// NOTE: Using COM with windows XP with apache as a service
// - Compact a Microsoft Access Database
// Be careful $sourceFile and $destFile
//cannot be the same and
// $destFile must be unexistent
Function CompactMSAccess($sourceFile,$destFile) {
$com = new COM("JRO.JetEngine");
$com->CompactDatabase("Data Source=$sourceFile",
"Data Source=$destFile");
return is_file($destFile);
//if $destFile exists it's a compact DB

michael at example dot com
24-Feb-2005 04:42
After alot of trouble with IIS 6/Windows 2003 and PHP 5.0.2 I figured out how to use Imagemagick COM+/OLE interface. Seems you have to recreate the COM object after each convert() otherwise it will sometimes fail with very strange errors, since the PHP COM interface is not as stable as the old ASP one apparently is.
pelegk2 at walla DOT co DOT il
14-Feb-2005 12:49
Printing to a network printer :
read this note for :
// NOTE: Using COM with windows NT/2000/XP with apache as a service
// - Run dcomcnfg.exe
// - Find word application and click properties
// - Click the Security tab
// - Use Custom Access Permissions
// - Add the user who runs the web server service
// - Use Custom Launch permissions
// - Add the user who runs the web server service


// starting word
$word = new COM("word.application") or die("Unable to instanciate Word");
print "Loaded Word, version {$word->Version}\n";

// bring it to front
$word->Visible = 1;
//this is for example a printer on my network
$word->ActivePrinter = "\\\\\\printer1";

// Open a word document, or anything else that word
// can read
$input ="c:\\test.html";


// closing word

// free the object
$word = null;

its based on :
at last i did it with lot's of thanks too :
cccso at mahidol dot ac dot th
11-Feb-2005 07:13
//Connect Database
$conn = new COM("ADODB.Connection") or die("Cannot start ADO");
$conn->Open(DRIVER={Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb)}; DBQ=".$dbfile; );
$rs = $conn->Execute("
Select * From tb_sql");
echo "
$count ==> $result[$count] <br>";


if use version 4.3.10 with windows 2003  can not run "
07-Jan-2005 01:11
if you want to add a new hyperlink with excel :

$cell->Hyperlinks->Add($cell ,'here_your_file');

I write this note because is very difficult to find
the good method to do that .

Merci beaucoup
sorin dot andrei at mymail dot ro
26-Sep-2004 05:24
[Editor's Note:
Serializing the object, storing it and then (on the next page) unserializing it WILL work.
End Note]

the big problem for PHP is it can't save in session an COM object

an samples code is here. This works just first time, then give the error:
Call to undefined method com::Refresh() on line  $mMap->Refresh();
the reson is he can't save the object $mMap in session

     if (isset(
$_SESSION['map'])) {
$mMap = $_SESSION['map'];
$ArcIMSConnector = new COM ("aims.ArcIMSConnector")  or die("can not create AIMS message object");
"Loaded ArcIMSConnector, <br>";
$ArcIMSConnector->ServerName = "map.sdsu.edu";
$ArcIMSConnector->ServerPort = 5300;

$mMap = new COM ("aims.Map")  or die("can not create aims.Map message object");
"Loaded aims.Map, <br>";
"AIMS-ServerName= $ArcIMSConnector->ServerName <br>";

$resultInit= $mMap->InitMap($ArcIMSConnector,"Worldgeography");

$mMap->Width    = 400;            //                                'Width of the map in pixels
$mMap->Height  = 300;            //                                'Height of the map in pixels
$mMap->BackColor = 15130848;
$_SESSION['map'] = $mMap;

$resultRefresh = $mMap->Refresh();                                //Refresh the map
$urlImage      = $mMap->GetImageAsUrl();

"<br><IMG SRC='$urlImage'>";

   $ArcIMSConnector = null;

   $mMap = null;

ferozzahid [at] usa [dot] com
24-Aug-2004 03:06
To pass a parameter by reference to a COM function, you need to pass VARIANT to it. Common data types like integers and strings will not work for it.

As an example, calling a function that retrieves the name of a person will look like:

$Name = new VARIANT;

$comobj = new COM("MyCOMOBj.Component") or die("Couldn't create the COM Component");

if(!$comobj->GetName($Name)) {
   echo("Could not retrieve name");
else {
   echo("The name retrieved is : " . $Name->value);

$Name->type will contain the type of the value stored in the VARIANT e.g. VT_BSTR.

Note For PHP 5:

Insted of '$Name->value', we can use only '$Name' for getting the value stored in the VARIANT. To get the type of the value stored in the VARIANT, use 'variant_get_type($Name)'.

Feroz Zahid
Shawn Coppock
11-Aug-2004 04:15
For those of us that are not experts with object models, if you have Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word available, go into the Visual Basic Editor (Alt+F11). Now you can open the object browser window (F2) and see what you find.

If you select "Word" in the object browser, then the classes and members of that class are displayed below. For example, if you click on "Selection" in the classes column, and then "Font" in the members column, you will then see "Property Font As Font Member of Word.Selection" displayed at the bottom. Click on the "Font" link there.

Click on Word "Selection" again in the classes column, and then "PageSetup" in the members column, you will then see "Property PageSetup As PageSetup Member of word.Selection" displayed at the bottom. Click on the "PageSetup" link there.

Using the above examples, you can now formulate your Word Document from php. Here is a simple example that creates a 1 & 1/2" space for text based on the margin settings & with dark red text and an 8pt Helvetica font face:

$content = "Insert Sample Text Here\n\nThis starts a new paragraph line.";
$word= new COM("word.application") or die("Unable to create Word document");
print "Loaded Word, version {$word->Version}\n";
$word->Visible = 0;
$word->Selection->PageSetup->LeftMargin = '3"';
$word->Selection->PageSetup->RightMargin = '4"';
$word->Selection->Font->Name = 'Helvetica';
$word->Selection->Font->Size = 8;
$word->Selection->Font->ColorIndex= 13; //wdDarkRed = 13
echo "done";

This example (and others) worked for me with Microsoft Word 10.0 Object Library (MS Word 2002), Apache & PHP on Windows XP. Experimenting using the Visual Basic editor will yield some amazing documents from PHP as it will help you see the relationships of the objects used and give you an idea as to how to construct your code. But be prepared for an occaisional PHP.exe crash if your code is way off base.

Hope this helps!
Jason Neal
22-Jul-2004 03:48
If you are having issues with the outlook.application locking up when you try to access it, ensure that your apache server is running in the context of a user on the machine instead of the system account.
appleapril04pear at cherrypixelbananapiz dot de
13-Jul-2004 08:36
If you want to use ms indexing server by querying it from ms sql server in a stored procedure with parameters you can do the following:

1.) Create the Catalog named 'myIndexServer' in indexing server

2.) execute addLinkedServer in query analyzer

       EXEC sp_addlinkedserver
           @server    = 'myIndexServer',
           @srvproduct = 'Index Server',
           @provider  = 'MSIDXS',
           @datasrc    = 'myIndexServer'

  in case myIndexServer already exist choose another name or 
  delete it (be carefull)

   EXEC sp_dropserver myIndexServer

3.) Write the following string in query analyzer

     declare @sql varchar(1000)
     declare @searchFor varchar(400)
     set @searchFor = 'phporsomething'

     set @sql =' SELECT Path, Filename
                         FROM OPENQUERY( pmsIndexServer,
                         ''SELECT Path, Filename FROM               
                             WHERE CONTAINS( '''''+@searchFor+''''' )'' ) AS dres' -- end of long sql-string

     exec (@sql)

     Attention 5 times ' !!!

4.)  Execute the string (F5)

5.) Create a simple stored procedure and copy the string from step 3. Make @searchFor an parameter of your sp

6.) You are done, lean back, enjoy and relax

To contact me remove the fruits.
martijn at lico dot nl
21-Jun-2004 08:30
A nice feature you get with COM is the ability to connect to the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI for short). This allows you to monitor various system statistics (e.g. disk space en cpu usage) of local and remote systems.

Small example:

= ".";

$wmi = new COM("WinMgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}

$cpus = $wmi->ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_Processor");

  foreach (
$cpus as $cpu)
trim($cpu->Name)." {$cpu->MaxClockSpeed}MHz {$cpu->LoadPercentage}%\n";

will give you this:

Intel Pentium III processor 860MHz 1%
Intel Pentium III processor 860MHz 2%

For more examples, see this post on my weblog: http://wiljedatikinjemond.com/article.php/2004061815294318
angelo [at] mandato <dot> com
04-Jun-2004 02:37
Useful PHP MSWord class I created to do some simple file conversions.  This class could have a lot more to it but I am not familiar with all the COM MS Word function calls.
// msword.inc.php
   // NOTE: Using COM with windows NT/2000/XP with apache as a service
   // - Run dcomcnfg.exe
   // - Find word application and click properties
   // - Click the Security tab
   // - Use Custom Access Permissions
   //      - Add the user who runs the web server service
   // - Use Custom Launch permissions
   //      - Add the user who runs the web server service
$wdFormatDocument = 0;
$wdFormatTemplate = 1;
$wdFormatText = 2;
$wdFormatTextLineBreaks = 3;
$wdFormatDOSText = 4;
$wdFormatDOSTextLineBreaks = 5;
$wdFormatRTF = 6;
$wdFormatUnicodeText = 7;

// Vars:
var $handle;
// Create COM instance to word
function MSWord($Visible = false)
$this->handle = new COM("word.application") or die("Unable to instanciate Word");
$this->handle->Visible = $Visible;
// Open existing document
function Open($File)
// Create new document
function NewDocument()
// Write text to active document
function WriteText( $Text )
$this->handle->Selection->Typetext( $Text );
// Number of documents open
function DocumentCount()
// Save document as another file and/or format
function SaveAs($File, $Format = 0 )
$this->handle->ActiveDocument->SaveAs($File, $Format);
// Save active document
function Save()
// close active document.
function Close()
// Get word version
function GetVersion()
// get handle to word
function GetHandle()
// Clean up instance with word
function Quit()
$this->handle )
// close word
// free the object
$this->handle = null;


Example 1, opens an html file, writes text to it, then saves it as a document:
= "C:\\test.htm";
$output = "C:\\test.doc";

$Word = new MSWord;
$Word->WriteText("This is a test ");

Example 2, opens an html file, then saves it as a rtf file:
= "C:\\test.htm";
$output = "C:\\test.rtf";

$Word = new MSWord;
$Word->SaveAs($output, $wdFormatRTF);
angelo [at] mandato <dot> com
19-May-2004 07:30
Useful PHP functions I created (similar to other standard PHP database functions) for working with an ADO datasource:
// ado.inc.php
$ADO_NUM = 1;
$ADO_BOTH = 3;
ado_connect( $dsn )
$link = new COM("ADODB.Connection");
ado_close( $link )
ado_num_fields( $rs )
ado_fetch_array( $rs, $result_type$row_number = -1 )
$row_number > -1 ) // Defined in adoint.h - adBookmarkFirst    = 1
$rs->Move( $row_number, 1 );
$rs->EOF )
$ToReturn = array();
$x = 0; $x < ado_num_fields($rs); $x++ )
$result_type == $ADO_NUM || $result_type == $ADO_BOTH )
$ToReturn[ $x ] = $rs->Fields[$x]->Value;
$result_type == $ADO_ASSOC || $result_type == $ADO_BOTH )
$ToReturn[ $rs->Fields[$x]->Name ] = $rs->Fields[$x]->Value;
ado_num_rows( $rs )
ado_free_result( $rs )
ado_query( $link, $query )
ado_fetch_assoc( $rs$row_number = -1 )
ado_fetch_array( $rs, $ADO_ASSOC, $row_number);
ado_fetch_row( $rs$row_number = -1 )
ado_fetch_array( $rs, $ADO_NUM, $row_number);
// Extra functions:
function ado_field_len( $rs, $field_number )
ado_field_name( $rs, $field_number )
ado_field_scale( $rs, $field_number )
ado_field_type( $rs, $field_number )

The aod version was a typo.
markshane1 at fuse dot net
11-May-2004 07:41
Here is a COM function that creates an excel spreadsheet with any number of worksheets, containing data from a matching number of SQL queries.  Be ware of the upper limit of excel worksheets.  This function properly shuts down Excel on the server. 
   function WriteExcel($strPath,$astrSheetName,$astrSQL){
/* This function takes a file save path, and array of sheet names and a corresponding array */
/* of SQL queries for each sheet and created a multi-worksheet excel spreadsheet*/
       $dbs=new clsDB;
       $exapp = new COM("Excel.Application") or Die ("Did not connect");
           $exapp->Application->Visible = 1;
       for ($int=0;$int<$intSheetCount;$int++){
               $strOut="";//initialize the output string
               for ($int2=0;$int2<$intCols;$int2++){//we start at 1 because don't want to output the table's index
                         $cell->value = $strOut;
                   }//end of colcount for loop
           }//end while loop
       }//end sheetcount for loop
       if (file_exists($strPath)) {unlink($strPath);}
   }//function WriteExcel
05-Apr-2004 08:31
Simple example for creating your own dll's which can be called as COM objects in PHP:

First create your ActiveX dll (Visual Basic):
Name your project as "foo" and class as "bar".

'---start VB code---
Public Function hello() As String
   hello = "Hello World!"
End Function
'---end VB code---

Then make the dll and register it with regsvr32.exe

Now create your PHP script:

= new COM("foo.bar");
$output=$obj->hello(); // Call the "hello()" method
echo $output; // Displays Hello World! (so this comes from the dll!)
mark dickens at mindspring dot com
01-Mar-2004 12:03
Just a note to those wanting to use COM to interface to printers under Windows 2000/XP.  If it doesn't work or seems to hang, try changing the logon identity under which the Apache (assuming you're using Apache) service is running from the System account to another account.  By default most services will install to run under the System account and although the System account has total authority on the computer it is running on, it has no authority outside of that realm as I understand it.  Apparently accessing printers is considered "outside the realm".  I used this technique to interface a Dymo thermal label printer to my server and it works now.
platiumstar at canada dot com
13-Feb-2004 07:08
I didn't found any working examples of PHP using the MSMQ COM object, so I made up one, thought I share it with everybody..it works ok.
You have to create a local Public message queue named "TestQueue" first.

define(MQ_SEND_ACCESS , 2);
define(MQ_DENY_NONE , 0);

$msgQueueInfo =  new COM("MSMQ.MSMQQueueInfo") or die("can not create MSMQ Info object");
$msgQueueInfo->PathName = ".\TestQueue";
$msgQueue =  new COM("MSMQ.MSMQQueue") or die("can not create MSMQ object");
$msgQueue=$msgQueueInfo->Open(MQ_SEND_ACCESS, MQ_DENY_NONE );
$msgOut = new COM("MSMQ.MSMQMessage") or die("can not create MSMQ message object");               
$msgOut->Body = "Hello world!";

kleontiv -at- combellga -dot- ru
16-Dec-2003 03:47
And here is an example of using ADSI via ADODB. This sample is unique because only ADODB can provide recursive Active directory searching and listing. But ADODB can only READ Active directory. So you can find something by ADODB and then modify that directly by ADSI.

With previos example this help build you PHP coded interface to Menaging and browsing Microsoft Active Directory.

Also ADODB on ADSI helps you sort recordset and search on it.


= new COM ("ADODB.Connection") ;
$objConnection->Open("Provider=ADsDSOObject;user id=DOMAIN\\login;password=your_passowrd;") ;

$objCommand = new COM("ADODB.Command") ;
$objCommand->ActiveConnection = $objConnection ;

$Cmd  = "<LDAP://dc=mydomain,dc=com>;" ;
$Cmd .= "(&(objectClass=user)(mail=*)(!cn=SystemMailbox*));" ;
$Cmd .= "name,mail,telephoneNumber;subtree" ;

$objCommand->Properties['Sort On']->Value = "name" ;

$objCommand->CommandText = $Cmd ;
$objRecordSet = $objCommand->Execute() ;

$OrderNumber = 0 ;
$OrderNumber ++ ;
$nn = $objRecordSet->Fields['name']->Value ;
$mm = $objRecordSet->Fields['mail']->Value ;
$ph = $objRecordSet->Fields['telephoneNumber']->Value ;
"$OrderNumber: $nn mail: $mm phone: $ph<br>" ;
$objRecordSet->MoveNext() ;

"===========================<br>" ;
"All MailBoxes: " ;
$objRecordSet->RecordCount() ;
$objRecordSet->Close() ;
$objCommand->Close() ;
$objConnection->Close() ;

$objRecordSet) ;
$objCommand) ;
$objConnection) ;

kleontiv -at- combellga -dot- ru
16-Dec-2003 01:27
I think some one wants to access to Microsoft Active Directory using ADSI with different credential by PHP. You can also do it via pure LDAP but using ADSI it is more simpler.

On VB, VBS or ASP you can do like folowing (so not trivial):

Set dso = GetObject("LDAP:")

Set DsObj = dso.OpenDSObject( _
   "LDAP://DC=mydomain,DC=com", _
   "DOMAIN\login", _
   "password", _

for each Obj in DsObj
   Response.Write Obj.name & " with class of: " & Obj.class & "<br>"

On PHP you can do like that:

= new COM("LDAP:") ;

$DsObj = $ADSI->OpenDsObject("LDAP://DC=mydomain,DC=com",
515) ;

$Obj = $DsObj->Next())
$Obj->name.' with class of: '.$Obj->class.'<br>' ;

The access type enumeration you can use as ADS_AUTHENTICATION_ENUM.
david at wu-man dot com
07-Dec-2003 06:42
After many hours of trial and error, I have finally discovered how to kill the notorious Word process.  I hope my solution works for everyone else.

#1) $word->Quit() is perfectly fine.  Don't bother feeding in as parameter those empty variants.

#2) Do NOT have com_load_typelib('Word.Application') anywhere in your script.

#3) Make sure you have the following line before $word->Quit() :


#4) Add the following lines after $word->Quit() :

$word = null;

If my solution indeed helped you with your problem, please email me and let me know.  I would like to see if the problem was indeed solved.
aldric dot vaseur at sirom dot fr
05-Dec-2003 12:07
Yes !
Finally i found how to kill MsWord Com process...

The next MSWord function does not work if the optional args are empty :

this doesn't work:

but this is ok :
   $empty = new VARIANT(); //for optional args...

Hope this usefull.

alanraycom at el hogar dot net com
04-Dec-2003 07:50
XSLT transformations using MSXML can be done with this code

function xsltransform1($xslpath,$xmlstring)
  $xml= new COM("Microsoft.XMLDOM");
  // $xmlstring is an xml string
  $xsl = new COM("Microsoft.XMLDOM");
  // $xslpath is path to an xsl file
  return $response;

// enjoy
//Alan Young
chris at hitcatcher dot com
02-Dec-2003 08:19
Many COM objects don't do well when passing long (win32) filenames as function parameters.  You can get the 8.3 name of the folder or file on *most* (some win platforms don't support it, and it can be toggled off in the registry for performance reasons) servers using the following:

//create FSO instance
$exFSO = new COM("Scripting.FileSystemObject") or die ("Could not create Scripting.FileSystemObject");

//set vars
$myDir = "C:\\Program Files\\";
$myFile = "a long file name.txt";

//get folder & file objects
$exDir = $exFSO->GetFolder($myDir);
$exFile = $exFSO->GetFile($myDir . $myFile);
24-Nov-2003 01:57
Here is an example of reading the custom properties like Author, Keywords, etc. which are stored in MS Office and other Windows files. You must install and register dsofile as described at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;Q224351. The .frm file in that distribution lists most of the available properties.

// the file you wish to access
$fn = '/docs/MFA.xls';

$oFilePropReader = new COM('DSOleFile.PropertyReader');
$props = $oFilePropReader->GetDocumentProperties($fn);

// one syntax
$au = com_get($props, 'Author');
print "au: $au \n";

//another syntax
$str = 'LastEditedBy';
$lsb = $props->$str;

// set a property if you wish
if (!$props->IsReadOnly()) {
  $props->Subject = 'tlc';
17-Nov-2003 09:17
How to send email via MAPI (works with Windows NT4, apache launched as a service)

#New MAPI session...
$session = new COM("MAPI.Session");

$strProfileInfo = "exchange_server" . chr(10) . "exchange_user";
$session->Logon("", "", 0, 1, 0, 1, $strProfileInfo);
# New message...
$msg = $session->Outbox->Messages->Add();
$msg->Subject = "Subject";
$msg->Text = "body";
#set recipients...
$rcpts = $msg->Recipients;
$rcpts->AddMultiple("toto@toto.com", 1);  #To...
$rcpts->AddMultiple("titi@titi.com", 2);  #Cc...
$rcpts->AddMultiple("tutu@tutu.com", 3);  #Bcc...

# Resolve senders
#Send message

if($msg!=null) {
   $msg = null;
if($session!=null) {
   $session = null;

ps : NT account launching the service and exchange user must match !
max at netznacht dot de
11-Nov-2003 11:45
Apache 1.3
PHP 4.x

I found the Example from Admin Purplerain usefull but, it wasn't working without this first Line:


// after that the code from Purplerain
$objApp = new COM("Outlook.Application");
$myItem = $objApp->CreateItem(olMailItem);
$a=$myItem->Recipients->Add("your adress here");
$myItem->Body="This is a Body Section now.....!";

Still have to switch of the Outlook Security Warnings.
11-Nov-2003 09:25

I strongly suspect this is due to excel helpfully asking "Do you want to save the changes you made to  'Book1'?" when Quit is called.

This can be avoided by making sure that you set the 'Saved' property to True on ALL workbooks before exiting.

Assuming you only have the one workbook:
$excel->ActiveWorkbook->Saved = 1

Word suffers a similar problem and you must set the saved property to true on each document.

This demonstrates the pitfalls of scripting Word, Excel and similar applications in a non-interactive environment.
dirk_hahn at westlb-systems dot de
07-Nov-2003 12:07
Ive GOOGLED alot to find out how to use the MS Index Server (which comes with IIS-Webserver) as a search engine. Here is the code that makes a connection via ADO and lists a result for a given searchstring. Hope you'll find it usefull, it will surely prevent you from searching a long time in search engines. If anybody knows how to do it better, feel free to post it here. The following url contains a description for the index server. It also mentions some further features of the index server (http://www.jiafangyifang.com/memo.php?ID=3232  japanese only, sorry).

         $objIndexServer = new COM("ADODB.Connection") or die("Cannot start ADO");
       $objIndexServer->Provider = "msidxs";
       $sql="SELECT DocTitle, VPath, Path, Filename, Access, HitCount, Rank "
           ."FROM SCOPE('DEEP TRAVERSAL OF \"d:\inetpub\intranet \"') "
           ."WHERE ((CONTAINS(' \"$searchstring\" ') >0) "
           ."AND ((Path NOT LIKE '%\_vti%') AND (Path NOT LIKE '%\_private%') "
           ."AND (Filename NOT LIKE 'search.php'))) ORDER BY Rank DESC";
       $objRS = $objIndexServer->Execute("$sql"); # submit the query
       while (!$rs->EOF) //create output
           $objRS->Fields["DOCTITLE"]->value." -- "
           .$objRS->Fields["FILENAME"]->value." -- "
           .date("d.M.y",$objRS->Fields["ACCESS"]->value)." -- "
           .$objRS->Fields["HITCOUNT"]->value." -- "
           .($objRS->Fields["RANK"]->value/10)."% ----> "
feelingflash at hotmail dot com
04-Nov-2003 04:13

I have been trying to solve the problem of terminating the excel process when using the COM functionality. I found a few 'supposed fixes' including not using arrays etc but none of them seemed to work. Example:


None of these variants properly quit the process - ONLY the visible application. Several hours of using your code would leave thousands of excel processes running invisibly in the background and eating all your ram very quickly.

As I was developing on a solution designed to work on clients running windows, my solution was to install microsofts 'kill.exe' into the windows directory and then run it using:

shell_exec("kill excel.exe");

One problem is because kill.exe is an add on utility, some clients running windows will not have it. The solution is then to use file_exists(filename) to detect for the file and then if not present, let the user download it. Example:

$killApp = "C:\WINDOWS\KILL.EXE";

if (file_exists($killApp)) {
   # continue       
} else {
   # show message and link to kill.exe download
superzouz is at hotmail
11-Oct-2003 08:46
-- Catching COM events --
Hello everyone.
Anyone who did VB + COM would know something is missing here: events!
Here's how to catch IE events using some undocumented functions:
class ieSinker {
   var $terminated = false;
   function TitleChange($text) {
         echo("title has changed: $test \n");
   function OnQuit() {
           echo "Quit!\n";
           $this->terminated = true;

$ie = new COM("InternetExplorer.Application");
$ieSink =& new ieSinker();
com_event_sink($ie, $ieSink, "DWebBrowserEvents2");
$ie->navigate(' PATH TO YOUR HTML FILE GOES HERE! ');
$ie->visible = True;
while(!$ieSink->terminated) {
Works perfect for me with php 4.3
You can find more info on the undocumented functions in the YACL documentation.
Note the "DWebBrowserEvents2" interface. You can find more information about these in the microsoft platform SDK documentation, under "web development". Or maybe they have a smaller web development SDK? I wasn't able to use any other interface, so what I do is send messages from IE to the PHP script by changing the title of the html document with JavaScript.
By the way, I cant take credit for the above code, I stole it from some website of which I lost the address.
Thats it... bye...
04-Oct-2003 03:55
Convert Microsoft word document .DOC to adobe acrobat .PS or .PDF files:

Drawback: if any dialog boxes pop up, the conversion will become non-automated.

// You must have word and adobe acrobat distiller on
// your system, although theoretically any printer driver
// that makes .PS files would work.

// starting word
$word = new COM("word.application") or die("Unable to instanciate Word");
"Loaded Word, version {$word->Version}\n";

// bring it to front
$word->Visible = 1;

// Select the acrobat distiller as the active printer.
// I presume that you could also use the Acrobat PDF writer // driver that comes with Acrobat full version.
$word->ActivePrinter = "Acrobat Distiller";

// Open a word document, or anything else that word
// can read

// This will create a .PS file called $output
$word->ActiveDocument->PrintOut(0, 0, 0, $output);

// If you need a .pdf instead, use the acrobat
// distiller's watched folder option.

// closing word

// free the object
$word = null;

court shrock
26-Sep-2003 08:24
took me a while until I found out how to loop through COM objects in PHP.... in ASP, you use something like:

set domainObject = GetObject("WinNT://Domain")

for each obj in domainObject
  Response.write obj.Name & "<br>"


I finally found a note in a PHP bogus bug report that said you needed to do something like this (this is using ADSI):

= new COM("WinNT://Domain");

$obj = $adsi->Next()) {
// while

// will list all the names of all objects in the domain 'Domain'

Also, you can access the IIS metabase by doing something like the following:

= new COM("IIS://localhost/w3svc");

$obj = $iis->Next()) {
  if (
$obj->Class == 'IISWebServer') {
$site = new COM("IIS://Localhost/w3svc/".$obj->Name);
'serviceID ('.$obj->Name.'): '.$site->ServerComment.'<br>';
$bindings = $site->ServerBindings;
$bindings as $binding) {
$ip, $port, $hostHeader) = explode(':', $binding);
"<li>$ip:$port -- $hostHeader</li>";
// foreach
echo '</ul>';

// hint: ssl bindings are in $site->SecureBindings


// if
}// while

// will list all the sites and their bindings on 'localhost'
mkcostello at hotmail dot com
23-Sep-2003 12:35
Took me a while to work this out as there is very little help available. Accessing com variables that are multi arrays can prove tricky.

$ex = new COM("application");

is an array A-H [stPrice,stCurrency]

php chucks out an error on this:

so, you have to do this
$tmp = $ex->Stock->stSalesBands(C);
echo $tmp->stPrice;
php at dictim dot com
07-Sep-2003 04:17
This took me days to work out how to do so I gotta share it:

How to get the word count from a MS Word Document:

#Instantiate the Word component.

$word = new COM("word.application") or die("Unable to instantiate Word");

$word->Visible = 1;

$temp = $word->Dialogs->Item(228);
$numwords = $temp->Words();

echo $numwords;


Note that this is the only way to get the word count accurately:
Will see all carriage returns and punctuation as words so is wildy innaccurate.
seidenberg at cf-mail dot net
12-Jul-2003 06:36
open PDF Documents with Internet Explorer

$browser = new COM("InternetExplorer.Application");
$browser->Visible = true;

this works for me with php-gtk
tomas dot pacl at atlas dot cz
16-Jun-2003 09:07
Passing parameters by reference in PHP 4.3.2 (and in a future releases of PHP )

In PHP 4.3.2 allow_call_time_pass_reference option is set to "Off" by default and future versions may not support this option any longer.
Some COM functions has by-reference parameters. VARIANT object must be used to call this functions, but it would be passed without an '&' before variable name.


$myStringVariant = new VARIANT("over-write me", VT_BSTR);

/* works */
$result = $comobj->DoSomethingTo($myStringVariant );

/* works only with allow_call_time_pass_reference option set to "On" and may not work in a future release of PHP */
$result = $comobj->DoSomethingTo(&$myStringVariant );

The value in the variant can be retrieved by:
$theActualValue = $myStringVariant->value;
php at racinghippo dot co dot uk
23-Mar-2003 09:47

Some COM functions not only return values through the return value, but also act upon a variable passed to it as a parameter *By Reference*:

RetVal = DoSomethingTo (myVariable)

Simply sticking an '&' in front of myVariable doesn't work - you need to pass it a variant of the correct type, as follows:

  $myStringVariant = new VARIANT("over-write me", VT_BSTR);
  $result = $comobj->DoSomethingTo( &$myStringVariant );

The value in the variant can then be retrieved by:

  $theActualValue = $myStringVariant->value;

Other types of variant can be created as your needs demand - see the preceding section on the VARIANT type.
alex at domini dot net
05-Mar-2003 06:55
To manage the Windows Register at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ use these functions:


 * @return string
 * @param aplicacio string
 * @param nom string
 * @desc Retorna el valor del registre HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\aplicacio\nom
function rtv_registre($aplicacio, $nom)
$registre "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\\" . $aplicacio . "\\"  . $nom;
$valor = $WshShell->RegRead($registre);

 * @return string
 * @param aplicacio string
 * @param nom string
 * @param valor string
 * @param tipus string
 * @desc Actualitza el valor del registre HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\aplicacio\nom
function put_registre($aplicacio, $nom, $valor, $tipus="REG_SZ")
$registre "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\\" . $aplicacio . "\\"  . $nom;
$retorn = $WshShell->RegWrite($registre, $valor, $tipus);

// Creem una instncia del COM que ens serveix per
// accedir al registre de Windows, i la mantenim.
// D'aquesta manera millorem el rendiment.
$WshShell = new COM("WScript.Shell");
richard dot quadling at carval dot co dot uk
26-Feb-2003 09:51
With thanks to Harald Radi and Wez Furlong.

Some VBA functions have optional parameters. Sometimes the parameters you want to pass are not consecutive.


GoTo What:=wdGoToBookmark, Name="BookMarkName"

In PHP, the "blank" parameters need to be empty.

Which is ...

// Some servers may have an auto timeout, so take as long as you want.

// Show all errors, warnings and notices whilst developing.

// Used as a placeholder in certain COM functions where no parameter is required.
$empty = new VARIANT();

// Load the appropriate type library.

// Create an object to use.
$word = new COM('word.application') or die('Unable to load Word');
"Loaded Word, version {$word->Version}\n";

// Open a new document with bookmarks of YourName and YourAge.

// Fill in the information from the form.
$word->Selection->GoTo(wdGoToBookmark,$empty,$empty,'YourName'); // Note use of wdGoToBookmark, from the typelibrary and the use of $empty.


// Save it, close word and finish.
$word = null;
"Word closed.\n";

The example document is ...

Hello [Bookmark of YourName], you are [Bookmark of YourAge] years old.

and it would be called ...



pchason at juno dot com
12-Dec-2002 03:23
Searched for days on how to set up a multi-column html output grid that didn't use an array when creating an ADODB connection. Couldn't find one so I figured it out myself. Pretty simple. Wish I would have tried it myself sooner. Commented code with database connection is below...

//create the database connection
$conn = new COM("ADODB.Connection");
$dsn = "DRIVER={Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb)}; DBQ=" . realpath("mydb.mdb");
//pull the data through SQL string
$rs = $conn->Execute("select clients from web");
$clients = $rs->Fields(1);
//start the multicolumn data output
$i = 0;
$columns = 5;
while (!
//if $i equals 0, start a row
if($i == 0){
//then start writing the cells in the row, increase $i by one, and move to the next record
echo "<td>" . $clients->value . "</td>";
//once $i increments to equal $columns, end the row,
//and start the process over by setting $i to 0
if($i == $columns || $rs->EOF) {
$i = 0;
//end multicolumn data output

//close the ADO connections and release resources
$rs = null;
$conn = null; ?>
daveNO at SPAMovumdesign dot com
27-Sep-2002 12:52
The documentation for this feature is a bit redundant. It mentions that COM performs and encourages information hiding (a.k.a. encapsulation) three times. Perhaps instead it could expand a bit on what COM is useful for, and particularly why combining it with PHP can be beneficial.

The contributed examples above do a nice job of illustrating the benefits of PHP+COM. In a nutshell, many Windows applications (especially office suites and databases) expose useful functionality through the COM interface.

For example, Microsoft Word can read RTF files and (of course) write Word Documents. You could use PHP to generate RTF and then use Microsoft Word via PHP's COM interface to convert the RTF to a DOC. The amazing thing about this is that you can actually insert PHP (or template) code into Word itself, because RTF files are text-based like HTML. Throw Distiller into the mix and you've got a web-based, template-driven, maybe even database-driven PDF generator!

Have fun,
tedknightusa at hotmail dot com
27-Sep-2002 12:29
A Notes example:

$session = new COM "Lotus.NotesSession" );
$someDB = "C:\Lotus\Notes\Data\somedb.nsf";
$db = $session->GetDatabase("", $someDB) or die("Cannot get someDB.nsf");
$view = $db->GetView("some_view") or die("Some View not found");

$doc = $view->GetFirstDocument() or die("Unable to get Initial Some Document");

// loop through
  $col_vals = $doc->ColumnValues();
  echo $col_vals[0];
  $doc = $view->GetNextDocument($doc);
dwt at myrealbox dot com
27-Aug-2002 06:31
When first writing applications instancing COM objects I always faced the problem of the instanced program not terminating correctly although everything else worked fine. In fact the process had to be killed manually by using the task manager. When experimenting a bit I was able to isolate the cause for this peculiar behaviour to be illustrated by the sample code below:


//Accessing arrays by retrieving elements via function ArrayName(Index) works, but certainly is neither efficient nor good style
$excel=new COM("Excel.Application");




//Accessing arrays as usual (using the [] operator) works, buts leads to the application not being able to terminate by itself
$excel=new COM("Excel.Application");




The sample code performs the same action twice and each time the file is properly created. Yet for some mysterious reason the instanced excel process won't terminate once you've accessed an array the way most programmers (especially those who do a lot of oop in c++) do! Therefore until the PHP developers become aware of this problem we'll have to use the inefficient coding style illustrated in the first example.
nospam at bol dot com dot br
21-Aug-2002 06:30
This is a sample to make a parametrized query using ADO via COM, this sample was used with Foxpro but will work's with most ADO complient databases. This was tested on IIS with WIN XP pro.

// Create the main connection
$dbc = new COM("ADODB.Connection")  or die ("connection create fail");
$dbc->Provider = "MSDASQL";
// Creates a temporary record set
$RSet = new COM("ADODB.Recordset");
// Create one ADO command
$cm  = new COM("ADODB.Command");
$cm->Activeconnection = $dbc;
// the ? inside values will be the parameters $par01 and $par02
$cm->CommandText "Insert Into testtable ( mycharfield,mymemofield) VALUES (?,?)" ;
$cm->Prepared = TRUE;
// Creates and append 2 parameters
$par01 = $cm->CreateParameter('ppar01',129,1,50,'ABCDEFGHIKL');
$par02 = $cm->CreateParameter('ppar01',129,1,50,'123456789012346789');
// Call 10 times the exec comand to show 10 different queries
for ($i = 1; $i <= 10; $i++) {
$par01->Value = 'Count '.$i;
$par02->Value = 'Passing here'.$i.' times';
$RSet = $cm->Execute;
$RSet = $dbc->Execute("select * from testtable");
while (!
$RSet->fields["mycharfield"]->value.' ' ;
$RSet->fields["mymemofield"]->value ;
$RSet = null;
$dbc = null;
$cm = null;
paulo at Ihatespam dot com
29-Jun-2002 01:48
Complementing Alex's Excell Example, let's print the SpreadSheet to a PDF file using Acrobat Distiller:

$wkb->PrintOut(NULL, NULL, NULL, NULL, "Acrobat Distiller");

There you go!!!
admin at purplerain dot org
19-Apr-2002 07:34
an easy way to convert your file from .doc to .html

// starting word
$word = new COM("word.application") or die("Unable to instanciate Word");

// if you want see thw World interface the value must be '1' else '0'
$word->Visible = 1;

//doc file location

//html file location  '8' mean HTML format

//closing word

//free the object from the memory
$word = null;
admin at purplerain dot org
02-Apr-2002 07:01
An easy way to send e-mail using your default Outlook account:
= new COM("Outlook.Application");
$myItem = $objApp->CreateItem(olMailItem);
$myItem->Body="This is a Body Section now.....!";
madon at cma-it dot com
08-Mar-2002 04:59
I thought this excel chart example could be useful.

Note the use of Excel.application vs Excel.sheet.

print "Hi";
#Instantiate the spreadsheet component.
#    $ex = new COM("Excel.sheet") or Die ("Did not connect");
$exapp = new COM("Excel.application") or Die ("Did not connect");

#Get the application name and version   
print "Application name:{$ex->Application->value}<BR>" ;
"Loaded version: {$ex->Application->version}<BR>";

#$wkb = $ex->Application->ActiveWorkbook or Die ("Did not open workbook");
print "we opened workbook<BR>";

$ex->Application->Visible = 1; #Make Excel visible.
print "we made excell visible<BR>";

$sheets = $wkb->Worksheets(1); #Select the sheet
print "selected a sheet<BR>";
$sheets->activate; #Activate it
print "activated sheet<BR>";

#This is a new sheet
$sheets2 = $wkb->Worksheets->add(); #Add a sheet
print "added a new sheet<BR>";
$sheets2->activate; #Activate it
print "activated sheet<BR>";

$sheets2->name="Report Second page";

$sheets->name="Report First page";
"We set a name to the sheet: $sheets->name<BR>";

# fills a columns
for (
$i=1;$i<$maxi;$i++) {
$cell = $sheets->Cells($i,5) ; #Select the cell (Row Column number)
$cell->activate; #Activate the cell
$cell->value = $i*$i; #Change it to 15000

$ch = $sheets->chartobjects->add(50, 40, 400, 100); # make a chartobject

$chartje = $ch->chart; # place a chart in the chart object
$chartje->activate; #activate chartobject
$selected = $sheets->range("E1:E$maxi"); # set the data the chart uses
$chartje->setsourcedata($selected); # set the data the chart uses
print "set the data the chart uses <BR>";

if (
file_exists($file_name)) {unlink($file_name);}
#$ex->Application->ActiveWorkbook->SaveAs($file_name); # saves sheet as final.xls
$wkb->SaveAs($file_name); # saves sheet as final.xls
print "saved<BR>";



Alex Madon
darkwings at 263 dot net
28-Feb-2002 01:11
now in PHP >=4.0.6
programming in window can use the
ADO through the COM like this:
$dbconn=new COM ("ADODB.Connection") or die ("connection create fail");
 $dbconn->Open("Provider=sqloledb;Data Source=ndht;Initial Catalog=printers;User Id=printers;Password=printers;");
 $rec=new COM("ADODB.Recordset") or die ("create Recordset error");
 while (!$rec->EOF)
echo $rec->fields["fieldname"]->value."<br>";

but there's still a little question of working with the image field of mssql server.
kevin at vcconcepts dot com
01-Apr-2001 08:37
I thought i'd share with those of you unfamiliar with one of the cool things
about developing php on win32 systems..


This is a good article, but i don't think the author hit the nail on the
head showing how useful this can be.

Now, checkout this article:

Notice how he describes 1) how to build a com object & 2) how to call and
use the com object from ASP.

In php, this is how you would call the same object:

= new COM("Checkyear.LeapYear");
$isleapyear = $instance->IsLeapYear($year);
$isleapyear) {
"The <b>$year</b> is a leap year";
else {
"The <b>$year</b> is not a leap year";

I hope this helps someone.. you can contact me at kevin@vcconcepts.com if
you would like to discuss this further.