portable library for structured storage
POLE is a portable C++ library to access structured storage. It is designed to be compatible with Microsoft structured storage, also sometimes known as OLE Compound Document.
A structured storage is normally used to store files inside another file; you can even have complex directory tree inside. It can be treated as a filesystem inside a file. The most popular use of structured storage is in Microsoft Office. Structured storage does not offer compression nor encryption support, hence usually it is used only for interoperability purposes.
Compared to structured storage routines offered by Microsoft Windows API, POLE has the advantage that it is portable. You can access any structured storage in the supported platform, you don't need to rely on Windows library.
Use Bitbucket repository for contributing to the project, accessing the source code online, filing bug reports and checking what's new.
To compile POLE, you need a C++ compiler, with standard C++ library which supports STL (Standard Template Library).
POLE is just a library, you have to integrate it as part of your application/project. Since it consists of one source file and one header file, it does not make much sense to compile POLE as separate library (either static or dynamic). Simply add these files to your project and you are done.
The source tarball of POLE demonstrates the use of POLE to build poledump, a small utility to extract any stream inside a structured storage. If you use g++ as the compiler, you can compile poledump using the following command:
g++ -o poledump pole.cpp poledump.cpp
You may use poledump like the example below:
poledump budget.xls Workbook result.xls
The above command will extract a stream named Workbook inside Excel document (budget.xls) and save it as result.xls. File result.xls will still be recognized as a valid workbook (in raw format). Launch Microsoft Excel, open this file, and convince yourself.
To compile POLEView, you need Qt (from Trolltech) version 4.x. Most Linux distributions normally already package the latest version of Qt, so it is likely that you need to worry about this. The build command for poleview is:
qmake && make
POLE has been succesfully tested under the following platforms/compilers:
If you can compile and use POLE in another platform/compiler, please kindly send a report.
POLE is being proposed to be included in the next release of Boost. The interface for Boost has been written by Israel Cabrera (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jorge Lodos Vigil (email@example.com). See polepp project for details.
There are also other projects which have the same goal as POLE.
Libgsf (from Jody Golberg), written in plain C (with glib dependency), is also able to read and write structured storage. If you're in Linux/Unix, please use libgsf instead of POLE because libgsf has more features, well developed, and mature already.
There is also libole2, but I believe this is already obsoleted by libgsf.
WINE project has its own implementation of structured storage.
Few projects still use cole from Roberto Arturo Tena Sanchez. You can check cole from xlhtml project.
Laola, a small Perl utility, is among the first project which tries to reverse engineer the format of structured storage.
Copyright © 2009 Dmitry Fedorov, Center for Bio-Image Informatics. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2010 Michel Boudinot. All rights reserved.
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