IMoniker::BindToObject method (objidl.h)

Binds to the specified object. The binding process involves finding the object, putting it into the running state if necessary, and providing the caller with a pointer to a specified interface on the identified object.


HRESULT BindToObject(
  [in]  IBindCtx *pbc,
  [in]  IMoniker *pmkToLeft,
  [in]  REFIID   riidResult,
  [out] void     **ppvResult


[in] pbc

A pointer to the IBindCtx interface on the bind context object, which is used in this binding operation. The bind context caches objects bound during the binding process, contains parameters that apply to all operations using the bind context, and provides the means by which the moniker implementation should retrieve information about its environment.

[in] pmkToLeft

If the moniker is part of a composite moniker, pointer to the moniker to the left of this moniker. This parameter is primarily used by moniker implementers to enable cooperation between the various components of a composite moniker. Moniker clients should use NULL.

[in] riidResult

The IID of the interface the client wishes to use to communicate with the object that the moniker identifies.

[out] ppvResult

The address of pointer variable that receives the interface pointer requested in riid. Upon successful return, *ppvResult contains the requested interface pointer to the object the moniker identifies. When successful, the implementation must call AddRef on the moniker. It is the caller's responsibility to call Release. If an error occurs, *ppvResult should be NULL.

Return value

This method can return the standard return values E_OUTOFMEMORY and E_UNEXPECTED, as well as the following values.

Return code Description
The binding operation was successful.
The object identified by this moniker, or some object identified by the composite moniker of which this moniker is a part, could not be found.
The binding operation could not be completed within the time limit specified by the bind context's BIND_OPTS structure.
The binding operation requires assistance from the end user. The most common reason for returning this value is that a password is needed or that a floppy needs to be mounted. When this value is returned, retrieve the moniker that caused the error with a call to IBindCtx::GetObjectParam with the key "ConnectManually". You can then call IMoniker::GetDisplayName to get the display name, display a dialog box that communicates the desired information, such as instructions to mount a floppy or a request for a password, and then retry the binding operation.
An intermediate object was found but it did not support an interface required to complete the binding operation. For example, an item moniker returns this value if its container does not support the IOleItemContainer interface.
Unable to access the storage object.

This method can also return the errors associated with the IOleItemContainer::GetObject method.


BindToObject implements the primary function of a moniker, which is to locate the object identified by the moniker and return a pointer to one of its interfaces.

Notes to Callers

If you are using a moniker as a persistent connection between two objects, you activate the connection by calling BindToObject.

You typically call BindToObject during the following process:

  1. Create a bind context object with a call to the CreateBindCtx function.
  2. Call BindToObject using the moniker, retrieving a pointer to a desired interface on the identified object.
  3. Release the bind context.
  4. Through the acquired interface pointer, perform the desired operations on the object.
  5. When finished with the object, release the object's interface pointer.
The following code fragment illustrates these steps.
HRESULT hr;       // An error code
IMoniker * pMnk;  // A previously acquired interface moniker

// Obtain an IBindCtx interface.
IBindCtx * pbc; 
hr = CreateBindCtx(NULL, &pbc); 
if (FAILED(hr)) exit(0);  // Handle errors here. 
// Obtain an implementation of pCellRange. 
ICellRange * pCellRange; 
hr = pMnk->BindToObject(pbc, NULL, IID_ICellRange, &pCellRange); 
if (FAILED(hr)) exit(0);  // Handle errors here. 

// Use pCellRange here. 

// Release interfaces after use. 

You can also use the BindMoniker function when you intend only one binding operation and don't need to retain the bind context object. This helper function encapsulates the creation of the bind context, calling BindToObject and releasing the bind context.

COM containers that support links to objects use monikers to locate and get access to the linked object but typically do not call BindToObject directly. Instead, when a user activates a link in a container, the link container usually calls IOleObject::DoVerb, using the link handler's implementation, which calls BindToObject on the moniker stored in the linked object (if it cannot handle the verb).

Notes to Implementers

What your implementation does depends on whether you expect your moniker to have a prefix; that is, whether you expect the pmkToLeft parameter to be NULL or not. For example, an item moniker, which identifies an object within a container, expects that pmkToLeft identifies the container. An item moniker consequently uses pmkToLeft to request services from that container. If you expect your moniker to have a prefix, you should use the pmkToLeft parameter (for example, calling BindToObject on it) to request services from the object it identifies.

If you expect your moniker to have no prefix, your BindToObject implementation should first check the running object table (ROT) to see whether the object is already running. To acquire a pointer to the ROT, your implementation should call IBindCtx::GetRunningObjectTable on the pbc parameter. You can then call the IRunningObjectTable::GetObject method to see if the current moniker has been registered in the ROT. If so, you can immediately call QueryInterface to get a pointer to the interface requested by the caller.

When your BindToObject implementation binds to some object, it should use the pbc parameter to call IBindCtx::RegisterObjectBound to store a reference to the bound object in the bind context. This ensures that the bound object remains running until the bind context is released, which can avoid the expense of having a subsequent binding operation load it again later.

If the bind context's BIND_OPTS structure specifies the BINDFLAGS_JUSTTESTEXISTENCE flag, your implementation has the option of returning NULL in ppvResult (although you can also ignore the flag and perform the complete binding operation).

Implementation-specific Notes

Implementation Notes
Anti-moniker This method is not implemented. It returns E_NOTIMPL.
Class moniker If pmkLeft is NULL, calls CoGetClassObject, using the CLSID the class moniker was initialized with (in CreateClassMoniker or through MkParseDisplayName) and the CLSCTX of the current pbc (IBindCtx).

If pmkLeft is non-NULL, calls pmkLeft->BindToObject for IClassActivator and calls IClassActivator::GetClassObject with the CLSID it was initialized with and the CLSCTX and locale parameters of the current pbc (IBindCtx).

File moniker When pmkToLeft is NULL, the method looks for the moniker in the ROT and, if found, queries the retrieved object for the requested interface pointer. If the moniker is not found in the ROT, the method loads the object from the file system and retrieves the requested interface pointer.

If pmkLeft is not NULL, instead of determining the class to instantiate and initialize with the contents of the file referred to by the file moniker using GetClassFile (or other means), call pmkLeft->BindToObject for IClassFactory and IClassActivator, retrieve this pointer in pcf. If this fails with E_NOINTERFACE, return MK_E_INTERMEDIATEINTERFACENOTSUPPORTED.

If the IClassFactory pointer is successfully retrieved, call pcf->CreateInstance(IID_IPersistFile, (void**)&ppf) to get a fresh instance of the class to be initialized and initialize it by using IPersistFile or other appropriate means per the existing initialization paths of file moniker.

Generic composite moniker If pmkToLeft is NULL, this method looks for the moniker in the ROT and, if found, queries the retrieved object for the requested interface pointer. If pmkToLeft is not NULL, the method recursively calls BindToObject on the rightmost component of the composite, passing the rest of the composite as the pmkToLeft parameter for that call.
Item moniker If pmkToLeft is NULL, this method returns E_INVALIDARG. Otherwise, the method calls BindToObject on the pmkToLeft parameter, requesting an IOleItemContainer interface pointer. The method then calls IOleItemContainer::GetObject, passing the string contained within the moniker, and returns the requested interface pointer.
OBJREF moniker The pmkToLeft parameter must be NULL. Because the OBJREF moniker represents a running object, no activation takes place. If the represented object is no longer running, BindToObject fails with E_UNEXPECTED.
Pointer moniker This method queries the wrapped pointer for the requested interface.
URL moniker Because the URL Moniker supports asynchronous binding, the actual return value of its BindToObject may vary depending on the object parameters established in the bind context. For more information, see below.

The semantics of the bind operation for a URL moniker are identical regardless of synchronous or asynchronous usage, and are as follows:

  1. The URL moniker pulls further information for the bind operation from the bind context. For example, the moniker can obtain pointers to the IBindStatusCallback and IEnumFORMATETC interfaces that are registered in the bind context. Further information can include additional bind options specified on the bind context through IBindCtx::SetBindOptions, such as the dwTickCountDeadline parameter or the grfFlags value of BIND_MAYBOTHERUSER.
  2. Next the moniker checks the ROT of the bind context to determine whether the referenced object is already running. The moniker can obtain this information with the following calls:
  3. If the object is already running, the moniker retrieves the running object with the following call:
    prot->GetObject(this, &punk)
  4. Then the moniker calls QueryInterface for the requested interface.
  5. Otherwise, the moniker queries the client by calling IBindStatusCallback::GetBindInfo to obtain additional bind information. The moniker then initiates the bind operation and passes the resulting IBinding interface back to the client by calling IBindStatusCallback::OnStartBinding.
  6. If in step 1 it was determined that this was an asynchronous bind, BindToObject returns MK_S_ASYNCHRONOUS at this point with NULL in ppv. The caller will receive the actual object pointer during the IBindStatusCallback::OnObjectAvailable method at some later point. The following steps then occur asynchronously to the caller, typically on another thread of execution.
  7. The class of the resource designated by the URL Moniker is determined in one of the following ways:
    • The URL moniker examines the media type of the data. If the media type is application/x-oleobject, the first 16-bytes of the actual data (Content-Body) contain the CLSID of the resource and subsequent data is to be interpreted by the class itself. For all other media types, URL Moniker looks in the system registry for the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\MIME\Database\Content-Type\<media-type>\CLSID key. Note that application/x-oleobject will be used until application/oleobject is approved.
    • The URL moniker matches portions of arriving data to patterns registered in the system registry under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\FileTypes.
    • Finally, if all else fails, the URL Moniker correlates the trailing extension of the resource, if any, to a CLSID using the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.??? keys in the system registry, as is done by GetClassFile and the shell.
  8. Having determined the class, the URL moniker creates an instance using CoCreateInstance of CLSCTX_SERVER asking for the IUnknown interface.
  9. The URL moniker next calls the QueryInterface method of the newly created object for the IPersistMoniker interface. If QueryInterface is successful, the URL moniker calls IPersistMoniker::Load passing itself (this) as the moniker parameter. The object typically calls BindToStorage asking for the storage interface that they are interested in.
  10. Otherwise, the URL moniker calls QueryInterface for IPersistStream and, if successful, calls IPersistStream::Load, passing the object an IStream pointer for a stream object that is being filled asynchronously by the transport.

    If the class being called is not marked with the category CATID_AsyncAware, calls to ISequentialStream::Read or ISequentialStream::Write that reference data not yet available block until the data becomes available. These calls block in the traditional COM sense. A message loop is entered which allows certain messages to be processed, and the IMessageFilter of the thread is called appropriately.

    If the class is marked with the category CATID_AsyncAware, calls to ISequentialStream::Read or ISequentialStream::Write that reference data not yet available return E_PENDING.

  11. Otherwise, the URL moniker calls QueryInterface for IPersistFile and, if successful, completes the download into a temporary file. On completion, the URL moniker calls IPersistFile::Load. The created file is cached along with other Internet downloaded data. The client must be sure not to delete this file.
  12. When the object returns from one of the various Load calls described in the previous steps, the URL moniker calls the IBindStatusCallback::OnObjectAvailable method to return the interface pointer that the client originally requested when the client called BindToObject.


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header objidl.h

See also