I've been tasked with developing a method to functional test and load test an application we're implementing in our environment. The vendor created a shell which uses Internet Explorer_Server controls to display content and get input. The problem lies in that I cannot get the raw HTML from the control, I get "Access Denied" 80020009 when I try to get the data using COM.

Up till now, I worked around the COM error by entering data into fields and pulling it out again for evaluation. The assumption here is that if I could enter data, the page loaded and at least the field was there. This approach has gotten me only so far, as I've gotten to parts where there's no form of input but I need to verify it loaded. The narrator program of windows is able to see inside this control and read the text.

My question is what other methods/technologies can I use to get the HTML from the control? I'm using AutoIt for this project (but I'm not limited or restricted to it).

  • Good answer here: stackoverflow.com/questions/16242317/…
    – Sam Woods
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 19:43
  • @SamWoods I've already tried that type of solution. Unfortunately, any attempt to do anything with that object results in a "Access Denied" com error. This is why I'm hoping someone can recommend another way to read the text/data in that control.
    – Colyn1337
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 19:48
  • Ah, ok. There are comments under this answer that might be useful: stackoverflow.com/questions/19232838/…. Unfortunately, it's been years since I had any experience with this, so not sure how much additional help I could be.
    – Sam Woods
    Commented Oct 10, 2013 at 19:54

2 Answers 2


This is super painful. My company ended up purchasing Test Complete to make this reasonably testable. It has some windows spy tools to find that order of objects and good hooks into the system. You could also use a GUI tester like Sikuli.


Internet Explorer_Server controls seem to require different ways to handle. This guy here is reading some text out from server controls. Might worth a look.


By the way, sounds like your target testing system uses very old technology...

  • 1
    That might be because this question is 5+ years old ¯_(ツ)_/¯
    – dvniel
    Commented Apr 11, 2019 at 8:35
  • And yet resolved.
    – Richard
    Commented Apr 14, 2019 at 22:51

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