Documentation

Data Conversion Rules

This topic describes the data conversion rules for the MATLAB® Compiler™ components. These components are dual interface Microsoft® COM objects that support data types compatible with Automation.

Note

Automation (formerly called OLE Automation) is a technology that allows software packages to expose their unique features to scripting tools and other applications. Automation uses the Component Object Model (COM), but may be implemented independently from other OLE features, such as in-place activation.

When a method is invoked on a MATLAB Compiler component, the input parameters are converted to the MATLAB internal array format and passed to the compiled MATLAB function. When the function exits, the output parameters are converted from the MATLAB internal array format to COM Automation types.

The COM client passes all input and output arguments in the compiled MATLAB functions as type VARIANT. The COM VARIANT type is a union of several simple data types. A type VARIANT variable can store a variable of any of the simple types, as well as arrays of any of these values.

The Win32 application program interface (API) provides many functions for creating and manipulating VARIANTs in C/C++, and Visual Basic® provides native language support for this type.

Note

This discussion of data refers to both VARIANT and Variant data types. VARIANT is the C++ name and Variant is the corresponding data type in Visual Basic.

See the Visual Studio® documentation for definitions and API support for COM VARIANTs. VARIANT variables are self describing and store their type code as an internal field of the structure.

The following table lists the VARIANT type codes supported by the MATLAB Compiler components.

VARIANT Type Codes Supported

VARIANT Type Code
(C/C++)
C/C++ TypeVariant Type Code
(Visual Basic)
Visual BasicTypeDefinition
VT_EMPTYvbEmpty

Uninitialized VARIANT

VT_I1char

Signed one-byte character

VT_UI1

unsigned char

vbByteByte

Unsigned one-byte character

VT_I2shortvbIntegerInteger

Signed two-byte integer

VT_UI2unsigned short

Unsigned two-byte integer

VT_I4longvbLongLong

Signed four-byte integer

VT_UI4unsigned long

Unsigned four-byte integer

VT_R4floatvbSingleSingle

IEEE® four-byte floating-point value

VT_R8doublevbDoubleDouble

IEEE eight-byte floating-point value

VT_CYCY+vbCurrencyCurrency

Currency value (64-bit integer, scaled by 10,000)

VT_BSTRBSTR+vbStringString

String value

VT_ERRORSCODE+vbError

An HRESULT (signed four-byte integer representing a COM error code)

VT_DATEDATE+vbDateDate

Eight-byte floating point value representing date and time

VT_INTint

Signed integer; equivalent to type int

VT_UINTunsigned int

Unsigned integer; equivalent to type unsigned int

VT_DECIMALDECIMAL+vbDecimal

96-bit (12-byte) unsigned integer, scaled by a variable power of 10

VT_BOOLVARIANT_BOOL+vbBooleanBoolean

Two-byte Boolean value (0xFFFF = True; 0x0000 = False)

VT_DISPATCHIDispatch*vbObjectObject

IDispatch* pointer to an object

VT_VARIANTVARIANT+vbVariantVariant

VARIANT (can only be specified if combined with VT_BYREF or VT_ARRAY)

<anything>|VT_ARRAY

Bitwise combine VT_ARRAY with any basic type to declare as an array

<anything>|VT_BYREF

Bitwise combine VT_BYREF with any basic type to declare as a reference to a value

+ Denotes Windows-specific type. Not part of standard C/C++.

The following table lists the rules for converting from MATLAB to COM.

MATLAB to COM VARIANT Conversion Rules

MATLAB Data TypeVARIANT Type for Scalar DataVARIANT Type for Array DataComments
cell

A 1-by-1 cell array converts to a single VARIANT with a type conforming to the conversion rule for the MATLAB data type of the cell contents.

A multidimensional cell array converts to a VARIANT of type VT_VARIANT|VT_ARRAY with the type of each array member conforming to the conversion rule for the MATLAB data type of the corresponding cell.

structure

VT_DISPATCH

VT_DISPATCH

A MATLAB struct array is converted to an MWStruct object. (See Class MWStruct (MATLAB Compiler SDK)) This object is passed as a VT_DISPATCH type.

char

A 1-by-1 char matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_BSTR with string length = 1.

A 1-by-L char matrix is assumed to represent a character vector of length L in MATLAB. This case converts to a VARIANT of type VT_BSTR with a string length = L. char matrices of more than one row, or of a higher dimensionality convert to a VARIANT of type VT_BSTR|VT_ARRAY. Each string in the converted array is of length 1 and corresponds to each character in the original matrix.

Arrays of character vectors are not supported as char matrices. To pass an array of character vectors, use a cell array of 1-by-L char matrices.

sparse

VT_DISPATCH

VT_DISPATCH

A MATLAB sparse array is converted to an MWSparse object. (See Class MWSparse (MATLAB Compiler SDK)) This object is passed as a VT_DISPATCH type.

double

A real 1-by-1 double matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_R8. A complex 1-by-1 double matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

A real multidimensional double matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_R8|VT_ARRAY. A complex multidimensional double matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

Complex arrays are passed to and from compiled MATLAB functions using the MWComplex class. (See Class MWComplex)

single

A real 1-by-1 single matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_R4. A complex 1-by-1 single matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

A real multidimensional single matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_R4|VT_ARRAY. A complex multidimensional single matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

Complex arrays are passed to and from compiled MATLAB functions using the MWComplex class. (See Class MWComplex)

int8

A real 1-by-1 int8 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_I1. A complex 1-by-1 int8 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

A real multidimensional int8 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_I1|VT_ARRAY. A complex multidimensional int8 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

Complex arrays are passed to and from compiled MATLAB functions using the MWComplex class. (See Class MWComplex)

uint8

A real 1-by-1 uint8 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_UI1. A complex 1-by-1 uint8 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

A real multidimensional uint8 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_UI1|VT_ARRAY.A complex multidimensional uint8 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

Complex arrays are passed to and from compiled MATLAB functions using the MWComplex class. (See Class MWComplex)

int16

A real 1-by-1 int16 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_I2. A complex 1-by-1 int16 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

A real multidimensional int16 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_I2|VT_ARRAY. A complex multidimensional int16 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

Complex arrays are passed to and from compiled MATLAB functions using the MWComplex class. (See Class MWComplex)

uint16

A real 1-by-1 uint16 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_UI2. A complex 1-by-1 uint16 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

A real multidimensional uint16 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_UI2|VT_ARRAY. A complex multidimensional uint16 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

Complex arrays are passed to and from compiled MATLAB functions using the MWComplex class. (See Class MWComplex)

int32

A 1-by-1 int32 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_I4. A complex 1-by-1 int32 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

A multidimensional int32 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_I4|VT_ARRAY. A complex multidimensional int32 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

Complex arrays are passed to and from compiled MATLAB functions using the MWComplex class. (See Class MWComplex)

uint32

A 1-by-1 uint32 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_UI4. A complex 1-by-1 uint32 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

A multidimensional uint32 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_UI4|VT_ARRAY. A complex multidimensional uint32 matrix converts to a VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH.

Complex arrays are passed to and from compiled MATLAB functions using the MWComplex class. (See Class MWComplex)

Function handle

VT_EMPTY

VT_EMPTY

Not supported

Java® class

VT_EMPTY

VT_EMPTY

Not supported

User class

VT_EMPTY

VT_EMPTY

Not supported

logical

VT_Bool

VT_Bool|VT_ARRAY

 

The following table lists the rules for conversion from COM to MATLAB.

COM VARIANT to MATLAB Conversion Rules

VARIANT TypeMATLAB Data Type (scalar or array data)Comments
VT_EMPTY

Not applicable

Empty array created.

VT_I1int8 
VT_UI1uint8 
VT_I2int16 
VT_UI2uint16 
VT_I4int32 
VT_UI4uint32 
VT_R4single 
VT_R8double 
VT_CYdouble 
VT_BSTRchar

A VARIANT of type VT_BSTR converts to a 1-by-L MATLAB char array, where L = the length of the character vector to be converted. A VARIANT of type VT_BSTR|VT_ARRAY converts to a MATLAB cell array of 1-by-L char arrays.

VT_ERRORint32 
VT_DATEdouble

1. VARIANT dates are stored as doubles starting at midnight Dec. 31, 1899. The MATLAB dates are stored as doubles starting at 0/0/00 00:00:00. Therefore, a VARIANT date of 0.0 maps to a MATLAB numeric date of 693960.0. VARIANT dates are converted to MATLAB double types and incremented by 693960.0.
2. VARIANT dates can be optionally converted to character vectors. See Data Conversion Flags for more information on type coercion.

VT_INTint32 
VT_UINTuint32 
VT_DECIMALdouble 
VT_BOOLlogical 
VT_DISPATCH

(varies)

IDispatch* pointers are treated within the context of what they point to. Objects must be supported types with known data extraction and conversion rules, or expose a generic Value property that points to a single VARIANT type. Data extracted from an object is converted based upon the rules for the particular VARIANT obtained.

Currently, support exists for Excel® Range objects as well as the MATLAB Compiler types MWStruct, MWComplex, MWSparse, and MWArg.

<anything>|VT_BYREF

(varies)

Pointers to any of the basic types are processed according to the rules for what they point to. The resulting MATLAB array contains a deep copy of the values.

<anything>|VT_ARRAY

(varies)

Multidimensional VARIANT arrays convert to multidimensional MATLAB arrays, each element converted according to the rules for the basic types. Multidimensional VARIANT arrays of type VT_VARIANT|VT_ARRAY convert to multidimensional cell arrays, each cell converted according to the rules for that specific type.