Just by looking at the MSDN documentation you will have a bit of a hard time figuring out how to report error information from OLE DB. The first thing you have to do is to test the HRESULT value that most methods return by using either the SUCCEEDED or FAILED macros. Typically an error is negative and a success status is positive or zero. Please note that some methods may return S_FALSE which is not an error (SUCCEDED(S_FALSE) is true). Now that you know that an error was generated, you can retrieve more information about it.
The first thing you need to do is call the GetErrorInfo API function. If you call any other OLE DB method the error information will be reset and lost. The GetErrorInfo function returns an IErrorInfo interface pointer that does not contain any valuable information. Instead, you must use it to call QueryInterface and request an IErrorRecords interface pointer. This interface implements an error collection (typically contais one error only) where each error object is exposed as an IErrorInfo interface. Confused? It gets a bit better...
Getting the underlying error information requires some work because it is split between the IErrorRecords and each contained IErrorInfo. For instance, to retrieve the error parameters (the six parameter values you might have seen in a SqlCeError object), you must call the IErrorRecords::GetErrorParameters method. It takes as parameters the requested zero-based error index and a pointer to a DISPPARAMS structure. You can also get some basic error information by calling IErrorRecords::GetBasicErrorInfo with an ERRORINFO structure pointer as the second argument. For each IErrorInfo in the error collection, you can get information such as description, the source (reports the database engine and version) and the interface GUID that generated the error.
Oh, and when you are done make sure everything is cleaned up. Yes, we need another abstraction to manage error reporting. Hopefully this will be the theme for the next post and from then on we can move on to opening a database connection, executing SQL statements and more.