Outlook Developer Resources

Last reviewed on July 8, 2012

Outlook developers will find the utilities and resources listed on this page helpful when they are developing add-ins for Microsoft Outlook.

Tools

[MS-PST]: Outlook Personal Folders File Format (.pst) Structure Specification

Specifies the Outlook Personal Folders File Format and provides the necessary technical information required to read and write the contents of a Personal Folders File (PST). Also specifies the minimum requirements for a PST file to be recognizable as valid in order for implementers to create PST files that can be mounted and used by other implementations of the protocol.

Additional Shutdown Changes for Outlook 2010 Beta

A must read for Outlook developers, this articles discusses changes made to Outlook to improve performance and improve shutdown.

Automating Search Highlighting in Outlook 2010

This Visual How To describes a search highlighting add-in for Microsoft Outlook 2010 that uses the Outlook Instant Search feature to find items that contain a search term, and then uses the Word object model to open an Outlook item in an inspector and highlight the search term. This Visual How To describes what the tool does and explains the add-in code. This Visual How To also describes some associated extensibility features of the ribbon component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface (UI).

Building MAPI Applications on 32-Bit and 64-Bit Platforms

Information for MAPI developers building MAPI applications that work with Outlook 2010.

Developing an Outlook Social Connector Provider

TechNet article containing information about the Outlook Social Connector provider model, which provides an abstraction layer between the OSC and the APIs offered by social networks, and the interfaces that an Outlook Social Connector provider must implement. (40 printed pages)

Exchange Server Protocols

MSDN documentation of Microsoft Exchange Server Protocols. This documentation provides specifications for protocols that are implemented in the Microsoft Exchange Server system software and that are used to communicate with other products.

LookOut class macro

LookOut is a Microsoft Outlook class macro intended to manage contacts. The main objective is to move from a folder structure to a category structure. Among the duties performed by LookOut there are: the conversion of contact folders in categories; the export of entire folder trees as single-contact or multi-contact vCards, the detection and management of duplicate contacts; the inclusion of a category field when exporting as vCard.

Mail apps for Outlook 2013 and OWA

Conceptual information specific to building a mail app for Outlook and Outlook Web App Preview for Exchange 2013 Preview

Microsoft Office 2010: Primary Interop Assemblies Redistributable

The Microsoft Office 2010 Primary Interop Assemblies (PIA) Redistributable is a Microsoft Windows Installer package that contains the Primary Interop Assemblies for Microsoft Office 2010 products.

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Auxiliary Reference

This reference contains conceptual, reference, and code sample topics to guide you in developing solutions using MAPI and Outlook APIs that are exposed outside of the Outlook Object Model. Available online or download.

Microsoft Outlook 2007 Programming

Three chapters from Sue Mosher's book "Microsoft Outlook 2007 Programming", are available on MSDN. They are:

  • Chapter 5- Introducing Form Regions
  • Chapter 17- Working with Item Bodies in Outlook 2007
  • Chapter 24- Generating Reports on Outlook 2007 Data
  • Office 2010 Developer Training Course

    Office 2010 is a broadly extensible platform for building Information Worker productivity solutions and developing for Office with Visual Studio 2010 makes this easy. The Office 2010 Developer Training Course includes videos, presentations, hands-on labs and source code. This content is designed to help you get started developing solutions, from Add-ins to full featured Office Business Applications (OBAs), using Visual Studio 2010 with Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 as the core platform.

    OSC: Synchronizing Friends and Activities

    This article explains how the Outlook Social Connector synchronizes friends, non-friends, and activities for friends and non-friends in different ways: cached synchronization, on-demand synchronization, and hybrid synchronization. The main difference among these modes of synchronization is where the OSC stores the data-whether it is in a folder in the user's default Outlook store, or in memory on the user's computer.

    Outlook 2007 Issues for Developers

    This page contains information on potential issues to consider, especially if you're testing applications that were developed for earlier versions.

    Outlook 2007 MAPI Reference

    MSDN's Outlook 2007 Messaging API (MAPI) Reference guide provides the messaging architecture for Outlook 2007. MAPI for Outlook 2007 provides a set of classes, interfaces, functions, and other data types to facilitate the development of Outlook 2007 messaging applications.

    Outlook 2010 Developer Content at MSDN

    Content topics include: Extending the User Interface in Outlook 2010, Programming the Outlook 2010 Solutions Module, Shutdown Changes for Outlook 2010 Beta, What's New for Developers in Outlook 2010

    Outlook Social Connector 2013 Provider Reference

    The Outlook Social Connector 2013 Preview provides a communication hub for personal and professional communications. The Outlook Social Connector (OSC) works with SharePoint Server, SharePoint Workspace, Lync client, and all Office client applications that support presence information and the Contact Card support the OSC.

    Roadmap for Outlook Personal Folders (.pst) Documentation

    In order to facilitate interoperability and enable customers and vendors to access the data in .pst files on a variety of platforms, Microsoft will be releasing documentation for the .pst file format.

    Video: Extending Business Contact Manager

    This video explains how to create a Microsoft Outlook 2010 add-in that extends Business Contact Manager 2010.

    Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro

    Use these macro samples to create your own Office applications that perform specific functions, or as a starting point to create more complex solutions. Each code sample consists of approximately 5 to 50 lines of code demonstrating a distinct feature or feature set in VBA. While most of the code samples are for Excel, Word, and Powerpoint, there are 4 samples for Outlook. There are also samples available for OneNote, Office, and Visio.

    What's new for Outlook 2013 developers

    A top-level view of the additions and enhancements for developers in Microsoft Outlook 2013, including mail apps, third party weather data services for the Weather Bar, and inline response. The document also describes changes to the Outlook Social Connector, Office Mobile Service, support for Outlook 2013 Preview coexisting with a previous version of Outlook, and new performance criteria for add-ins.

    Written by

    Diane Poremsky
    A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

    Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

    One response to “Outlook Developer Resources”

    1. Mike

      I have a custom form that has been used for years with Outlook 2003. We have upgraded to Outlook 2007 (SP3), and are experiencing a problem with the Message field. When the form is completed and sent from one user to the next, the Message Field does not retain any of the contents (signature, custom message, etc.) that the author added. Other times, it will retain the information, but will "drop" the contents after the form has been Replied To or Forwarded several times. It is very intermittent. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on what could be causing this. The form design was not changed at all during the conversion from 2003 to 2007, and the problem never existed while using 2003. Thank you.

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