Interacting with Outlook from a WinForms Application
There are many business cases for which Outlook interop would be a great solution. In my case, I use Outlook interop and Redemption to do an actual import of a user's Outlook contacts so that the contacts can be associated with projects created within the enterprise application. The user then can store information about the contact specific to the application's use. I also use Redemption's AddressBook functionality to quickly implement a feature that allows the user to choose one of their active directory-level users to send emails and add users to the review processes. Finally, I tap the Outlook classes to create an add-in that allows users to "push" emails from the Outlook console to the application as an attachment to projects.
The functionality exposed in this article is really only a very small subset of things you can do with the Outlook Interoperability classes (and, by extension, the whole suite of Office integration libraries). You learned how to tap the Outlook classes to manipulate information about a user's contacts as well as utilize the built-in functionality, such as the folder picker. I encourage you to play with the libraries to investigate how they can help you with your business application needs. Look for Part Two of this series to learn how extending Outlook via an add-in can increase your users' productivity by exposing new functionality in an environment with which they are already familiar and comfortable. Reduce development time and increase value by starting with the Office suite as your starting point instead of building an Office-related application from scratch.
About the Author
Rachel Wireman (MCPD, MCTS) is a developer specializing in Windows-based solutions at Crowe Chizek in Oak Brook, Illinois. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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