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.NET Connector for Microsoft Outlook

, 19 Feb 2004
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Export Microsoft Outlook data using XML DataSets and the Outlook COM Object Library.

Introduction

The Microsoft Outlook Connector is written in C# using the .NET 1.1 Framework. It attempts to abstract the data access with Microsoft Outlook and visual components using the data. Data from your Microsoft Outlook application can be exported to an XML file by simply checking the folder options and clicking Export. The source provides a simple example of mapping the COM object properties to a XML-friendly DataSet that could be used in any .NET application.

Background

This component for exporting Outlook objects stemmed from a couple years passively looking for a sync between my database and Outlook. I somehow stumbled on a VBA article on it (http://www.devasp.com/search/res/r9981.html) and decided to make a C# app to do the same.

Using the code

The primary function of the DataExportForm retrieves information from the user's Microsoft Outlook application via a custom connector which translates the Interop COM objects into basic DataSets. We should all be aware of how handy DataSets can be so lets look at how our form gets the information for the datagrid.

private DataSet getCheckedItemSet()
{
    DataSet ds = new DataSet();
    OutlookConnector outlook = new OutlookConnector();

    // setup progress bars and process selected folders
    pgFolderProgress.Value = 0;
    outlook.ItemProcessed += new OutlookItemProcessed(outlook_ItemProcessed);
    pgFolderProgress.Maximum = lstExportObjects.CheckedItems.Count;
    foreach (ListViewItem obj in lstExportObjects.CheckedItems)
    {
        pgFolderProgress.Value++;
        pgItemProgress.Value = 0;

        switch (obj.Index) 
        {
            case 0:
                pgItemProgress.Maximum = outlook.getFolderCount(
                    Outlook.OlDefaultFolders.olFolderCalendar);
                ds.Merge(outlook.getCalendarDataSet());
                break;
            case 1:
                pgItemProgress.Maximum = outlook.getFolderCount(
                    Outlook.OlDefaultFolders.olFolderContacts);
                ds.Merge(outlook.getContactDataSet());
                break;
            case 2:
                pgItemProgress.Maximum = outlook.getFolderCount(
                    Outlook.OlDefaultFolders.olFolderInbox);
                ds.Merge(outlook.getInboxDataSet());
                break;
            case 3:
                pgItemProgress.Maximum = outlook.getFolderCount(
                    Outlook.OlDefaultFolders.olFolderNotes);
                ds.Merge(outlook.getNoteDataSet());
                break;
            case 4:
                pgItemProgress.Maximum = outlook.getFolderCount(
                    Outlook.OlDefaultFolders.olFolderTasks);
                ds.Merge(outlook.getTaskDataSet());
                break;
            default:
                Debug.WriteLine("Unsupported Export: " + obj.Index);
                break;
        }
    }
    outlook.Dispose();
    return ds;
}

Now how exactly does the OutlookConnector get it? You'll have to download the source to see the finer details of handling the Interop connection. Rest assured that it implements the IDisposable interface and works through MAPI to retrieve Outlook folder information. All of the Outlook connectivity is handled on instantiation which makes retrieval pretty easy, as seen here in the OutlookConnector.getContactDataSet() method.

/// <summary>
/// Retrieves a list of all the Outlook Contacts.
/// </summary>
/// <returns>Contact Items DataSet</returns>
public DataSet getContactDataSet()
{
    Outlook.ContactItem item;
    DataSet rv = new DataSet();
    rv.DataSetName = "Contacts";
    rv.Tables.Add("Contact");
    rv.Tables[0].Columns.Add("FirstName");
    rv.Tables[0].Columns.Add("LastName");
    rv.Tables[0].Columns.Add("CompanyName");
    rv.Tables[0].Columns.Add("Email");
    rv.Tables[0].Columns.Add("HomePhone");
    rv.Tables[0].Columns.Add("WorkPhone");

    try
    {
        objFolder = objNamespace.GetDefaultFolder(
            Outlook.OlDefaultFolders.olFolderContacts);
        Debug.WriteLine(objFolder.Items.Count + " Contacts found.");
        foreach (System.Object _item in objFolder.Items) 
        {
            item = (Outlook.ContactItem) _item;
            rv.Tables[0].Rows.Add(new object[] {
                item.FirstName,
                item.LastName,
                item.CompanyName,
                item.Email1Address,
                item.HomeTelephoneNumber,
                item.BusinessTelephoneNumber
            });
            this.ItemProcessed();
        }
        Debug.WriteLine(rv.Tables[0].Rows.Count + " Contacts exported.");
    }
    catch (System.Exception e)
    {
        Console.WriteLine(e);
    }
    return rv;
}

Points of Interest

If your system does not have Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 you may have to change the References used by the "OutlookConnector" project. That is to say, if you received a build error described as "The type of namespace name 'Outlook' could not be found", you probably don't have Office 2003. Simply expand the project references, remove the afflicted items, and add the COM Library appropriate for your system. If someone has a dynamic way to handle this, I'd be curious to see you've done.

History

I wanted to limit this project to a single evening so it currently uses untyped DataSets. The real advantage of this application would come from using strong types and hooking in some DataAdapter(s) to really try to sync with some other system. I will probably end up tying in a MySQL data adapter in the coming weeks as time permits but if someone starts/finishes before I get to it, please let me know.

Version 1.1

Connector looping was switched to an incrementing localized integer since Office 10 does not implement a GetEnumerator() method. We have to use our own counter in a for loop instead. Also, here are some details on fixing your References between Office versions.

<!----------------------------- Article Ends ----------------------------->

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Mathias Taylor
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionHow to read large number of items from a folder? PinmemberBlackMilan7-Apr-14 1:20 
BugSource code for get Inbox mail from outlook To Asp.net web page PinmemberManish Pandey19-Apr-13 0:29 
Questionmicrosoft.office.core. missing? PinmemberSyed haseeb baber27-Feb-12 1:49 
AnswerRe: microsoft.office.core. missing? PinmemberSyed haseeb baber27-Feb-12 2:22 
also please tell me will the application made will entertain all the outlook version like 2003 2207 2010 etc etc.. or it need any change
Generalhu PinmemberMember 779129431-Mar-11 5:43 
GeneralSolution for the same item in every row PinmemberTom Klein17-Jan-11 0:31 
GeneralRe: Solution for the same item in every row PinmemberBakk Andris14-Mar-11 7:00 
GeneralI tried to execute this code, it is giving an error "does not contain a definition for 'SenderEmailAddress'" PinmemberMember 397979324-Jun-09 19:29 
QuestionMicrosoft.Outlook11 missing Pinmemberdisire8-Dec-08 22:21 
QuestionHow can we do this in Asp.Net PinmemberSKP2425-Mar-08 4:13 
Generalconvert "X.400/X.500 e-mail adress" into "Smtp e-mail adress" Pinmemberjackyontherock10-Aug-07 5:11 
GeneralExtracting/Importing [modified] PinmemberClaudeX6-Jun-07 22:57 
GeneralOutlook Namespace missing PinmemberMarkChimes22-Feb-07 13:17 
GeneralRe: Outlook Namespace missing PinmemberMarkChimes22-Feb-07 13:53 
GeneralExisting Outlook window closes ! Pinmemberccangaroo24-Aug-06 3:29 
GeneralA bug Pinmembernadav741-Jul-06 9:38 
GeneralRe: A bug [modified] Pinmemberrobocato31-Aug-06 1:19 
GeneralPlease Help PinmemberAshisvadada14-Jun-06 17:36 
QuestionProblem ??? PinmemberPascal Groulx16-May-06 12:06 
GeneralgoUsing this code with Exchange PinmemberDeborahK28-Mar-06 9:18 
GeneralDrag & Drop outlook contacts PinmemberNewbieDude16-Mar-06 20:22 
GeneralProblem Pinmemberpro_8618-Feb-06 11:59 
QuestionHow about processing any PST? PinmemberMatt Philmon14-Feb-06 6:35 
GeneralBUG inside OutlookItemBuilder class and resolution. PinmemberPreky6-Jul-05 21:51 
GeneralAlways return 1 item Pinmembersksandz8-Apr-05 1:08 

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