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Custom Phonebook

By vhansen86 ·
I have had an odd request to create a web based phonebook. The user interface would allow user to query Outlook global. List possible names matching criteria in pop-up result, double click one of the names to again pop-up the Outlook properties card and be able to save to Outlook contacts if wish. Any clue if this is possible and point me in the right direction? I program in C#.

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by rocjoe71 In reply to Custom Phonebook

You can read the Outlook.pst file through MSAccess, making it possible to query like a database. Write a small WinForms app to run from the desktop that will copy the info from a user's Outlook.pst file into a database that your web server has easy access to.

I suggest this instead because querying Outlook from a web app is going to be very difficult since your website is on the server and the user's Outlook is local. There are many barriers along the way in most browsers that are going to stop you from accessing the Outlook.pst file where all the contact info is.

As for downloading infomation, you can use the vCard format, which is a old and stable file format supported by Outlook. Export a contact from Oulook by opening its properties card and selecting "Save As..." in the File menu, select vCard as the format. Open the vCard file in Notepad and you can work out in reverse what your code will need to do to produce vCards of your own.

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by vhansen86 In reply to

Thanks for your suggestion. We will be querying the global address book not the personal contacts of the user. I could even go as far as querying the active directory but still I need the result to display a list of possible matches and allow the user to select from the list and pop-up the Outlook properties card. Don't need users personal .pst file. More thoughts? I will still leave question open.

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by bschaettle In reply to Custom Phonebook

Customize Outlook Web Access?
This sounds like it could be developed as a customized extension to Outlook Web Access. Actually, the functionality you describe may already exist in OWA, or functionality so close it may not matter to your end users.

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by vhansen86 In reply to

I did look at OWA as a possibilty already but the view of the properties card is not what this boss is wanting. He specifically wants the other. Thanks for the suggestion.

I think I could persuade to move the user interface out of web and just create a application phone book from Outlook pulling global\Active Directory. Suggestions? Since I primarily do web this is out of my league.

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by vhansen86 In reply to Custom Phonebook

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