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    PST/OST Series : Personal folder files are unsupported over a LAN or over a WAN link

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    Do you know why personal folder files (.PST files) are unsupported over a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) link?

    The .PST files are not meant to be a long-term, continuous-use method of storing messages in an enterprise environment.

    Although it is possible to specify a network directory or a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path as a storage location for a .PST file, network usage is not meant to be a long-term, continuous-use method of storing messages in an enterprise environment.

    As you know that a .PST file is a file-access-driven method of message storage. File-access-driven means that the computer uses special file access commands that the operating system provides to read and write data to the file. This is not efficient on WAN or LAN links because WAN/LAN links use network-access-driven methods, commands the operating system provides to send data to or receive from another networked computer.

    Other Behaviors of .PST Files over WAN/LAN Links

    •All operations take longer.

    • Write operations can take approximately four times longer than read operations.

    • Outlook has slower performance than the Exchange Client

    Suggested alternatives: Can suggest/make use of,

    1) .OST files
    2) Microsoft Windows Terminal Services

    For more information, please refer the following MSDN article.

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    Microsoft Exchange Server MAPI Client and Collaboration Data Objects 1.2.1

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    As you know, the Messaging API (COM-like API) that provides access to the contents of messaging stores. CDO 1.2.1 (Collaboration Data Objects, version 1.2.1) is a package providing access to Outlook-compatible objects through a COM-based API. Using either CDO or MAPI, a program can connect to a MAPI store, and then perform operations against that store.

    Starting from Exchange 2007, neither the Messaging API (MAPI) client libraries nor CDO 1.2.1 are provided as a part of the base product installation. As a result, there is functionality missing that many applications depend on. Microsoft Exchange MAPI and CDO 1.2.1 provide access to these API's.

    From Exchange 2007, Microsoft will distribute the MAPI client libraries and CDO 1.2.1 as a Web download.

    You can download it from Microsoft Download Center.

    Please note: This version is now compatible with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Note also that this web release follows the Microsoft Lifecycle policy of Exchange Server 2003, which goes into Extended Support in April 2009.

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    MX Record

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    What is MX Record?

    MX stands for Mail Exchange Records.

    Where it's used ?

    MX records are used in DNS records(or Zone files) to specify how email should be routed.

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    SMTP Diagnostics - SMTPDiag Tool

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    What is SMTPDiag?

    SMTPDiag is a troubleshooting tool designed to work directly on a Windows server with IIS/SMTP service enabled or with Exchange Server installed.

    What is it used for?

    • It utilizes the same API's as Windows and Exchange in order to diagnose configuration and connection issues involving SMTP and DNS.
    • It issues DNS queries using both UDP and TCP.
    • It checks the syntax is to check Start of Authority (SOA) for the remote address domain.

    How to use it:

    commandprompt:\> SMTPDIAG “sender address” “recipient address” [-d target DNS] [/v]

    Argument & its definition:

    sender address
    : Required. Address of a local mailbox. Used to verify SMTP submission and check inbound DNS.

    recipient address: Required. E-mail address of remote mailbox you are trying to send mail to. Used to verify DNS, and remote mailbox availability.

    -d target DNS :Optional. IP address of target DNS server to use to look up remote MX (mail exchange) records for testing. This is configured as an external DNS server in Exchange. Please note that the external DNS setting is not available for Internet Information Services (IIS) SMTP.

    /v: Optional. Displays additional information about each test.

    /?: Displays Help

    Results:

    Please Note: The results will be color coded in the syntax. It will have the following colors and its definition:

    White text indicates action being taken.
    Gray indicates informational results
    Green indicates a successful test result.
    Red indicates a failed test result.

    You can download the tool from Microsoft Download Center.

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    iPhone : Microsoft helps connect Apple iPhone Users to Microsoft's Exchange Server ?

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    People today depend on being able to stay in touch no matter how close or how far away they are from the office or home.

    For businesses, that means a host of challenges to make sure their communications foundation is secure, reliable and accessible across many mobile devices – from notebooks to PDAs and smartphones.

    Microsoft has been helping companies overcome those challenges and streamline their communications infrastructure with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and the popularity of Exchange Server 2007 among corporations has influenced many mobile device makers to support Exchange right out of the box.

    Today, Apple announced it plans to join the list of mobile device makers that offer built-in support for Exchange mobile e-mail, licensing Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for the iPhone.

    For a detailed information, please find the following article, which was represented by Terry Myerson, corporate vice president for Exchange, talks to PressPass about the importance of the new agreement between Microsoft and Apple to offer built-in support for Exchange on the iPhone, and the increasing popularity of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 among mobile professionals.

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    Outlook Performance Series : Outlook 2007 & Windows Vista error - .pst file could not be opened

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    Welcome to troubleshooting performance issues - MS Outlook Performance Series - Part 6 

    One of my customer reported that he is facing issue with Outlook 2007 & Windows Vista environment, as he can't open the .pst files.

    He get the following error: <sample>.pst file could not be opened. The file may not be compatible with this version of Outlook or it may be corrupted.

    End of the research, we found the issue happens due to the mail file is in an encrypted folder.

    To work around this problem, we need to make use of Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe) to repair the personal mail file.

    Please find the following http://support.microsoft.com/kb/934545 which describes the issue, causes and its resolution in-detail.

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    Outlook Performance Series: Outlook 2007, POP3 & Windows Vista Issue - TCP Scaling

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    Welcome to troubleshooting performance issues - MS Outlook Performance Series - Part 5

    Recently I was working with one of my customer, we came across a strange issue.

    He has MS Outlook 2007 which was running on Windows Vista. He updated that it takes long time to download an e-mail message from a POP3 server in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. Whenever they download a mail with attachment (for example .5 megabyte (MB) message), the download takes more than one hour.

    Additionally, when they send e-mail messages by using the SMTP server of their Internet service provider (ISP), they get time out issue and also got the following error message:

    Task 'Main - Sending and Receiving' reported error (0x800CCC0F) : 'The connection to the server was interrupted. If this problem continues, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).'

    At the end of the research, we found the issue happens due to "TCP Scaling", a new feature introduced in Windows Vista. This problem occurs if a network hardware device, such as a router, does not support TCP Window Scaling.

    Please find the following article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935400, which describes the issue and its resolution in-detail.

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    Outlook Performance Series: Outlook data file (.pst or .ost file) issues

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    Welcome to troubleshooting performance issues for MS Outlook 2007 Series - Part 4

    If the .pst file or the .ost file shuts down incorrectly, you may receive one of the following error messages the next time that you start Outlook:

    Error message 1:  Outlook cannot open the data file filename until it has been checked for problems.

    Error message 2: Microsoft Office Outlook’ exited without properly closing your Outlook data file ‘drive:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.ost’. ‘Microsoft Office Outlook’ must be restarted. If this error message recurs, contact support for ‘Microsoft Office Outlook’ for assistance.

    Error message 3 : The data file filename was not closed properly’. This file is being checked for problems.

    If you receive one or more of these error messages, you may experience performance issues until Outlook finishes the reconciliation process for the .ost file or for the .pst file. The following gear icon is displayed in the status bar while Outlook checks the data file in the background:

     Outlook 2007 gear icon

    When this icon disappears, the .pst file or the .ost file is reconciled. If you exit Outlook while the gear icon is present, reconciliation must restart the next time that you run Outlook. It's recommended that you leave Outlook running until the gear icon disappears before you exit Outlook.

    An incorrectly shut down .ost file or .pst file may occur for one of the following reasons:

    Antivirus scanning of the file
    Forced Microsoft Windows shutdown before the Outlook.exe process shuts down completely
    Outlook add-ins

    If you see this issue frequently, and you have to exit Outlook shortly before you shut down your computer, it may be better to shut down Windows while Outlook is still running.

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    Powershell : How to sort the mailboxes based on their size on ascending order ?

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    When we make use of Exchange Server 2007 SP1 & Windows Powershell, if we have a requirement to sort the mailboxes based on their size on the ascending order, then try this command:

    Get-MailboxStatistics -Server Servername | Sort-Object -Property TotalItemSize | Format-Table DisplayName,TotalItemSize

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    Outlook Performance Series : Performance tips for deploying Outlook 2007 ?

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    Welcome to troubleshooting performance issues for deploying MS Outlook 2007 Series - Part 3 

    In general, when we talk about Performance, we can't ignore various basic parameters like cache mode/non-cache mode, .pst/.ost files, Windows desktop search, search options, indexing, with/without word as an editor, collection of resources, settings or Outlook 2007's configuration part, etc.

    Please find this article, which provides a collection of resources to help you understand potential issues around Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 performance, and to assist you in configuring features for best performance in your organization...

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    Outlook Performance Series : How to troubleshoot performance issues in Outlook 2007 with .pst or .ost files?

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    Welcome to troubleshooting performance issues in MS Outlook Series - Part 2

    Do you face any one of the following issue, when you work with MS Outlook 2007?

    When you try to,

    • read e-mail emessages ?
    • move e-mail messages?
    • delete e-mail messages?

    Do you face Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 momentarily stops responding?

    Do you know, these symptoms are most noticeable during mail delivery or during synchronization. These symptoms become more pronounced as store size increases. They are more likely to occur when the size of the .pst file or the size of the .ost file approaches 2 gigabytes (GB). Additionally, they are more pronounced in a very large .pst file or in a very large .ost file that is 4 GB or larger. 

    For more information, please find this wonderful article, which talks about how to troubleshoot the performance issues in Outlook 2007 and with respect to larger .pst or .ost files. 

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    Exchange Web Service: Web Services Message cycle

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    Exchange Web Services Message cycle 

    • When a client application requests information from the Exchange store, an XML request message that complies with the SOAP standard is created and sent to the Exchange server.
    • When the Microsoft Exchange server receives the request, it verifies the credentials that are provided by the client and automatically parses the XML for the requested data.
    • The server then builds a SOAP response that contains XML data that represents the requested strongly typed objects and their properties.
    • The XML data is sent back to the client application in an HTTP response.
    • The client application then deserializes the XML and uses the data to reform the strongly typed objects.

     

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    Exchange Server Development Technologies - Series # 1 - Exchange Rules

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    Welcome to Exchange Server Development Technologies - Series # 1  

    In this series, we will discuss about the Exchange Rules. This topic provides information about using Exchange Rules to develop messaging applications. 

    • Exchange rules are typically used to specify user-defined actions that are to be performed on messages that arrive in folders of the user's mailbox.
    • In addition, it is possible to use a set of predefined rules on Public Folders 
    • Exchange Server uses rules on mailboxes and other folders to automatically execute actions on objects in the folders.
    • You can use rules to develop applications that carry out predefined or custom actions, even at times when the application is not running.
    • Rules can be performed on the Exchange store (server-side) or on Microsoft Outlook (client-side, deferred action rules).

    For more detailed information, please find this MSDN documentation.

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    Outlook Programming Series # 11 : How to create Outlook Preview Handlers in Outlook 2007 ?

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    Welcome to Outlook Programming series  # 11

    In this series, we will learn "How to create Outlook Preview Handlers in Outlook 2007 ?".  First we'll know what is Preview Handlers and where it can be used, along with a downloadable sample.

    What are Preview Handlers and where it's used?

    Preview handlers are called when an item is selected to show a lightweight, rich, read-only preview of the file's contents in the view's reading pane. This is done without launching the file's associated application.

    To know more about preview handler, please read more in this detailed MSDN article.

    Preview Handler - Sample:

    • Martijn Hoogendoorn inspired & created a Shockwave Flash preview handler and available in this wonderful article along with installer sample. Basically, it's just a plain UserControl which hosts the ActiveX wrapper for the player. It works from both Outlook 2007 and Windows Vista.
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    Outlook Programming Series # 10 : How to customize Outlook 2007 Ribbons?

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    Welcome to Outlook Programming series  # 10

    In this series, we will learn "How to customize Outlook 2007 (Office 2007) Ribbon functionality". I found these below given MSDN articles which describes how we can customize Office 2007 (including Outlook 2007) ribbon functionality.

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    General : How to troubleshoot performance issues in Outlook 2007 ?

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    Welcome to troubleshooting performance issues in MS Outlook Series - Part 1

    Have you face any one of the following issues with Outlook 2007 ?

    Whether do you think,

    Outlook 2007 is slower than earlier versions of Microsoft Office Outlook ?
    Outlook 2007 is slower than expected ?
    Outlook 2007 is slower than expected when you access your mailbox ?
    Outlook 2007 appears to be unresponsive ?
    Outlook 2007 appears to stop responding for a long time ?

    Do you know, why do you face these issues?

    It might be a performace issue with respect to Outlook 2007. The performance issues may be caused by one or more of the following:

    Minimal computer specifications
    The latest service pack for Outlook 2007 not installed
    Large Personal Folders files (.pst) or Offline Folder files (.ost)
    Outlook .ost files or .pst files that are on a Solid State Drive (SSD)
    Third-party add-ins
    Gadgets (This only applies to Windows Vista)
    Microsoft Office Communicator integration
    Antivirus software interaction
    Windows Desktop Search indexing
    Incomplete closure of .pst files or .ost files
    POP3 accounts on Windows Vista clients
    Many Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds

    Please find this wonderful article, which talks how to troubleshoot the performance issues in Outlook 2007.

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    Outlook Programming Series # 9 : How to systematically release the objects - Add-in's for Outlook 2003 &amp; Outlook 2007 ?

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    Welcome to Outlook Programming series  # 9

    In this series, we will learn "How to systematically release the objects - Add-in's for Outlook 2003 & Outlook 2007 ?". I found this MSDN article which describes how all Outlook add-ins should systematically release their references to Outlook objects when they are no longer needed. Failing to systematically release reference to Outlook objects can prevent Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 & Outlook 2007 from shutting down properly.

    For more information about this problem that affects managed add-ins written for Outlook 2003 using Visual Studio .NET, see KB 317109: Office application does not quit after automation from Visual Studio .NET client.

    Please find Mstehle's blog: OOM.NET: Part 2 - Outlook Item Leaks (Outlook + OOM + .Net Issues), which describes in detail and has the resolution to solve the issue...

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    MAPI32.DLL : Error message when you try to start Outlook 2003: &quot;MAPI32.DLL is corrupt or the wrong version&quot;

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    When you try to start Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, the program does not start. Additionally, you receive the following error message:

    "Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. MAPI32.DLL is corrupt or the wrong version. This could have been caused by installing other messaging software. Please reinstall Outlook."

    Do you know....this issue may occur if you install and then uninstall Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Beta 2 on a computer that has Outlook 2003 installed. When you uninstall Outlook 2007 Beta 2 version, the Outlook 2007 Beta 2 version of the MSMapi32.dll file is not removed from the following folder on your computer:  "C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Msmapi\LocaleID"

    Please view this useful MSDN KB Article. It has the information about the issue, its cause, resolution for this issue

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    Outlook Programming Series # 8 : How to update existing items in an Outlook folder to use a new custom form?

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    Welcome to Outlook Programming series  # 8

    In this series, we will learn "How to update existing items in an Outlook folder to use a new custom form?". I found this MSDN article which describes programatically how to update existing items in an Outlook folder to use a new custom form? 

    This article describes how to update items in an Outlook folder so that those items open using a different form than the form that the items are currently associated with.

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    Outlook Custom form Issue: Listbox control unexpectedly adds new value

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    When using a custom form containing a ListBox control, Outlook unexpectedly adds a new possible value to the control.

    Do you know....this behavior is due to the storage limitation of Keywords fields. If the control is bound to a field of type Keywords and you select a number of possible values in the control, the field may exceed its 255-character maximum length. This causes the last value to be truncated. Because the custom Keywords field now contains a new value that is not one of the options in the control, Outlook adds this new value to the list of possible choices in the control.

    Please view this useful MSDN KB Article. It has the information about the issue, its cause, re-solution for this issue

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    Outlook Custom form Issue: Receive &quot;Operation failed&quot; error message

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    When you send an item that is based on a custom form, the form is not sent and you receive the following error message: "Operation Failed" 

    This issue will happen if, a Recipient field on the custom form is configured with an initial value and with the Calculate this formula automatically option for that value.

    Please view this useful MSDN KB Article. It has the information about the issue, its cause, workaround solution for this issue.

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    General : What is a Digital Signature?

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     A digital signature is used to authenticate (The process of verifying that people and products are who and what they claim to be. For example, confirming the source and integrity of a software publisher's code by verifying the digital signature used to sign the code.) digital information — such as documents, e-mail messages, and macros — by using computer cryptography.

    Digital signatures helps us, 

    To establish the following assurances:

    • Authenticity   The digital signature helps to assure that the signer is who they claim to be.
    • Integrity   The digital signature helps to assure that the content has not been changed or tampered with since it was digitally signed.
    • Non-repudiation   The digital signature helps to prove to all parties the origin of the signed content. "Repudiation" refers to the act of a signer's denying any association with the signed content.

    To make these assurances, the content must be digitally signed by the content creator, using a signature that satisfies the following criteria:

    • The digital signature is valid (Refers to the status of a certificate checked against a certificate authority's database and found to be legitimate, current, and not expired or revoked. Documents signed by a valid certificate and not altered since signing are considered valid.).
    • The certificate (A digital means of proving identity and authenticity. Certificates are issued by a certification authority, and like a driver's license, can expire or be revoked.) associated with the digital signature is current (not expired).
    • The signing person or organization, known as the publisher, is trusted (The developer of a macro that is trusted by you on your computer. The trusted publisher is identified by the certificate that they used to digitally sign the macro. Also known as a trusted source.).
    • The certificate associated with the digital signature is issued to the signing publisher by a reputable certificate authority (CA) (A commercial organization that issues digital certificates, keeps track of who is assigned to a certificate, signs certificates to verify their validity, and tracks which certificates are revoked or expired.).
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    Exchange Server 2003 Development Technologies - Series # 1 - Outlook Object Model (OOM)

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    Welcome to Exchange Server 2003 Development Technologies - Series # 1

    We know that Outlook Object Model (OOM), integral programming part for client side messaging is used widely. I found this wonderful article, which tabulates the information about using the Outlook Object Model (OOM) to develop messaging applications.
     
    As we know, applications run on the client computer can use the Outlook Object Model to programmatically access contacts, messages, calendar items, meeting requests, tasks, and Microsoft® Outlook® configuration information.
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    Outlook Programming Series # 7 : How to change display Formats Programmatically for All Contacts in Outlook 2007?

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    Welcome to Outlook Programming series  # 7

    In this series, we will learn "How to change display Formats Programmatically for All Contacts in Outlook 2007?". I found this wonderful article which describes programatically how to create an add-in to change the FileAs property programmatically for all contacts in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. 

    It covers the Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Contacts folder contains information about all your contacts (although it might contain other types of information, as well). Each contact item has information associated with it about how you want the item filed; that is, the FileAs property of the contact. You might want to programmatically enforce a specific setting for the FileAs property by using an add-in. This Office Visual How-to article explains how you can create an add-in by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office system Second Edition....:)

    This article applies to  Microsoft Office System 2007, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Tools for the 2007 Microsoft Office System Second Edition.

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    Outlook Programming Series # 6 : Download Outlook 2007 Sample Add-ins (Outlook Object Model)?

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    Welcome to Outlook Programming series  # 6

    In this series, we can download three of Outlook 2007 Sample add-ins make use of Outlook Object Model.

    I found this wonderful article, which describes programatically what are the enhancements to the Outlook 2007 object model, as demonstrated by three sample add-ins.

    These solutions are available in Visual Basic .NET and C# versions and include an add-in project, a COM shim project to provide application domain (AppDomain) isolation, and a setup project. Versions of the sample add-ins are also available for VSTO 2005 SE. They can help new and experienced Outlook add-in developers begin programming with the Outlook 2007 object model.

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