Exchange API-spottingThom Randolph
Periodically we hear about very cool projects which leverage Exchange Web Services. Below is a great example of a creative group of software developers coming up with great uses for Microsoft technology.
· Ever have someone stop by your office and need a place to meet? You make a quick pass around the building looking for an open room. You find one but you’re not sure how long it’s open… you want to book it… but what’s the alias to do that?
· Ever hold an event and want to publish a live calendar directly to attendees’ mobile phones, without having to create a new Web site or management application?
· Ever need to publish a resources calendar to anonymous users securely without having direct access to Exchange?
Sure, you could build a solution like this or even buy some of those cool conference room calendar displays, but what if you could turn just about any smartphone into an Exchange Calendaring device? Project Thor does it!
Thor is an open source project undertaken by the Minneapolis Cloud Computing User Group, led by Adam Grocholski from RBA consulting. Thor focuses on leveraging the power of Microsoft Tag, Windows Azure, and Exchange Server to allow access to the schedules and scheduling services of Exchange on most mobile devices! Thor is designed to be a real solution that showcases the power of cloud-based solutions coupled with on-premise software.
Thor allows any user with a smartphone and the MS Tag (http://www.microsoft.com/tag) applet installed to quickly access a resource schedule by just “Snapping” the tag with the phone’s camera! Thor supports both secure and anonymous access to resource schedules, as well as a wide variety of configuration options. Thor will even allow you to book the resource with a single “click”— no Outlook or Outlook Web App required!
Thor is implemented as an Azure-based solution, so you’ll need an Azure account to try it out. (If you really want to use it on-premise, the source code is provided).
Thor ships with three different providers: Exchange 2010 Interop, and Exchange 2007 Interop(which use the Exchange Web Services Managed API), and Native Web Services (which uses the EWS autogenerated proxies).
Give it a try! You can download the solution and code from the following Web site: http://thor.codeplex.com/releases/view/40406