FYI: Combining Exchange 2007 Web Services and SQL 2005 Table-Valued User Definied Functions

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Reading this kind of stuff almost makes we wish I was a consultant again...I say almost because then I think about requirement gathering, deadlines, budgets, debating the merits of agile development, etc...

The Exchange SDK team linked to this article on their blog the other day and I just had a chance to read through it.  Exchange development seems like such a niche expertise sometimes and in the past the "tribal" knowledge it took to understand how to work with and extract data from Exchange could be intimidating for any developer.  Yet there are so many possibilities to integrate the data in Exchange with all kinds of applications (CRM, IT management applications, scheduling, etc.) and Exchange 2007 Web Services start to change the game of Exchange integration because they are far easier to use and can be leveraged in so many different ways...

This article illustrates how to expose Exchange data through SQL so that any SQL developer can work with Exchange data just like they were working with a SQL view.  The only Exchange development is using Exchange Web Services as a data access layer for populating SQL Server table-valued user defined functions...

"When you combine these technologies, you have a formidable new way to integrate, search, and analyze your Microsoft Exchange messaging data by using the full power of SQL Server, and to combine that messaging data with virtually any other data managed by, or available from, SQL Server."

...There are far more SQL developers out there so exposing Exchange data through SQL is a very empowering proposition.  Especially the thought of expanding these samples to abstract dynamic views of Exchange folders and items through these SQL views could open up Exchange data to a whole new group of developers...

"...This sample is intended to educate and inspire you in your Microsoft Exchange development..."

...My wheels are turning, man this is cool stuff...So with Exchange 2007 Web Services the game is changed, instead of talking MAPI, COM, or .NET we are simply talking HTTP, XML, and in this case now we can talk SQL...Who can't integrate with that?

  • Hi Matt,

    I had fun writing the article and I'm excited to see what people do with it! :)

    Thanks,

    Ray

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