Since there are a lot of developers reading this, how about a brief moment to discuss extensibility in OneNote SP1? First, there is a draft of the some documentation available now. Check it out here.
Now, the first thing many of you will say is “That’s all!? Don’t you understand that OneNote needs a (insert description of baroque object model here) to be taken seriously!?”.
Well, my usual caveats apply. Our approach is to enable what we know is useful, limited by what we have resources to implement. And as I have written before, just because it isn’t in the product doesn’t mean we haven’t thought about it – quite the opposite usually.
The top requests we got for integrating with OneNote were for ways to put other types of information into OneNote programmatically than what we had built ourselves. Meeting related tools, self-contained electronic note-taking pens, etc were looking for a place to deposit the results of a meeting or a note taking session with the pen.
If you want to get real specific details on the extensibility, you can ask Donovan.
For now, I’ll just discuss a few examples of cool things you can do with the SimpleImporter API.
It is an easy matter to build an add-in for an application that takes content from that application and stores it in OneNote. This was our most common request, since OneNote is a sort of personal storage used for research. So, some ideas that I’d like to see people build (some of these I know people are working on, such as Omar)
- An add-in for IE or other browser that lets you copy the selected content on a page, or the entire page into OneNote, in a section you choose. This is great for research, and saves the steps f having to drag/drop or copy paste stuff into OneNote.
- An add-in for Outlook to copy multiple emails, contacts, etc to OneNote, to keep these together with notes in OneNote, usually about a project
- An RSS PowerToy that allows you to browse selected feeds, and dump them into OneNote for future reference
- An add-in to PowerPoint, Word, or other apps that lets you just “print” the document to OneNote, perhaps picking where you want the document to go.
There are many other possibilities – just use your imagination. Or, maybe you have a need to collect info from other sources that we haven’t thought of, such as patient records at a hospital, or customer data from a CRM tool before a visit with the customer – if so, this should help.
We’re also interested in hearing details of any kind of extensibility you would actually use if we were to add it. The details are important – we plan to add extensibility only to support real scenarios, not just allow anything to be extended. It’s not only cheaper that way, it allows us to remain secure. So, a detailed description of what you would do (even mailed to me privately) would be great. That will help us design the more complete extensibility in the next release.