Breaking your ahead against Outlook URL’s post Outlook 2003?


 

So back in 2003, when we introduced the world to Outlook 2003, there was a nifty feature that allowed you to create hyperlinks that you could type into your Internet Explorer Address bar, and it would launch Outlook and take you to a specific folder (or mail item or such and such).

Come Outlook 2007, we were a little more concerned about the security of our Office products, and in an attempt to prevent unauthorized access by all those risky applications out there, we semi-limited the facility to use those hyperlinks to navigate to your favourite items at the drop of a hat.

I say “semi-limited” because we didn’t take it away altogether. We took it away to some extent because, lets face it, it wasn’t the most popular feature of Outlook and not used by so many. However, we didn’t take it away altogether because we really don’t want to deny our customers something that once was.

So if you’re really keen on wanting to click on a hyper-link that looks like this:

Outlook:Inbox

which takes you to your Inbox when you click on it, or a more hardcore

outlook:0000000089D557774599D7468A4A47E129F996EF07005818FE9CC903F8418B813D98D476……………

which opens the item associated with that particular identifier, all you have to do is register a custom URL protocol on your machine.

You can figure out how to register an application (any application… could be one of your own) to a URL protocol over here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa767914%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

To make it even simpler for you all (as I always like to do), this is what it would look like on an Outlook 2010 machine running on a 64-bit OS:

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\outlook]

@="URL:Outlook"

"URL Protocol"=""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\outlook\DefaultIcon]

@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Microsoft Office\\Office14\\Outlook.exe\""

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\outlook\shell]

@="open"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\outlook\shell\open]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\outlook\shell\open\command]

@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Microsoft Office\\Office14\\Outlook.exe\" /select \"%1\""

 

To use that against Outlook 2007, the path to Outlook.exe would contain Outlook12 instead of Outlook14, and if you’re on a 32-bit OS, then… well, you know the drill.

Do be wary of the Security dialogs you’ll have to handle once you click on the URL… after all, application security is supreme and we don’t want a malicious application going ahead and deleting all your valuable (or not so valuable) communication, no do we!

Happy Developing, folks!

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