New features in Outlook 2010!

On July 13, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Office 2010 reached the Technical Preview engineering milestone. Even though the Office 2010 Technical Preview bits and most of the documentation are available to only participants of the Technical Preview program, we're excited to be able to start blogging about new features and documentation.

The Outlook 2010 MAPI Reference (Technical Preview) is one of the first Office 2010 developer references made available to the general public at this milestone. This release of the Outlook MAPI Reference includes documentation for API elements updated for 64-bit MAPI, and a download for Outlook 2010 MAPI header files. If you plan to have existing 32-bit MAPI applications or new MAPI applications running on a 64-bit operating system with 64-bit Outlook, you will need to build your MAPI applications as 64-bit applications with these header files. Other new content in this release includes fast shutdown support for MAPI clients, 38 new properties, and how to link explicitly to MAPI functions. A summary of new features is in What's New in This Edition.

Apart from Outlook 2010 MAPI, Outlook 2010 offers new features in the object model in the Technical Preview release. Some of the major OM features include the following:

  • A new Conversation object that groups Outlook items that belong to the same "thread" across folders and stores. The Conversation object provides methods to navigate and enumerate items in a conversation hierarchy, and access items in a conversation with a new light-weight SimpleItems collection. You can also programmatically manage the assigning of categories, marking items as read or unread, and cleaning up of a conversation in ways similar to that offered in the Outlook user interface.

  • A new SolutionsModule object that allows Outlook applications to expose a set of one or more folders in the Navigation Pane under the new navigation module, Solutions. There is only one Solutions module that all applications share. When the Solutions module shows folders for only one application, the label can be customized, for example, changed from the default label Solutions to Marketing Project. The Solutions module shows folders from each application in its own grouping. Each application has a corresponding solution root folder in the Solutions module. Subfolders can contain items of different item types. One rule is that a solution root folder and its subfolders must reside on the same store. If the solution root folder is the root folder of a store, then all subfolders of the store root folder are displayed under the solution root folder.

  • A new MobileItem object that represents an SMS or MMS message and supports incorporating mobile messages into Outlook applications. Even though the MobileItem object does not have the full functionality as other Outlook items such as the MailItem object, you can programmatically create a MobileItem object, specify the recipients, subject, and message content, and send the MobileItem object using a specific Outlook Mobile Services account.

  • Extensions to the Account object that supports multiple Exchange accounts.

  • Ability to programmatically customize the Outlook user interface in the following areas:

* Explorer Ribbons
* Inspector Ribbons
* Menus
* Context menus
* Contact Card context menus
* Backstage view
You can customize these areas using Ribbon extensibility, and supply Ribbon XML to the GetCustomUI method of the IRibbonExtensibility interface. Use the Ribbon ID for the feature to determine the XML to pass as a returned value in the GetCustomUI method. Your Ribbon XML typically supplies callbacks that let you respond to a button click, or control visibility or the icon of your Ribbon controls. Use the IRibbonControl.Context object to identify the active window containing the user interface that triggers the callback procedure.

Documentation for the Solutions module and customizing Outlook user interface is currently available to participants of the Technical Preview program. Most developer documentation for Outlook 2010 new features will be available to the public before the launch of Office 2010. I will keep you all posted about further documentation availability.

Comments (3)

  1. says:

    Nothing beneficial for most businesses – no reason to upgrade/purchase –

    Like Vista  – all bling – no function.

    If they wanted to improve Office they SHOULD have –

    1. Made outlook open multiple e-mail accounts as full exchange -not an additional mailbox with some functionality or pop/imap with very limited functionality but two seperate exchange profiles simultaneously from multiple exchange servers.

    2. Full OLE support for pictures in access – umm wasn’t that functional with Office XP – why take that out?   Why should someone have to code to add pictures to a personal database?  Might was well use oracle or a real database if you are going to have to use code.   Adding Office XP photo editor is the work around but why not just add photo editor back into office if that is the solution?

    3. Offer the old menu bar for people (most of my clients) who don’t want to learn the new menu bar.   You can finally modify the ribbon to some extent in 2010 however my clients just want their old ribbon bar.  Frankly I have no issue with the new menu bar but I’m one person and most of my clients don’t like it so prefer to stick with office 2003.  MS could make money selling the new version if they just offered the old menu as a choice with the new ribbon.

  2. dglingren says:

    So far, the Outlook 2010 Object Model enhancements and Changes have not addressed the following defects which are also present in Outlook 2007. Any plans to fix these?

    1. In the "Contacts (Mobile)" address list the Outlook.AddressEntry.GetContact method fails, i.e., returns "Nothing". There is no way to get from the address list entry back to the contact item it is associated with.

    2. For address list entries of type "MAPIPDL" there is no way to get back to the Outlook.DistListItem the entry is associated with. GetContact returns Nothing and there is no other method that might return a reference to the DistListItem object.

    3. You cannot use "CreateRecipient", "Resolve" and "AddMember" to add an entry to a DistListItem when the associated ContactItem has two or more email addresses. The Resolve method will return False and even if an entry is added to the list it will not be linked to the associated ContactItem. There is no way to indicate which email address to use when a ContactItem contains more than one address.

    4. If you use the DistListItem.GetMember method to retrieve an entry from a distribution list you cannot use the Recipient.GetContact method to find the associated ContactItem. The method always returns "Nothing", even after the Recipient.Resolve method returns "True".

    5. If you use the Contact Group GUI to add a mobile telephone number to a distribution list, the list entry will not be associated with the ContactItem it came from. The icon to the left of the entry is not a Contact icon, and double-clicking on the entry will not bring up the associated Contact item.

  3. nexusstone says:

    Imo, there is (currently) a SERIOUS defect / omission in the implementation of IMAP in Outlook (2007 & 2010). Currently, there is no (time or other) limit in the messages downloaded. Ergo, you can RAPIDLY OVERWHELM — & TOTALLY BOG DOWN — Outlook & the user’s computer. Further, psts BALLOON out of control.

    Apple’s iPhone has implemented a (very) simple ‘solution’ — just to establish a cutoff for what is downloaded (e.g., say last 30-60 days, or whatever).

    This, imo, works (quite) WELL…

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