Running Sample Outlook Add-in’s

A few customers have asked about how to run the time-reporting add-in that was published on MSDN as Creating a Simple Time-Reporting Tool Based on the Outlook 2010 Calendar, and discussed in the blog post Time-Reporting Tool now Available as an Outlook Add-in!

In general, because the main reason for us to provide code samples is to demonstrate programming techniques that use our object models, we typically provide only the source code for add-ins. For those of you interested in further customizing the add-ins, you are welcome to do so by downloading the source code, and using Microsoft Visual Studio to modify the code for your specific purposes.

For those of you who have Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and would like to run a sample add-in, you can start the add-in from Visual Studio by following this process:

  1. Download the source code from the indicated site. For example, for the time-reporting add-in, you can download the source files from Outlook 2010: Time-Reporting Tool Based on the Outlook 2010 Calendar.
  2. Unzip the set of source files, and double-click the solution file (.sln) of the add-in. This opens the solution in Visual Studio.
  3. In Visual Studio, build the solution by clicking Build and then Build Solution. The build action should succeed.
  4. Close Outlook if it is opened.
  5. Start the add-in by clicking Debug and then Start without Debugging. This opens Outlook and starts the add-in.

As an example, to run the time-reporting add-in, you would need to have Microsoft Outlook 2010 installed. After running the above procedure in Visual Studio, Outlook opens and you should see the Add-Ins tab on the explorer ribbon in Outlook. Click the Add-Ins tab, and you can proceed to use the add-in as described in the article “Creating a Simple Time-Reporting Tool Based on the Outlook 2010 Calendar”.

For those of you who do not have Visual Studio 2010 but would like to try the time-reporting add-in, I have attached an installation package in a zip file to this blog post for your convenience.

Note: The time-reporting add-in was developed to illustrate programming techniques and is not intended to be a commercial product. The installation package was created using Visual Studio 2010 and the same add-in source code that is available for download. The package is provided for convenience, and has not been code-signed. After you run Setup in step 3 of the process below, you will see a dialog box that says “Publisher cannot be verified. Are you sure you want to install this customization.” Click Install if you want to proceed to try running the add-in.

Follow these steps to use the attached installation package to install and run the time-reporting add-in:

  1. Close Outlook.
  2. Save a copy of the attached zip file for the installation package on your local drive.
  3. Unzip the installation package.
  4. Double-click the Setup.exe file to install the add-in.
  5. Open Outlook.
  6. You should see the Add-Ins tab on the explorer ribbon in Outlook. Click the Add-Ins tab, and you can proceed to use the add-in.

If you are interested in creating your own installation package, you can see Deploying Office Solutions for more information.

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