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Foreword

Foreword

Hello, my name is Brian, and I’m a developer. Now, you may wonder, is that a problem? Actually, it is. You see, if an application provides an object model, I will code it. Ever since I started programming on Windows, I’ve been attracted to applications that expose their features via a programmatic application programming interface (API), allowing me to make them my own. Each release of Microsoft Outlook—from the first release in 1996 to the newest release in 2007—has provided ways for me and you to customize and extend, to make it our own.

While early releases of Outlook provided extensibility via VBScript, C++ extensions, and automation, it was Outlook 2000 that sparked a hot and heavy relationship that I’ve maintained to this day. Outlook 2000 let me write in-process add-ins using my component technology and programming language of choice: COM and Visual Basic. Reading the documentation on how to write an add-in brought joy to my heart. All I had to do was implement a COM interface, IDTExtensibility2, and I could bring the power of component-based solutions to Outlook. I had the power to do just about anything I wanted. With the ability to bind my code to Outlook via its rich set of events or via user interface (UI) elements such as command bars, I could create compelling applications on top of Outlook for myself and customers. I was excited.


  

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