Learn how to develop a real provider for the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector (OSC) by using the OSC Provider Proxy Library. This sample accompanies a series of four Visual How-To articles,Developing a Real Outlook Social Connector Provider, in the MSDN Library.
The Microsoft Outlook Social Connector (OSC) provides a communication hub for personal and professional communications. Just by selecting an Outlook item such as an email or meeting request and clicking the sender or a recipient of that item, users can see, in the People Pane, activities, photos, and status updates for the person on their favorite social networks.
The sample solution contains two projects:
- OSCProvider—This project is an unmodified version of the OSC Provider Proxy Library that is used to simplify the creation of the OfficeTalk OSC provider.
- OfficeTalkOSCProvider—This project includes the source code files that are specific to the OfficeTalk OSC provider.
The OfficeTalkOSCProvider project includes the following source code files:
- OfficeTalkHelper—This class contains helper methods that are used throughout the sample solution.
- OTProvider—This is a partial class that contains the OSC Provider Proxy Library override methods that return information about the OSC provider, information about the social network, and information for the currently logged-on user.
- OTProvider_Activities—This is a partial class that contains the OSC Provider Proxy Library override methods that return activity information.
- OTProvider_Friends—This is a partial class that contains the OSC Provider Proxy Library override methods that return friends information.
“This section contains a set of four Visual How Tos that shows how to develop a real provider for the Microsoft Outlook Social Connector (OSC) by using the OSC Provider Proxy Library.
An OSC provider allows Outlook users to view, in the People Pane, an aggregation of social information updates that are applied on a professional or social network site. An OSC provider is a Component Object Model (COM) DLL. The OSC provider extensibility interfaces form the medium through which the OSC and an OSC provider communicate. OSC provider extensibility consists of a set of interfaces that is available as an open platform. These interfaces allow the OSC to access social network data in a way that is independent of the APIs of each social network. An OSC provider obtains social network data from the corresponding social network and, through implementing the extensibility interfaces, feeds that social network data to the OSC.
The OSC Provider Proxy Library simplifies the implementation of the OSC provider extensibility interfaces. Instead of a provider explicitly implementing the OSC provider extensibility interfaces, the proxy library implements them, to call a set of abstract and virtual methods in the proxy library. A provider, in turn, overrides this set of abstract and virtual methods with the business logic specific to the social network, to return social network data that the OSC requires.
To show how a provider can use the OSC Provider Proxy Library, this set of Visual How Tos describes a real provider for OfficeTalk. OfficeTalk is a social network in a private corporate environment and is not publicly available. Nonetheless, it is a good example of the kind of social network that you might want to develop a custom OSC provider for. You can use the procedures for creating the OSC provider for OfficeTalk to create a custom OSC provider for any social network.
In This Section
- Part 1: Developing a Real Outlook Social Connector Provider by Using a Proxy Library
- Part 2: Getting Friends Information by Using the Proxy Library for Outlook Social Connector Provider Extensibility
- Part 3: Getting Activities Information by Using the Proxy Library for Outlook Social Connector Provider Extensibility
- Part 4: Building an Installation Package for a Real Outlook Social Connector Provider
Been a while since I’ve seen much/any traffic on the Outlook Social Connector. It was hot when Office 2010 shipped, but not much recently. That could mean a number of things. It’s dead in the water. It’s prefect as is and there’s no need for any more Connectors. It’s too hard.
In case of the last, these posts and code could be of some help…