sebastian.schmitt

It's Me again,

this time coming up with a further question:

Within our system (it's a workflow system) there will be delivered own data,
that has to be presented in the Outlook-Interface's scope.
That means, data transfer is handled via the system's network, but we need
an own type of Outlook Item that displays the system's data in an appropriate way.
Is there a way to create own items or to change the already existing ones' behavior

Here just an example of our common flow of events:

- data is coming in (e.g. a new document that has to be signed by the current user during the workflow)
- all current exisiting documents are stored into an own folder (that was already created!)
- the user triggers the folder view within the navigation pane
- our explorer is shown in the main view
- within this explorer, the pending data (our new items contained in the folder) is displayed the way, we want it to.


Is this possible


Re: Visual Studio Tools for Office Own Items

Sue Mosher - Outlook MVP

An Outlook Explorer window can show only the data that it already contains, using the same types of views that that you see in the standard Exchange mailbox and .pst file stores. Views can display custom fields, as well as standard properties. Items that need to display custom fields can either use the standard form for that type of item, or can use a custom form.

Therefore, the answer to your question really depends on what you have in mind for your display.





Re: Visual Studio Tools for Office Own Items

sebastian.schmitt

I do not really understand your answer in a proper way.
I think this is caused by my misunderstanding of the common terminology
associated to Outlook's GUI Elements.
So, i will try to state our problem in a more detailed way:

Our system should provide support during a company's resource management
process (resources are requested, orders have to be approved, special orders can be
viewed and commented on by different involved employees during different steps of the process).
The main thing we want to create are own items.
That means in our example, one Item-Type for each:
- Order Proposal
- Order Request
- Order Approval
- Approval Request
- Commission
- ...
These items should be created during runtime by our system and stored within the
respective folders. Thus, the user can select a folder and out of it an item he wants
to display. Triggered by the user's respective selection of such an item there should appear
a view X within the view right beside the folder-list ("main explorer view" ).

Our Problem is as follows: Is there a way to create own items (and propagate this new data
model to Outlook) and how far can we manipulate the view X

We found an similar example in the MSDN Library: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa479345.aspx
There, the predefined Outlook Items (wrapper-items) are used as a kind of wrappers to link to their
own "items" (actual-items) . Therefore, the wrapper-items include a reference to the system's internal model, which (the reference) is stored for example within an Mailitem's subject-field.
Observing the user's actions, they can respond to a selection and display their own Inspectors to display the actual-items' details. The associated actual-item is obtained by reading out the subject field of the wrapper-item.

We aren't sure in how far the MSDN example uses the potential provided by the API. So, is there another way to
implement a similar behaviour, or does this way of realisation already exhausts the given possibilities.




Re: Visual Studio Tools for Office Own Items

Sue Mosher - Outlook MVP

That article provides a good overview of the UI components of Outlook -- its Explorer and Inspector windows. The solution that it presents monitors for the creation of new Inspector windows and for application data, suppresses the Inspector and displays instead a windows form.

The main space in an Explorer window can show either the list of items in the folder or a folder home page. The solution in the MSDN article uses a folder home page with managed controls to present information related to items that the user selects in the Explorer view. Any "view within a view" would have to be accomplished with a folder home page. In Outlook 2007, a form region or custom task pane also would be available as a potential solution.

All the application data can be stored in Outlook using custom properties as needed. Any standard or custom property on the items can be displayed in a folder view with no modification.