978-0-7356-1019-4 / 9780735610194

Programming Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange, Second Edition (DV-MPS Programming)


Publisher:Microsoft Press



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About the book:

Microsoft books exist in a world where Microsoft software is the best and only option. Rizzo's book on creating collaborative apps using Exchange Server 5.5 (and 2000), Outlook 2000 and IE as application platforms with VBScript for glue shows how simple it can be to meet common business needs via dialogue boxes and standard forms without traditional programming.

Rizzo breaks collaborative apps into five categories: messaging, tracking, workflow, real-time and knowledge management; though an app may have elements from each. Naturally, there are gotchas even in MS programming paradise. For example, Rizzo explains how Outlook 2000 implements a cut down IE for HTML display, but to fully implement security in frames you have to force it to use IE itself--which then means you can't access some of Outlook's enhancements.

ASP features large, for example, to convert Outlook forms to HTML. This throws up more gotchas as Outlook's forms have more features than are available in HTML. There's a discussion of the new Digital Dashboards in Chapter 11 which use ActiveX objects, details on new and improved features of Exchange 5.5, such as the Event Scripting Agent and naturally the obligatory chapter on XML and XSL. But this is a book about using the results of such technologies rather than programming with them.

Rizzo had access to the Outlook and Exchange developers so the book feels authoritative, with example apps and code, all of it on the accompanying CD. But Microsoft's hand lies humourless and heavy. In places the book reads more like a press release. Still, anyone building collaborative apps using Outlook and Exchange will benefit from this book, just don't count the evangelising. -- Steve Patient

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