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Free developer tool reads Outlook MAPI properties

Both free and flexible, MAPIProp can be used to retrieve properties normally unavailable through the Microsoft Outlook object model.

Nearly every company modifies its Microsoft Outlook installation. Some changes are small -- a macro is used to append outgoing message disclaimers, for example. Other Outlook modifications are larger, such as using code  to expand Outlook’s functionality. Whether you need to modify Outlook a lot or a little, it helps to have the proper tools in place.

MAPILab, makers of other Outlook tools, including the Duplicate Email Remover and GroupWare Server, released MAPIProp, an Outlook add-on for developers. The MAPIProp tool is designed to read the MAPI properties of CDO and Microsoft Outlook object model objects. It works with Microsoft Outlook 2000 through Outlook 2007.

MAPIProp gives developers access to message properties without triggering security prompts. These prompts can be annoying when you’re trying to develop code that needs to run seamlessly in Outlook’s background.

The tool also gives developers access to message properties that aren’t normally available through the Outlook object model, such as a message’s Internet header or the message body in either plain text, RTF or HTML. There are no limits to the amount of data you can retrieve from a given property. However, you cannot use MAPIProp to retrieve object tables such as a list of attachments for a specific message.

One of the most valuable features of MAPIProp is that it includes the complete source code. The license allows you to reuse the code in any context you need, as long as you leave the copyright information intact. Code examples are included to explain how to use the program in JScript, Visual Basic .NET and Visual Basic 6.0. You also should be able to use the tool with any language that can access COM objects.

MAPILab’s website offers notes about how to use MAPIProp as well as some general comments about Outlook’s security model. I recommend reading this information if you’re planning to use the tool.

Serdar Yegulalp has been writing about computers and information technology for more than 15 years for a variety of publications, including InformationWeek and Windows Magazine.

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