This world has become open source. Everything is modifiable. You can induce creativity in almost everything. Microsoft is one of the best companies in this matter. All the software it develops includes a binge of creativity.

Outlook is no longer the strict coding after Microsoft introduced the Outlook Add-ins or as we say it Plugins. This made the outlook have a personal touch. Outlook Add-ins are combinations made by third parties with new web-based platforms.

Have a look at the important aspects:

  1. Cross Platform: You’ll see the same thing on Windows, Mac, Web, and Mobile. Same Add-in and business logic work on all the platforms.
  2. Individual Integration and Code: Outlook add-ins itself has a code for integration into Outlook. Also, the add-in has in-built coding which makes UI and business logic.
  3. Add-ins are available on Office Store or it can be side-loaded by end users or admins.

Please know that Outlook add-ins are not same as COM or VSTO plugins. These are older ones specific to Outlook only on Windows. Outlook does not install any code in the real aspect of the user’s device. It’s not like COM add-ins, I know.

Well, Outlook first reads the in-built manifest and arranges the specified UI, then it loads the coding. Javascript and HTML. All this happens in the browser sandbox.

Email messaging, appointments, cancellations, responses and meeting requests support mail add-ins. Each add-in provides and makes aware about the context in which it’s available. It includes the types, writing or reading an item.

Keep In Mind: Make sure your add-in conform to the Office Store validation policies. Like you need to develop in a certain way that your add-in should work on all platforms. It should accept your methods and provide expectant results. You can learn more about the Office Store validation policies on https://dev.office.com/add-in-availability.

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Extension Points.

The way by which the add-ins integrate with Outlook is Extension point. Some extension points or ways this can be done is as follows:

  • Add-in command buttons on the ribbon.
  • Context-based Add-ins for physical entity.

Where the add-ins are available.

While composing or reading messages or appointments, the add-ins can be activated. Things to know:

  1. Outlook will not activate add-ins if the message item is protected by any form of encryption or protection from any authority.
  2. Outlook cannot activate the add-ins if the mail item is in the junk folder.
  3. If the message is an IPM report, consisting of delivery report or notification, add-ins are not available. It includes non-delivery reports as well as read, unread and delays notifications.
  4. Add-ins are not available for a .msg file which is another message attachment.
  5. Also, an msg file which is opened by the file system makes add-in unavailable.

Outlook can run add-ins in reading forms in the sent items folder.

Exception: Running based on string matches of known entities.

Outlook Add-ins

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