Microsoft has released former “internal only” APIs for developing applications that work with Microsoft Outlook. The APIs include account management, connection state, free/busy, MAPI-MIME conversion, and the Outlook store.
I have no idea why these APIs have been released at this time, but providing more options/control/tools to developers is better than less – along the same lines of the ASP.NET 1.1 Membership Prototype.
My only issue is that not all the APIs are documented. For example, recently I was interested in being able to progammatically set Outlook’s online/offline status. When I read the post above, I thought the Connection State API would be the answer. Alas, that API can only be used to get notification when the connection state changes. Or, at least, that’s all that’s documented: the IMAPIOfflineMgr interface has seven undocumented methods and the IMAPIOffline interface has two. I’m sure there’s a good reason those others aren’t documented, but it’s frustrating all the same.