Seeking Custom Exchange Contact Integration that “plays nicely” with Outlook Social Connector RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have a custom .NET application that adds contacts to users' Outlook "Contacts" folder, via the Exchange 2007 and 2010 web services. It runs on a schedule, a few times a week and performs the following operations:

    1. Searches for contacts with a specific, custom category value.
    2. If found, deletes all contacts that have the custom category value.
    3. Adds new contacts, with that same custom category set

    No updates are performed; just deletes and adds.

    On an asynchronous schedule, the Outlook Social Connector, an Outlook Add-in, runs on the local user's Outlook install and does the following actions:

    1. Removes the custom category added by our Custom Exchange app.
    2. Changes the contact field values to match a pre-defined set of rules (no middle initial in name, dashes in work phone number, etc.) These changes in this step are perfectly fine and acceptable.

    The first action by the Connector then causes our custom Exchange integration app to NOT find the contacts it recently added, so it can't delete them. It then re-adds them, with the custom field set. The process repeats.

    As these two apps execute independent of each other, our employees' address books grow with many duplicate contacts.

    Desired Results

    With these two processes running, we obviously have a flawed Outlook Contact sync solution. What I'm looking for is recommended adjustments to or alternatives to this solution that would do the following:

    1. Add contact data to users' Outlook Contacts (data sourced from 3rd party systems) via some app (can be a custom or off-the-self solution)
    2. Have the Outlook Social Connector see the contact that we added as the "master" contact and sync that version's data with other systems' versions of the same contact (Skype for Business, MS Teams, LinkedIn, etc.).

    Given the scenario above, what would be the simplest solution?

    Ideally, we'd simply change our custom app's behavior to add a custom field (rather than a category) or something comparable, that would tell the Outlook Social Connector to use the recently added contact as the source.

    Thanks in advance for any help or insight you could give.

    outlook | exchangewebservices | outlook-addin | outlook-2010 | outlook-2013

    Tuesday, September 22, 2020 3:59 PM