If you are developing an OfficeJS add-in for Outlook or Outlook Online (OWA) and your project requirements have a need to peek inside distribution lists, you might find that there are two kinds:
Distribution Lists – these are Exchange groups, or mail enabled Active Directory groups. These are managed by the enterprise IT and contain a list of email addresses and/or other distributions lists.
Contact Lists / Private Distribution Lists – these are personal lists created by the user that can contain similar objects.
For an Office Add-in, you must use the makeEwsRequestAsync() command to submit EWS to Exchange. And the specific command you will need to use is ExpandDL to get the members of a DL (or contact list). With regards to the first item in the list above, it is pretty straight forward. For the second item there is this blurb on the page:
Private distribution lists are located in the Contacts folder of a user’s mailbox. Private distribution lists do not have e-mail addresses so their store item identifiers are used in an ExpandDL request. Members of a private distribution list can be any mail-enabled user, contacts or distribution lists from Active Directory, or contacts or private distribution lists from a user’s Contacts folder.
The bold part is key. But where do you get this. When you request a to.getAsync() and receive “Bob’s Favorite People” as a recipient item what do you do with it?
The key is to call the EWS method ResolveNames. When you call this on “Bob’s Favorite People” you will get a return value with PrivateDL and an ItemID (the Exchange Store Item ID in the users Contact folder) that you will then send that ItemId to ExpandDL. Here is what the soap response would look like from ResolveNames:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!– Note: EwsEditor has replaced the "utf-16" text in the first line with"utf-8" in order for the XML to render in the response web control. –>
NOTE: For now the ResolveNames operation is not supported in my library easyEws. I am working to add it in the coming weeks.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions or questions.
NOTE: I am not an Exchange Web Services (EWS) expert, but have some experience with it through the OfficeJS makeEwsRequestAsync() command. To get the answer for this blog entry, I had to go to a real EWS expert to figure this one out. Many thanks to Dan Bagley (EwsEditor) for his assistance.
This is useful for when you have created a Web Add-in but it is not as feature rich as your COM add-in. So on the Windows clients, you still want your COM (or VSTO) solution to run there and not the web version of the add-in.
However, this feature has not yet arrived for Outlook. I am told that this is coming, but for now there really are only two workarounds.
If you are using Office 2016, you can set your manifest requirements to 1.5, like this:
<bt:Set Name=”Mailbox” />
If you are needing to support Outlook 2019 or Outlook for Office 365, then this easy trick will not work. So what you need to do is a bit more complicated. To start you need to collect some information first:
Open Outlook, and verify that your web add-in customization has loaded.
Go to File, Options, Customize Ribbon:
At the bottom, click Import/Export and select Export all customizations.
Save the “customui” file to the desktop and then open it in Notepad.
You will look for your customization and it will be in a group or a tab and contain an if like this: x1:Group_5febe0ec-e536-4275-bd02-66818bf9e191_msgEditGroup_TabNewMailMessage.
Make note of this value, minus the namespace (x1:) and whether it is a customtab or a customgroup.
If this does not work for you a couple of other options are to add the Group to the Quick Access bar, by right-clicking on the group and selecting “Add to Quick Access.” This should help it appear in the customUI file. However, if this still does not work, you can make an “educated guess” at the name by using these steps:
Open your manifest file in your Web Add-in and locate the ID:
Next, locate what you called the group in your manifest:
< Group id=”msgEditGroup” >
Finally, you need to determine which “Ribbon” it is on. This is a tad more complex, but since most following the “TabDefault” option, here are two defaults I know about, that could help you:
If you are working with a custom tab, you would look in your manifest and get the name of the custom tab:
From there you can build your tab identifier:
The namespace is what makes this whole process a little harder than expected. This namespace is a UID for the Exchange Account to which the add-in was installed. And this ID is unique to every user and each email account in Outlook. What you will need to do is customize the Ribbon XML in your solution to then hide this group. I have created a solution here on github that shows how to do this end-to-end with a new add-in:
Important to note, the first entry is the ID of your Web Add-in. This is used to create the namespace entry.
You will use the steps above, to build this list item by item. And it is important to note that your item may appear on multiple tabs. For example, if your manifest is putting your custom group on TabDefault, that could end up in two places for a Compose message:
The latter is a context tab and you have to specify the context tab name first, then the tab name. The tab name alone will not help. Finding the context tab is a bit more complex, but you can get those identifiers from here.
So in the end you might end up with a RemoveCustomizations.txt file that looks like this:
If you have been using Visual Studio 2017 to create an Outlook Web Add-in and are trying to use the new ItemSend event, you will note per the documentation the you need to add the MailAppVersionOverrides 1.1 to your manifest:
Specifically, Visual Studio 2017 does not like this line:
If you are like me you have been hoping for an update to Visual Studio 2017 to fix this, but I just got word today that it did not get into the last update to Visual Studio 2017, but will make it into Visual Studio 2019. However, you do not need to run off and install Visual Studio 2019 once it is available. There is a workaround, and here are the steps to follow:
If you have an updated Exchange 2016 Server CU9 or later, you can browse to this folder:
Rename the existing file to MailAppVersionOverridesV1_1.old.
Copy the version of the MailAppVersionOverridesV1_1.xsd you got from your Exchange Server here.
At this point you should be good to go.
But wait!?!?! You say you don’t have an Exchange Server? You use Office 365 and your instance of Exchange is up in the cloud? OK… Now this is not the “preferred” method, but it will get the job done. I created a GIST, and you can download it from here. Simply view RAW, copy, open Notepad, paste, Save As: MailAppVersionOverridesV1_1.xsd, and then you have your file.
I will be presenting a demo at the MVP Summit 2018 for Outlook and also helping with some labs in Excel on the OfficeJS platform. In preparation, I updated my Outlook Sample on my GitHub. This sample was created in VSCode via a Yeoman template.
What the add-in does is a check of all users on the To/CC/BCC line, splits apart any groups (or groups in groups) and then checks to see if any of the user emails are external to your domain. If any external users are found it prompts you with dialog asking if you are sure you want to send:
The updated add-in demonstrates:
The OnSend event
The use of dialogs
And the newly added ExpandDL function for Exchange Web Services through the makeEwsRequestAsync() call.
In this sample, I am using both of my libraries:
easyEws – to help with the ExpandDL call. Updated in a previous post.
I also had to create a set of asynchronous functions and asynchronous recursive function calls to perform this work – which got a tad complex. For now all the code is in the function-file.js, but to help with splitting out all recipients and groups I might build this into a new library. For example, here is the function to recursively call itself asynchronously (splitting groups in groups in groups in groups…):
With recent changes to Exchange Online, the ExpandDL functionality has been added to the makeEwsRequestAsync function. As such this function, which was previously “advertised” in easyEws (but marked as **DO NOT USE**), now functions as designed.
I just posted a new Outlook sample on GitHub. I have created something very similar to this sample for a couple of customers now and have been using this as a template. What this sample does is place a button on the Ribbon for users to report suspicious email to the administrator. The user will get the option to select why they think it is suspicious as well as provide a comment. When they click Send, it will email the administrator. The email address which receives this notification is configured in the URL for the add-in page via the manifest XML.
Anyway, I wanted to share this basic sample with the community so others can use this to quickly implement similar solutions in their environment.
I have recently updated the OfficeJS.dialogs to version 1.0.8. I have also updated the Node Package Manager version as well. You can get it by running the following command in the VSCode Terminal Window:
npm install officejs.dialogs
With this latest version comes a few bug fixes, some cleanup of the code, cleaner JSDoc documentation and a PrintPreview dialog. The PrintPreview started out as a proof of concept but it actually works for me – in the browser anyway. I am not sure how well it will work in any of the full clients as I have not tested it there yet. If anyone has a chance to test it, please let me know if you encounter any issues.
Here is a sample of the PrintPreview dialog:
Here is some code to implement it:
// this example takes the currently composed email message in Outlook,
// grabs its body HTML and then displays it in the Print Preview dialog.