Programming examples for referencing items and folders in Outlook 2000

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Summary

The Microsoft Outlook object model is commonly used to access various types of items in folders. This article provides an overview of the various methods, properties, and objects that can be used to refer to Outlook items and folders.

This article summarizes the following topics:

Referencing Existing Folders

  • GetDefaultFolder Method
  • Folders Object
  • Parent Property
  • GetSharedDefaultFolder Method
  • GetFolderFromID Method

Creating and Referencing New Folders

  • Folders.Add Method

Creating and Referencing New Items

  • CreateItem Method
  • Items.Add Method
  • CreateItemFromTemplate Method

Referencing Existing Items

  • Using Items(I) or For Each...Next
  • Using Items("This is the subject")
  • Find Method
  • Restrict Method
  • GetItemFromID Method

More information

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language being demonstrated and the tools used to create and debug procedures. Microsoft support professionals can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific needs.
If you have limited programming experience, you may want to contact a Microsoft Certified Partner or Microsoft Advisory Services. For more information, visit these Microsoft Web sites:

Microsoft Certified Partners - https://partner.microsoft.com/global/30000104

Microsoft Advisory Services - http://support.microsoft.com/gp/advisoryservice

For more information about the support options that are available and about how to contact Microsoft, visit the following Microsoft Web site:http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;EN-US;CNTACTMSNOTE: Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) code must use the numeric value of the constants that are defined in the Outlook object library. You can find a listing of these values in the Microsoft Outlook Visual Basic Reference Help file (Vbaoutl9.chm) in the "Microsoft Outlook Constants" topic.

Referencing Existing Folders

GetDefaultFolder Method:

Default folders are those that are at the same level as the Inbox that receives incoming mail. If you have more than one Inbox in your profile, pressing CTRL+SHIFT+I selects the default Inbox. The default folders are those that most users work with regularly, such as the Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks folders. You can easily refer to these folders using the GetDefaultFolder method. GetDefaultFolder takes one argument, which is the type of folder you want to refer to. The following examples assign the object variable MyFolder to the default Contacts folder:

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderContacts)
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(10)
				

Folders Object

You can use the Folders object to refer to any folder that is visible in the Outlook folder list. This object is typically used to refer to an Exchange public folder or any other folder that is not a default Outlook folder.

The following examples illustrate how to refer to a public folder called "My Public Folder." Note that you typically start at the top-most folder and work your way down to the folder you need to reference. Also note that the folder names are case-sensitive and must exactly match the names as they appear in the Outlook folder list.
' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set MyFolder1 = olns.Folders("Public Folders")
Set MyFolder2 = MyFolder1.Folders("All Public Folders")
Set MyFolder3 = MyFolder2.Folders("My Public Folder")
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set MyFolder1 = olns.Folders("Public Folders")
Set MyFolder2 = MyFolder1.Folders("All Public Folders")
Set MyFolder3 = MyFolder2.Folders("My Public Folder")
				
The following examples illustrate how you can refer to a folder called "Business Tasks," which is a subfolder of the default Tasks folder.

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set MyTasksFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderTasks)
Set MyFolder = MyTasksFolder.Folders("Business Tasks")
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set MyTasksFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(13)
Set MyFolder = MyTasksFolder.Folders("Business Tasks")
				

Parent Property

If you already have a reference to an Outlook item or folder, then you can use its Parent property to create a reference to the folder the item or folder is located in.

The following examples return the name of a folder for a particular item:

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set MyItem = ol.CreateItem(olMailItem) ' Create new item.
MyItem.Save                            ' Save it to Drafts.
Set MyFolder = MyItem.Parent           ' MyFolder = Drafts.
				

' VBScript code example.
' Returns the folder of the current item.
Set MyFolder = Item.Parent
				

GetSharedDefaultFolder

You can use this method if someone has given you delegate permissions to one of their default folders.

For additional information about accessing other people's folders, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
195781 How to open someone else's calendar or other folder

The GetSharedDefaultFolder method is used in the same fashion as GetDefaultFolder, except you specify one additional argument -- the name of the other person's folder you want to reference. This example first resolves the other person's name to verify that it is a valid name that can be used with the GetSharedDefaultFolder method.

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set myRecipient = olns.CreateRecipient("John Smith")
myRecipient.Resolve
If myRecipient.Resolved Then
   Set JohnFolder=olns.GetSharedDefaultFolder _
      (myRecipient, olFolderContacts)
End If
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set myRecipient = olns.CreateRecipient("John Smith")
myRecipient.Resolve
If myRecipient.Resolved Then
   Set JohnFolder = olns.GetSharedDefaultFolder(myRecipient, 10)
End If
				

GetFolderFromID

This method would typically be used only in more complex solutions where a solution keeps track of both the StoreID and EntryID of a folder so that it can be quickly referenced at a later time.

For additional information about using the GetFolderFromID method, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
201074 Programming with EntryIDs and StoreIDs in Outlook 2000

Creating and Referencing New Folders

Folders.Add Method

Using the Add method on the Folders collection allows you to create a new folder. The first argument specifies the name of the folder and the second argument specifies the type of folder. The following example adds a Business Tasks subfolder in your default Tasks folder. Because the folder type is not specified, it will inherit the type of the parent folder.

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set MyTasksFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderTasks)
Set MyNewFolder = MyTasksFolder.Folders.Add("Business Tasks")
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set MyTasksFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(13)
Set MyNewFolder = MyTasksFolder.Folders.Add("Business Tasks")
				

Creating and Referencing New Items

CreateItem Method

The CreateItem method creates a new default Outlook item. If you need to create an item based on a custom form you have created, use the Items.Add method below. The CreateItem method is conveniently located off of the top-level application object in the Outlook object model. The method takes only one argument, a constant indicating the type of item to create.

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set MyTaskItem = ol.CreateItem(olTaskItem)
MyTaskItem.Display
				

   ' VBScript code example.
   Set MyTasktem = Item.Application.CreateItem(3)
   MyTaskItem.Display
				

Items.Add Method

Using the Add method on the Items collection allows you to create a new item based on any message class, whether it is a default Outlook message class such as IPM.Contact, or a message class for a custom form, such as IPM.Contact.MyForm. In order to use the Items.Add method, you must first reference the folder where you want to create a new item.

For additional information about message classes, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
207896 Working with form definitions and One-Off forms
201087 How to update existing items to use a new form

The following examples use the Items.Add method to create a new item based on a custom contact form called MyForm:

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set myFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderContacts)
Set MyItem = MyFolder.Items.Add("IPM.Contact.MyForm")
MyItem.Display
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set myFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(10)
Set MyItem = MyFolder.Items.Add("IPM.Contact.MyForm")
MyItem.Display
				

The following examples use the Items.Add method to create a new default contact item:
' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set myFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderContacts)
Set MyItem = MyFolder.Items.Add
MyItem.Display
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set myFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(10)
Set MyItem = MyFolder.Items.Add
MyItem.Display
				

NOTE: If you use the Items.Add method, it does not matter what the default form for the folder is. You can specify any valid message class as long as it has been published in the folder or has been published in the personal or organizational forms library.

CreateItemFromTemplate Method

Use the CreateItemFromTemplate method to create a new item based on an Outlook template file (.oft) or .msg file format. Because most forms are published in a folder or forms library, this method is not commonly used. Probably the most common reason to use this method would be if you were creating a Microsoft Visual Basic Setup program to install forms for an Outlook solution. This would typically be done for users who do not have network access or typically work offline in Outlook. The Visual Basic program would do the following:
  • Automate Outlook.
  • Use CreateItemFromTemplate to open a form from a network share or disk.
  • Using the Outlook object model, publish the form for later use.
    ' Automation code example.
    Set ol = New Outlook.Application
    Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
    ' Set MyFolder to the default contacts folder.
    Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderContacts)
    ' Set MyItem to an .oft file on a floppy disk.
    Set MyItem = ol.CreateItemFromTemplate("A:\Contact.oft")
    ' Set MyForm to the item Form Description for publishing.
    Set MyForm = MyItem.FormDescription
    ' Name the form, which also sets its message class.
    MyForm.Name = "My Contact"
    ' Publish the folder to the Contacts folder.
    MyForm.PublishForm olFolderRegistry, MyFolder
    ' Close and do not save changes to the item.
    MyItem.Close olDiscard
    						

Referencing Existing Items

Using Items(I) or For Each...Next

Typically these approaches are used to loop through all of the items in a folder. The Items collection contains all of the items in a particular folder and you can specify which item to reference by using an index with the Items collection. This is typically used with the For I = 1 to n programming construct.

You can use the For Each...Next programming construct to loop through the items in the collection without specifying an index. Both approaches achieve the same result.

The following examples use the Items(I) approach to loop through all of the contacts in the Contacts folder and display their FullName field in a dialog box.

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
' Set MyFolder to the default contacts folder.
Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderContacts)
' Get the number of items in the folder.
NumItems = MyFolder.Items.Count
' Set MyItem to the collection of items in the folder.
Set MyItems = MyFolder.Items
' Loop through all of the items in the folder.
For I = 1 to NumItems
   MsgBox MyItems(I).FullName
Next
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
' Set MyFolder to the default contacts folder.
Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(10)
' Get the number of items in the folder.
NumItems = MyFolder.Items.Count
' Set MyItem to the collection of items in the folder.
Set MyItems = MyFolder.Items
' Loop through all of the items in the folder.
For I = 1 to NumItems
   MsgBox MyItems(I).FullName
Next
				

The following examples use the For Each...Next construct to achieve the same result as the preceding examples:

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
' Set MyFolder to the default contacts folder.
Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderContacts)
' Set MyItems to the collection of items in the folder.
Set MyItems = MyFolder.Items
For Each SpecificItem in MyItems
   MsgBox SpecificItem.FullName
Next
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
' Set MyFolder to the default contacts folder.
Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(10)
' Set MyItem to the collection of items in the folder.
Set MyItems = MyFolder.Items
For Each SpecificItem in MyItems
   MsgBox SpecificItem.FullName
Next
				

Using Items("This is the subject")

You can also use the Items collection and specify a text string that matches the Subject field of an item. This approach is not commonly used.

The following examples display an item in the Inbox whose subject contains "Please help on Friday!"

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
' Set MyFolder to the default Inbox.
Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderInbox)
Set MyItem = MyFolder.Items("Please help on Friday!")
MyItem.Display
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
' Set MyFolder to the default Inbox.
Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(6)
Set MyItem = MyFolder.Items("Please help on Friday!")
MyItem.Display
				

Find Method

Use the Find method to search for an item in a folder based on the value of one of its fields. If the Find is successful, you can then use the FindNext method to check for additional items that meet the same search criteria.

The following examples search to see if you have any high priority appointments.

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNamespace("MAPI")
Set myFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderTasks)
Set MyTasks = myFolder.Items
' Importance corresponds to Priority on the task form.
Set MyTask = MyTasks.Find("[Importance] = ""High""")
If MyTask Is Nothing Then ' the Find failed
   MsgBox "Nothing important. Go party!"
Else
   MsgBox "You have something important to do!"
End If
				

' VBScript code example.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNamespace("MAPI")
Set myFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(13)
Set MyTasks = myFolder.Items
' Importance corresponds to Priority on the task form.
Set MyTask = MyTasks.Find("[Importance] = ""High""")
If MyTask Is Nothing Then ' the Find failed
   MsgBox "Nothing important. Go party!"
Else
   MsgBox "You have something important to do!"
End If
				

Restrict Method

The Restrict method is similar to the Find method, but instead of returning a single item, it returns a collection of items that meet the search criteria. For example, you might use this method to find all contacts who work at the same company.

The following examples display all of the contacts who work at ACME Software:

' Automation code example.
Set ol = New Outlook.Application
Set olns = ol.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderContacts)
Set MyItems = MyFolder.Items
MyClause = "[CompanyName] = ""ACME Software"""
Set MyACMEItems = MyItems.Restrict(MyClause)
For Each MyItem in MyACMEItems
   MyItem.Display
Next
				

' VBScript code example.
' Requires VBScript version 2.0 or later.
Set olns = Item.Application.GetNameSpace("MAPI")
Set MyFolder = olns.GetDefaultFolder(10)
Set MyItems = MyFolder.Items
MyClause = "[CompanyName] = ""ACME Software"""
Set MyACMEItems = MyItems.Restrict(MyClause)
For Each MyItem in MyACMEItems
   MyItem.Display
Next
				
For additional information about using the Restrict Method, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
201081 Using Find and Restrict to retrieve items

GetItemFromID Method

This method would typically be used only in more complex solutions where a solution keeps track of both the StoreID and EntryID of an item so that it can be quickly retrieved at a later time.

For additional information about using the GetFolderFromID method, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
201074 Programming with EntryIDs and StoreIDs

References

For additional information about available resources and answers to commonly-asked questions about Microsoft Outlook 2000 solutions, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
146636 Questions about custom forms and Outlook solutions
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Properties

Article ID: 208520 - Last Review: June 22, 2014 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbautomation kbcode kbhowto kbprogramming KB208520

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