How to use the Microsoft Outlook Object Library to retrieve a contact by using Visual C#

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Article ID: 310260 - View products that this article applies to.
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This article describes how to use the Microsoft Outlook 2002 Object Library or the Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Object Library to retrieve a contact by using Microsoft Visual C#.


To use the Outlook 2002 Object Library or the Outlook 2003 Object Library to retrieve a contact by using Microsoft Visual C#, follow these steps:
  1. In Microsoft Visual Studio .NET or in Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, create a new Console Application project:
    1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Project.
    2. Under Project Types, click Visual C# Projects.

      Note In Visual Studio 2005, click Visual C# under Project Types.
    3. Under Templates, click Console Application.
    4. Click OK. By default, a file that is named Class1.cs is created.

      Note In Visual Studio 2005, Program.cs is created by default.
  2. Add a reference to either the Outlook 2002 Object Library or the Outlook 2003 Object Library. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. On the Project menu, click Add Reference.
    2. Click the COM tab.
    3. On the COM tab, click Microsoft Outlook 11.0 Object Library if you are using Outlook 2003, or click Microsoft Outlook 10.0 Object Library if you are using Outlook 2002.
    4. Click Select.

      Note In Visual Studio 2005, you do not have to click Select.
    5. In the Add References dialog box, click OK.
    6. Note If you receive a message to generate wrappers for the libraries that you selected, click Yes.
  3. In the Class1.cs code window, replace all the existing code with the following code:
    using System;
    using System.Reflection; // to use Missing.Value
    //TO DO: If you use the Microsoft Outlook 11.0 Object Library, uncomment the following line.
    //using Outlook = Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook;
    namespace ReadContact
       public class Class1
          public static int Main(string[] args)
                // Create the Outlook application.
                Outlook.Application oApp = new Outlook.Application();
                // Get the NameSpace information.
                Outlook.NameSpace oNS = oApp.GetNamespace("mapi");
                // Log on by using a dialog box to choose the profile.
                oNS.Logon(Missing.Value, Missing.Value, true, true);
                // Alternate logon method that uses a specific profile.
                // TODO: If you use this logon method, 
                //  change the profile name to an appropriate value.
                //oNS.Logon("YourValidProfile", Missing.Value, false, true); 
                // Get the default Contacts folder.
                Outlook.MAPIFolder oContacts = oNS.GetDefaultFolder(Outlook.OlDefaultFolders.olFolderContacts);
                // Get the Items collection from the folder.
                Outlook.Items oItems = (Outlook.Items)oContacts.Items;
                // Get the first contact item in the Items collection.
                Outlook.ContactItem oCt = (Outlook.ContactItem)oItems.GetFirst();
                // Output some common properties.
                // Display the contact.
                // Log off.
                // Explicitly release objects.
                oCt = null;
                oItems = null;
                oContacts = null;
                oNS = null;
                oApp = null;
             //Simple error handling.
             catch (Exception e)
                Console.WriteLine("{0} Exception caught.", e);
             //Default return value.
             return 0;
  4. In this code, make any necessary changes where you see the "TO DO" comments.
  5. Press F5 to build and then run the program.


For more information, visit the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site:


Article ID: 310260 - Last Review: June 29, 2007 - Revision: 4.7
  • Microsoft Visual C# 2005
  • Microsoft Visual C# .NET 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C# .NET 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
kbinterop kbcode kboutlookobj kbhowto KB310260

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