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How to automate Outlook by using Visual Basic

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This article was previously published under Q220595
This article demonstrates how to programmatically control Microsoft Outlook using Automation from Visual Basic. The example demonstrates creating contacts, creating appointments, and sending messages by using Microsoft Outlook's object-model.
Follow the steps below to create and run the example. To run the sample, you need an early-bound reference to a Microsoft Outlook type library. The following table lists the file names of the type libraries for the different versions of Microsoft Outlook:
Outlook versionHow type library appears in references listFilename
Outlook 97"Microsoft Outlook 8.0 Object Library"msoutl8.olb
msoutl8.olb"Microsoft Outlook 98 Object Library"msoutl85.olb
Outlook 2000"Microsoft Outlook 9.0 Object Library"msoutl9.olb
Outlook 2002"Microsoft Outlook 10.0 Object Library"msoutl.olb
Office Outlook 2003"Microsoft Outlook 11.0 Object Library"msoutl.olb

Building the automation sample

  1. Start Visual Basic, and create a new Standard EXE project.
  2. From the Project menu, choose References and select Microsoft Outlook.
  3. Add a button to your form.
  4. Double-click the button, and then add the following code:
     ' Start Outlook. ' If it is already running, you'll use the same instance...   Dim olApp As Outlook.Application   Set olApp = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")     ' Logon. Doesn't hurt if you are already running and logged on...   Dim olNs As Outlook.NameSpace   Set olNs = olApp.GetNamespace("MAPI")   olNs.Logon ' Create and Open a new contact.   Dim olItem As Outlook.ContactItem   Set olItem = olApp.CreateItem(olContactItem) ' Setup Contact information...   With olItem      .FullName = "James Smith"      .Birthday = "9/15/1975"      .CompanyName = "Microsoft"      .HomeTelephoneNumber = "704-555-8888"      .Email1Address = ""      .JobTitle = "Developer"      .HomeAddress = "111 Main St." & vbCr & "Charlotte, NC 28226"   End With    ' Save Contact...   olItem.Save     ' Create a new appointment.   Dim olAppt As Outlook.AppointmentItem   Set olAppt = olApp.CreateItem(olAppointmentItem)     ' Set start time for 2-minutes from now...   olAppt.Start = Now() + (2# / 24# / 60#)     ' Setup other appointment information...   With olAppt      .Duration = 60      .Subject = "Meeting to discuss plans..."      .Body = "Meeting with " & olItem.FullName & " to discuss plans."      .Location = "Home Office"      .ReminderMinutesBeforeStart = 1      .ReminderSet = True   End With     ' Save Appointment...   olAppt.Save     ' Send a message to your new contact.   Dim olMail As Outlook.MailItem   Set olMail = olApp.CreateItem(olMailItem) ' Fill out & send message...   olMail.To = olItem.Email1Address   olMail.Subject = "About our meeting..."   olMail.Body = _        "Dear " & olItem.FirstName & ", " & vbCr & vbCr & vbTab & _        "I'll see you in 2 minutes for our meeting!" & vbCr & vbCr & _        "Btw: I've added you to my contact list."   olMail.Send     ' Clean up...   MsgBox "All done...", vbMsgBoxSetForeground   olNS.Logoff   Set olNs = Nothing   Set olMail = Nothing   Set olAppt = Nothing   Set olItem = Nothing   Set olApp = Nothing						
  5. Run the project, and click the button to run the code.
Once the code runs, you should have a new contact named "James Smith," an appointment scheduled in two minutes with a reminder to appear in one minute, and have sent a message to Also, because you added a birthday for your contact (9/15), a recurring event was added for your Outlook Calendar to remind you of the day.

New to Outlook 2002 are the two dialog boxes: one warning you that a program is trying to access e-mail addresses you have stored in Outlook and asking if you want to allow this, and another message to the effect that a program is trying to send e-mail. This feature will protect you from unknowingly being used by a virus that sends e-mail from your system.

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
290500 Description of the developer-related e-mail security features in Outlook 2002
For more information about Outlook programming resources, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
166368 Resources for custom forms and programming in Outlook 97
180826 Resources for custom forms and programming in Outlook 98
271225 Resources for custom forms and programming in Outlook 2000
287531 List of resources for custom forms and programming with Outlook 2002
313802 How to retrieve contacts by using Outlook object model in Visual Basic .NET
313788 How to create an appointment by using Outlook object model in Microsoft Visual Basic .NET

Article ID: 220595 - Last Review: 03/15/2006 07:00:42 - Revision: 9.4

  • Microsoft Visual Basic Enterprise Edition for Windows 6.0
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000
  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 98 Standard Edition
  • kbautomation kbhowto kboutlookobj KB220595