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How To Automate Outlook Using Visual C++/MFC

This article was previously published under Q220600
You can programmatically control Microsoft Outlook using Microsoft Visual C++. This article demonstrates how to create contacts, create appointments, and send messages using Microsoft Outlook's object-model from Visual C++.
Follow the steps below to build and run the example:
  1. Start Visual C++ and create a new MFC EXE dialog-based application.
  2. Add a button to your dialog.
  3. Double-click the button to add a handler for it, and add the following code:
       // Start Outlook.   // If it is already running, you'll use the same instance...   _Application olApp;   COleException e;   if(!olApp.CreateDispatch("Outlook.Application", &e)) {      CString str;      str.Format("CreateDispatch() failed w/error 0x%08lx", e.m_sc);      AfxMessageBox(str, MB_SETFOREGROUND);      return;   }   // Logon. Doesn't hurt if you are already running and logged on...   NameSpace olNs(olApp.GetNamespace("MAPI"));   COleVariant covOptional((long)DISP_E_PARAMNOTFOUND, VT_ERROR);   olNs.Logon(covOptional, covOptional, covOptional, covOptional);      // Create and open a new contact   _ContactItem olItem(olApp.CreateItem(2));      // Setup Contact information...   olItem.SetFullName("James Smith");   COleDateTime bdDate;   bdDate.SetDate(1975, 9, 15);   olItem.SetBirthday(bdDate);   olItem.SetCompanyName("Microsoft");   olItem.SetHomeTelephoneNumber("704-555-8888");   olItem.SetEmail1Address("");   olItem.SetJobTitle("Developer");   olItem.SetHomeAddress("111 Main St.\nCharlotte, NC 28226");      // Save Contact   olItem.Save();      // Create a new appointment   _AppointmentItem olAppt(olApp.CreateItem(1));      // Schedule it for two minutes from now...   COleDateTime apptDate = COleDateTime::GetCurrentTime();      olAppt.SetStart((DATE)apptDate + DATE(2.0/(24.0*60.0)));      // Set other appointment info...   olAppt.SetDuration(60);   olAppt.SetSubject("Meeting to discuss plans...");   olAppt.SetBody("Meeting with James to discuss plans.");   olAppt.SetLocation("Home Office");   olAppt.SetReminderMinutesBeforeStart(1);   olAppt.SetReminderSet(TRUE);      // Save Appointment   olAppt.Save();      // Prepare a new mail message   _MailItem olMail(olApp.CreateItem(0));   olMail.SetTo("");   olMail.SetSubject("About our meeting...");   olMail.SetBody(      "Hi James,\n\n"      "\tI'll see you in two minutes for our meeting!\n\n"      "Btw: I've added you to my contact list!");   // Send the message!   olMail.Send();      AfxMessageBox("All done.", MB_SETFOREGROUND);   olNs.Logoff();						
  4. Bring up the ClassWizard (Control-W) click the Automation Tab, and choose "From a type library" under the Add Class menu.
  5. In the dialog box that comes up, navigate to the directory where Outlook is installed, and choose the Outlook type library (see table below). Select all the items it finds, and click OK to have ClassWizard generate MFC wrapper classes for all of them:
    Outlook VersionType Library

  6. Add the following just before the implementation of your button handler:
       #include "msoutl85.h" // for Outlook 2000 use msoutl9.h                         // for Outlook 2002 & Outlook 2003 use msoutl.h   // Ole-initialization class.   class OleInitClass {   public:      OleInitClass() {         OleInitialize(NULL);      }      ~OleInitClass() {         OleUninitialize();      }   };   // This global class calls OleInitialize() at   // application startup, and calls OleUninitialize()   // at application exit...   OleInitClass g_OleInitClass;						
  7. Compile and run the project. Once it has run, 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 on that day.

Automating Microsoft Outlook 2000, 2002, and 2003

You can use the sample code previously described to automate Outlook 2000, 2002, and 2003 with one small change. The Outlook 97 Namespace class member has changed to _Namespace in Outlook 2000, 2002, and 2003. To use the code above for automating Outlook 2000, 2002, and 2003 change this line:
Namespace olNS(olApp.GetNames("MAPI"));				
_Namespace olNS(olApp.GetNames("MAPI"));				
A new virus protection feature of Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003 causes a dialog box to appear advising you that a program is using your address list and sending e-mail from your computer. It asks your approval to continue.
For additional information about automation of Outlook, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
199870 How To Send a Message by Outlook Object Model with VC++
196776 Office Automation Using Visual C++
_com_ptr_t import COleDispatchDriver CoCreateInstance

Article ID: 220600 - Last Review: 01/24/2007 03:34:48 - Revision: 4.3

  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual C++, 32-bit Learning Edition 6.0
  • Microsoft Foundation Class Library 4.2
  • kbautomation kbhowto kboutlookobj KB220600