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Current development technologies for Exchange

Exchange

Learn about the development technologies that you can use to build applications that work with Exchange.

Last modified: November 05, 2013

Applies to: EWS Managed API | Exchange Online | Exchange Server 2003 | Exchange Server 2007 | Exchange Server 2010 | Exchange Server 2013 | Office 365

In this article
EWS Managed API
EWS
Mail apps for Outlook
Outlook object model
Exchange Management Shell
VSS backup and restore
Exchange transport agents
In this section
Additional resources

This article provides an overview of the primary Exchange development technologies that you can use to create custom applications for Exchange. While other development technologies are also available, we recommend that you use these technologies if possible because they are more current and easier to use.

The articles in this section provide evaluation criteria that you can use to determine which development technology is right for your project.

The Exchange Web Services (EWS) Managed API provides an intuitive interface for developing client applications that use EWS. The API enables unified access to Exchange resources, while using Outlook–compatible business logic. The EWS Managed API communicates with the Exchange Client Access server by means of EWS SOAP messages.

If you're using the .NET Framework, and you want to connect to your Exchange mailbox, we recommend that you use the EWS Managed API. The object model is much easier to use than raw XML or the autogenerated .NET Framework class library to access EWS.

You can use the EWS Managed API to access EWS in versions of Exchange starting with Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1), including Exchange Online.

For more information, see Explore the EWS Managed API and Explore the EWS Managed API, EWS, and web services in Exchange.

Exchange Web Services (EWS) provides an XML messaging interface that enables you to manage Exchange store items and access Exchange server functionality from client applications.

EWS was introduced in Exchange 2007. Subsequent product releases introduce new EWS features. The following table lists the versions of Exchange that include EWS and the major features that were introduced in each version. You can use this information to determine what features are available when you are running your code against multiple versions of Exchange, or to determine what server version you need to be running for a scenario that requires certain features.

Table 1:  EWS features by product version

Product version

Features

Exchange Online

Includes all the features in the current version of Exchange in addition to any new features that are added for online clients.

Exchange 2013

Includes all features introduced in Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010. The following features were introduced in Exchange 2013:

  • Archiving

  • eDiscovery

  • Personas

  • Retention policies

  • Unified Contact Store

  • User photos

Exchange 2010 SP2

Includes all the features introduced in Exchange 2010 SP1. The following features were introduced in Exchange 2010 SP2:

  • Get Password Expiration

  • DateTime precision

  • Updated property identifiers for contacts

  • New impersonation scenarios

Exchange 2010 SP1

Includes all the features introduced in Exchange 2010. The following features were introduced in Exchange 2010 SP1:

  • Create, retrieve and modify Inbox rules

  • Programmatic access to Archive Mailbox

  • Conversations actions

  • Firewall traversing notifications

  • Improved administration features

  • Improved mixed version support

  • Throttling protection support

  • Control of application access to EWS

  • Client certificate authentication support

Exchange 2010

Includes all features introduced in Exchange 2007 SP1. The following features were introduced in the initial release version of Exchange 2010:

  • Full Private Distribution List

  • User Configuration Objects

  • Folder Associated Items

  • Message tracking

  • Unified Messaging

  • SOAP Autodiscover

  • Enhanced Time Zone support

  • Room resource availability information

  • Indexed search

  • Dumpster access

  • MailTips information

Exchange 2007 SP1

Includes all the features introduced in Exchange 2007. The following features were introduced in Exchange 2007 SP1:

  • Delegate management

  • Folder permissions

  • Public folders

  • Post items

  • ID conversion

Exchange 2007

The following features were introduced in the initial release version of Exchange 2007:

  • Full access to items, folders, and attachments (Create, Get, Update, Delete)

  • Availability

  • Out of Office settings

  • Notifications

  • Synchronization

  • Name resolution

  • Distribution list (DL) expansion

  • Search

For information about how to create client applications that use EWS, see Explore the EWS Managed API, EWS, and web services in Exchange.

Mail apps for Outlook provide a single web standards–based interface and programming model that you can use to create a custom email experience for your users; for example, you can use mail apps to display a window with a map of an address that was found in the body of the message. You can create mail apps that are simple or complex, and that use data from an Exchange server or from any service on the web. Your mail apps can fully integrate with both Outlook Web App and Outlook 2013. For more information, see Mail apps for Outlook.

You can use the Outlook object model (OOM) to create client applications that programmatically access contacts, messages, calendar items, meeting requests, tasks, and Outlook configuration information from the Exchange store. For more information about OOM, see Outlook Object Model Overview.

You can create rich client and web applications that call Exchange Management Shell commands to manage your Exchange server organization.

The applications that you create by using the Exchange Management Shell extend and complement the command-line scripts and commands in the Exchange Management Shell. You can run Exchange Management Shell applications that you create on any Windows computer that has Windows PowerShell 2.0 installed.

To learn how to create management applications for your Exchange organization, see the Exchange Management Shell.

Exchange provides features that you can use to help to keep stored data secure and available. Database Availability Groups (DAGs) enable off-site data redundancy and help ensure that Exchange customers won't lose data. Many disaster recovery plans will continue to include more traditional backup and restore methods and systems.

To create backup, restore, and recovery systems that use Exchange and Windows Server operating system technologies, see the Backup and restore for Exchange 2013.

Exchange provides a library of classes that support the extension of the Exchange transport behavior and enable the reading, writing, and converting of content types.

You can create Exchange transport applications by using the concepts and classes described in the Transport agents in Exchange 2013.

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