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Debugging a Provider

There are several ways you can debug a Microsoft Outlook Social Connector (OSC) provider:

  • By using debug commands in the ribbon component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface in Outlook to cause the OSC to take various actions.

  • By using MFCMAPI to debug cached activities.

  • By using Fiddler to trace API calls and XML sent between a social network and its OSC provider

Debug Buttons

The OSC provider extensibility provides the capability of debugging an OSC provider. To debug a provider, create a DebugProviders value of type DWORD in the Windows registry under the SocialConnector key (as shown in the following line), and set the DebugProviders value to 1.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\SocialConnector

By default, provider debugging is off. If the DebugProviders value is not present, or it is present and set to a value of 0, provider debugging is turned off.

If provider debugging is turned on, the OSC displays an alert dialog box with verbose error information when an error occurs, and validates any OSC provider XML against the OSC provider XML schema. Based on the namespace specified for an XML string, an OSC provider developed by using OSC 1.0 is validated against the OSC 1.0 schema file, OutlookSocialProvider.xsd. An OSC provider developed by using OSC 1.1 is validated against the OSC 1.1 schema file, OutlookSocialProvider_1.1.xsd. When you use the DebugProviders value, the debug alert appears for all loaded providers instead of a specific provider.

To display debug buttons that can help you debug a provider, create a ShowDebugButtons value of type DWORD in the Windows registry under the SocialConnector key, and set the ShowDebugButtons value to 1. To hide the debug command bar buttons, set the ShowDebugButtons value to 0.

For Microsoft Outlook 2010, the debug buttons appear on the Add-ins tab of the explorer ribbon. For Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2003, the debug buttons appear on the standard command bar of the Outlook explorer window.

The following table describes the debug buttons.

Debug button Function

Sync Feeds

Causes the OSC to ask the OSC provider for cached activities only.

Sync Contacts

Causes the OSC to ask the OSC provider for cached contacts only.

GAL Sync

Causes the OSC to populate data from the Microsoft Exchange Global Address List to Outlook contacts.

Clear AFI Cache

Clears the in-memory activity cache.

Clear Contact Cache

Clears the in-memory contact cache.

Invalidate Category Cache

Causes the OSC to reload the category list for each store when the activity feed is refreshed.

MFCMAPI

MFCMAPI is a low-level tool for accessing Outlook data. MFCMAPI is available for download at MFCMAPI. MFCMAPI allows you to unhide the hidden News Feed folder so that you can determine whether activity items are being cached by the OSC provider in that folder. Activities are created in the News Feed folder only when the provider’s capabilities XML specifies that the provider supports cached activities.

To unhide the News Feed folder

  1. Launch MFCMAPI.

  2. Point to Logon and Display Store Table on the Session menu.

  3. In the store table list view, double-click the store that represents the default store for the profile.

  4. Expand the IPM_SUBTREE node.

  5. Click the News Feed folder under the root of IPM_SUBTREE.

  6. Double-click PR_ATTR_HIDDEN in the property list view for the News Feed folder.

  7. Uncheck the Boolean check box to unhide the News Feed folder, and then click OK.

Fiddler

Fiddler is an over-the-wire debugging tool to check the API calls sent from your provider to the social network, and XML sent by the social network to your provider. Fiddler is available for download at Fiddler Web Debugging Proxy.

See also

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