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Customizing the MessageClass Property

Office 2007

A form in Microsoft Outlook is defined as a MAPI object that is used to display a message of a particular message class in a structured format based on MAPI properties. The MessageClass property can distinguish one type of Outlook item from another. An item's message class determines the form that Outlook uses to display the item.

A custom Outlook form derives its default layout, properties, and functionality from one of the standard built-in Outlook forms. The name of a custom form's message class reflects its origin.

For example, the message class for the standard E-mail Message form is IPM.Note. The message class for a custom message form for submitting requests for time off might be IPM.Note.VacationRequest. The IPM.Note prefix tells you that the designer based the VacationRequest form on the default IPM.Note message form. The IPM prefix stands for "interpersonal message" and covers virtually all the individual items visible in Outlook.

Business Contact Manager for Outlook uses custom forms to display objects and communication history items. The following table summarizes the MessageClass property to use in creating these objects.

Business Contact Manager objectBase message classBusiness Contact Manager message class
Business ContactIPM.ContactIPM.Contact.BCM.Contact
Business NoteIPM.ActivityIPM.Activity.BCM.BusinessNote
Phone LogIPM.ActivityIPM.Activity.BCM.PhoneLog
Mail MessageIPM.NoteIPM.Activity.BCM
Business ProjectIPM.TaskIPM.Task.BCM.Project
Project TaskIPM.TaskIPM.Task.BCM.ProjectTask
Marketing CampaignIPM.TaskIPM.Task.BCM.Campaign

The improper use of the message class property will result in a Business Contact Manager entity being shown with a different layout. For example, the layout of a Business Contact form is based on the Outlook Contact Item form. The message class is IPM.Contact.BCM.Contact, which tells you that the layout of Business Contact form is based on IPM.Contact.

If you use IPM.Contact instead of IPM.Contact.BCM.Contact in creating a new Business Contact object, your data will adopt the layout of an Outlook Contact form, not a Business Contacts form. In some cases, using the wrong message class—for example, attempting to create a Business Note object with IPM.Contact—will result in an exception.

See Also

Welcome to the Business Contact Manager for Outlook Developer Guide | About Communication History Items | Office Developer Center: Outlook 2007