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How to: Store Solution-Specific Data as a Hidden Message in a Folder

This content is outdated and is no longer being maintained. It is provided as a courtesy for individuals who are still using these technologies. This page may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

This example shows how to use the StorageItem object to retrieve data that is stored as a hidden message of a specific message class in a folder.

The StorageItem object is typically used to hide solution-specific data that cannot be displayed programmatically. In an Exchange environment, the StorageItem object is used to roam solution settings and ensure that these settings are available online and offline. You can assign a custom message class to the StorageItem object, or identify the object by subject.

The following code sample retrieves the XML data that is stored as a hidden message in the Calendar folder with the message class equal to IPM.Configuration.WorkHours.

The PropertyAccessor object returns the XML as an object that contains a byte stream rather than a string representation of the XML. The code sample uses System.Text.Encoding.Ascii.GetString to convert the byte stream to a string.

If you use Microsoft Visual Studio to test this code sample, you must first add a reference to the Microsoft Outlook 12.0 Object Library component and specify the Outlook variable when you import the Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook namespace. The Imports or using statements must not occur right before the functions in the Code section but must be added before the public Class declaration. The following lines of code show how to do the import and assignment in Visual Basic and in C#:

using Outlook = Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook;
private string GetWorkHoursXML()
        Outlook.StorageItem storage =
        Outlook.PropertyAccessor pa = storage.PropertyAccessor;
        // PropertyAccessor will return a byte array for this property
        byte[] rawXmlBytes = (byte[])pa.GetProperty(
        // Use Encoding to convert the array to a string
        return System.Text.Encoding.ASCII.GetString(rawXmlBytes);
        return string.Empty;
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