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Why Develop an Outlook Social Connector Provider

An Outlook Social Connector (OSC) provider allows Office users to view within an Office client application an aggregation of social information updates applied on a professional or social network site. SharePoint Server, SharePoint Workspace, Lync client, and all Office client applications that support presence information and the Contact Card support the OSC.

Using a social network provider, the OSC shows additional information about a person in the Contact Card or in the Outlook People Pane, as shown in Figure 1. Because the OSC is built on an open provider model, you can conveniently build providers to work with the OSC to display social network data (such as friends, profiles, activities, and relationship information) in Office.

Apart from public social network sites, you can also use OSC provider extensibility to build providers for line-of-business applications or internal corporate web sites and to integrate their services into Office.

Figure 1. Outlook Social Connector pane

Outlook Social Connector pane
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