Developing MAPI Form Servers

Last modified: July 23, 2011

Applies to: Outlook

This section describes the process of creating form server executable and form configuration files for creating custom MAPI forms. Before reading this section, you should familiarize yourself with the information in MAPI Forms.

Developing a form server includes the following steps:

  1. Deciding what information the form will contain and choosing a set of properties to hold that information. For more information, see Choosing a Form's Property Set.

  2. Designing a user interface with which users can interact with the form's properties.

  3. Choosing a message class and generating a unique class identifier (CLSID). For an overview of message classes, see MAPI Message Classes. For more information about message classes and forms, see Choosing a Message Class.

  4. Implementing the required MAPI form interfaces, as well as any optional interfaces that your particular form server needs. For more information, see Writing Form Server Code.

  5. Writing user interface code to handle the user's interaction with the form object and the properties the form uses.

  6. Creating a form configuration file for the form. For more information, see File Format of Form Configuration Files.

  7. Installing the form on users' computers. For more information, see Installing a Form into a Library.

You will most likely perform steps 1 through 5 simultaneously rather than completing them in sequence. The process of developing a form server, like many programming projects, is not one in which there is a particularly well-defined sequence. For example, creating a form configuration file is shown as the second-to-last step above, but you will probably create your form configuration file incrementally, and it will become more complete as you add features to your form server.

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