Developing a Provider with the OSC XML Schema

Last modified: July 09, 2010

Applies to: Office 2007 | Outlook 2010 | SharePoint Server 2010

The Microsoft Outlook Social Connector (OSC) provider XML schema defines the format of a significant amount of information that is passed from a social network through the network’s OSC provider to the OSC. The XML schema allows an OSC provider to specify capabilities of the provider, friends, and activity feed items on the social network, by using the three main elements, capabilities, friends, and activityFeed, and their child elements. The OSC provider implements interfaces and their methods in the OSC provider extensibility, returning XML strings as output parameters that comply with the OSC provider XML schema. The OSC calls these methods to obtain information that it can understand as defined by the XML schema.

Note Note

OSC provider extensibility supports debugging providers by setting the DebugProviders value of the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Outlook\SocialConnector registry key to 1. When you turn on provider debugging, depending on how you specify the namespace in the OSC provider XML, the OSC validates the provider XML against the appropriate version of the OSC XML schema.

  • OSC 1.1 provider—Specify the xmlns attribute in the XML as follows:

    xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/outlook/2010/06/socialprovider.xsd"

    The OSC validates XML returned by a provider against the schema for OSC 1.1.

  • OSC 1.0 provider—Specify the xmlns attribute in the XML as follows:

    xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/outlook/socialprovider.xsd"

    The OSC validates XML returned by the provider against the schema for OSC 1.0.

    Providers written to the OSC 1.0 specification will continue to run with the OSC 1.1 core engine. However, these providers should be aware of the changes to how the ISocialSession::GetActivities method and the dynamicActivitiesLookup element are supported in OSC 1.1. For more details, see What's New for Providers.

Synchronizing Friends and Activities

Describes the various ways that OSC providers can synchronize friends, non-friends, and activities on a social network.

OSC Provider XML Examples

Includes XML examples that show how to specify capabilities of an OSC provider, friends, and activity feed items on a social network by using the OSC XML schema.

XML for Capabilities

Explains the ISocialProvider::GetCapabilities method that the OSC uses to obtain capabilities information, expressed in capabilities XML, from the OSC provider. This section also describes the XML elements in the OSC provider XML schema that allow an OSC provider to specify its functionality, including how it authenticates users and synchronizes friends and activities.

XML for Friends

Gives examples of the APIs that the OSC uses to obtain friends’ information, expressed in friends XML, from the OSC provider. This section also describes elements in the friends XML.

XML for Activities

Gives examples of the APIs that the OSC uses to obtain activities information, expressed in activityFeed XML, from the OSC provider. This section also describes the XML elements in the OSC provider XML schema that allow an OSC provider to specify an activity feed. An activity feed includes the network where the activity feed items originated, details of each activity feed item (such as owner, type, and publish date of the activity), and the template to display the activity.

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