Gets a string that represents a collection of people.
The OSC calls GetFriendsAndColleagues if the OSC provider supports cached or hybrid synchronization of friends on the social network. When the OSC initially calls the GetFriendsAndColleagues method for the Outlook user who is logged on to the social network, GetFriendsAndColleagues returns an XML string that represents friends of the logged-on user on the social network. The XML string complies with the friends XML schema definition and specifies a person element (which also complies with the OSC provider schema definition) for each friend.
When GetFriendsAndColleagues returns the friends information for the logged-on user, the OSC stores that information in a contacts folder. This folder is specific to the social network and resides in the logged-on user’s default Outlook store. For more information about how the OSC caches friends’ information in a contacts folder, see Synchronizing Friends and Activities.
Information for each friend returned in the personsCollection parameter complies with the XML schema definition for person. The person element supports many pieces of information for each friend, including the SMTP email addresses (which map to the emailAddress, emailAddress2, and emailAddress3 elements) that the friend has specified on the social network, and the user ID (which maps to the userID element) that identifies that friend on the social network.
To show activities for an Outlook user selected in the People Pane, the OSC tries to match the user with each friend returned from GetFriendsAndColleagues. The OSC does this by matching the SMTP address of the selected Outlook user with the email addresses that each friend has specified on the social network. If the OSC finds a matching SMTP email address, the OSC uses the corresponding userID of the friend to call the ISocialSession::GetPerson method. It does this to obtain an ISocialPerson object for that friend, which then enables the OSC to get activities and pictures of that friend from the social network.
However, if the selected Outlook user does not specify that same SMTP address on an account on the social network, or if the Outlook user does not have an account on that social network, the OSC will not be able to find a match for that user and will not display any activities for that user on the social network.