XML for Activities

Office 2013 and later

This topic contains an example scenario that shows the Outlook Social Connector (OSC) provider extensibility API calls that an OSC provider implements and the OSC makes to obtain activities information. Information is expressed in XML strings that conform to the OSC provider XML schema.

The OSC provider XML schema allows an OSC provider to define activities. Activity information can include the social 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. To support showing activities on the People Pane or Contact Card, a social network’s OSC provider must implement and return the correct activities XML. For an example of activity feed XML, see Activity Feed XML Example. For more information about synchronizing friends’ activities, see Synchronizing Friends and Activities. For a complete definition of the OSC provider XML schema, including which elements are required or optional, see Outlook Social Connector Provider XML Schema.

In the following scenario, the OSC dynamically synchronizes activities for a person selected in the People Pane, and gets details about that person:

  1. An OSC provider that supports on-demand synchronization of activities indicates that to the OSC by using the getActivities and dynamicActivitiesLookupEx elements. The OSC provider also sets the hashFunction element. All three elements are child elements of capabilities.

  2. The OSC provider implements the ISocialProvider::GetCapabilities and ISocialSession2::GetActivitiesEx methods.

  3. The OSC calls ISocialProvider::GetCapabilities to check the value of getActivities and dynamicActivitiesLookupEx to verify that the OSC provider supports on-demand synchronization of activities. The OSC also notes the value of the hashFunction element supported by the OSC provider.

  4. The OSC refreshes the People Pane or Contact Card to let the user see the latest activities of the selected person. The OSC encrypts the person’s SMTP address by using the hash function specified in the hashFunction element, forming an XML string that conforms to the XML schema definition for the hashedAddresses element.

  5. The OSC calls ISocialSession2::GetActivitiesEx, providing this XML string of the hashed address as the hashedAddresses parameter, to get a current collection of activities for that person in the activities parameter. The activities parameter string complies with the XML schema definition of the activityFeed element.

  6. Based on the XML schema definition for activityFeed, the OSC further parses the activities string to find out the type, publish date, and other information about each activity, and how to display the activity.

  7. To get details about the selected person, the OSC calls ISocialSession2::GetPeopleDetails, providing the same XML string of hashed addresses as the argument for the personsAddresses parameter. The details about the person are returned in the personsCollection parameter. These details can include firstName, lastName, and emailAddress. The personsCollection parameter conforms to the XML schema definition for the person element.

You can find more information about specifying XML for activities in the following topics of this section: