Where is the MAPI documentation?

Some internal partners and external customers have asked where to find the Messaging API (MAPI) documentation. Coincidentally, there were some updating issues on the MSDN server for a couple of days around the middle of the month, which caused corruption in the MSDN table of contents, looking for the MAPI documentation became a more frustrating experience.

The MAPI Programmer's Reference that the Microsoft Exchange Server group has supported for years on MSDN has been updated and republished as the Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 Messaging API (MAPI) Reference (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc765775.aspx). About two years ago, the Exchange Server group decided that they will not continue to support the MAPI documentation. Microsoft Office Outlook, being a major MAPI client itself and having many of its customers developing MAPI solutions to work with Outlook, took over the MAPI documentation and updated it last year. The resultant documentation is the Outlook 2007 MAPI Reference, which focuses on developing MAPI solutions for Outlook 2007. There are now more current code samples and numerous additional MAPI properties. Content that is no longer relevant to Outlook 2007 has been removed. For what is new and what has changed, see What's New in This Edition.

For the next few months, if you click old bookmarks set up on a browser marking Web pages of the MAPI Programmer's Reference, you will see a short passage pointing you to the Outlook 2007 MAPI Reference and other alternative Exchange references. In the longer term, the redirection from the Exchange content to the corresponding Outlook content will be automatic. For the time being, set up and navigate using new bookmarks to the Outlook content. Some URLs have been specified in this blog for your convenience; in Internet Explorer, just right-click the link and click Add to Favorites.

As some of us are aware, new content on the Internet requires anywhere from weeks to months for search engines to crawl and index, before these search engines return this new content in customer searches. The Outlook 2007 MAPI Reference was published on December 3, 2008; if you search now, in January 2009, for specific MAPI interfaces, such as the following:

Or any of the other 30 documented MAPI interfaces or 885 MAPI properties, you probably won't see results from the Outlook 2007 MAPI Reference ranked high on the list of returned results yet. Meanwhile, the way to look for documentation for specific MAPIs is to browse the table of contents on the left navigation pane of the MSDN Library. For example, if you are looking for a reference topic on a MAPI, and you don't yet have the Outlook 2007 MAPI Reference bookmarked, expand the following nodes in the navigation pane:

  1. MSDN Library
  2. Office Development
  3. 2007 Microsoft Office System
  4. Outlook 2007
  5. Outlook 2007 MAPI Reference
  6. Reference

Should the unfortunate event of last week's MSDN server update incident happen again, causing the Outlook 2007 MAPI Reference to temporarily disappear from the table of contents, feel free to send an e-mail to o12devdx@microsoft.com. Keeping our fingers crossed, with increased use of this documentation over the next few months, finding documentation on the Outlook 2007 MAPI Reference will become more efficient.