Customize the PIM Experience with Source Providers

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A Source Provider is a custom function (DLL) that you can create and implement on a Windows Mobile-based device, that customizes the PIM user experience. Source Providers and their associated Source Identification Tag values (Source IDs) are part of a mechanism that supports "Per-Provider Customization" of the PIM experience on Windows Mobile–based devices.

There are three ways you can customize the PIM experience:

Typically, a Source Provider has a corresponding associate function that is responsible for synchronizing PIM data with the Windows Mobile–based device. Data synchronized with the mobile device by this associate function is tagged with the related Source ID. When Outlook Mobile displays a PIM item, it checks to see if the item has been tagged with a Source ID. If it finds one, it invokes the Source Provider, which customizes the user interface for the PIM item.

The Windows Mobile Version 5.0 Pocket PC and Smartphone SDK contains a working sample called Register a Source Provider that demonstrates how to implement a Source Provider.


The Source Provider Customization Type Flags describe the types of customizations that a particular Source Provider supports. They are used to create the value for the Registry Key value.

The Source Provider PIM Type Ownership Flags describe the types of PIM items that are associated with a particular Source Provider. They are used to create the value for the Type Registry Key value.

When users enter new contacts and appointments, they can select a Source Provider to associate them with.

A valid Source ID is a DWORD with only 1 bit set (i.e., there are 32 possible Source IDs).

Although Contact and Appointment items, regardless of Source ID, are synchronized with Microsoft Exchange — Source IDs are not.

Source IDs are not supported for Task items.

Since Contact and Appointment items can be associated with only one Source Provider, your Source Provider installation implementation must select a Source ID that is unique in the domain of all Source Providers installed on the Windows Mobile–based device (it is considered an error to determine Source IDs prior to install). Your implementation must choose a unique Source ID by first iterating over the installed Source Providers registered in the key \HKLM\PIMSources\, and then choosing the next available Source ID (eg. 1, 2, 4, 8, 16...).

The default Source ID value is zero (0). Contact and Appointment items with a Source ID value of zero are not associated with a Source Provider, and just use the default user interface.

Your Source Provider uninstall implementation must reset the Source ID field of all associated Contact and Appointment items back to zero.

The Contact item OID is passed as a parameter to IPimSrcContactListIcon::Paint so that the Source Provider can look up any additional properties it might require in order to determine how to draw the Contact item.

Source Providers must draw using a transparent background.

See Also

Pocket Outlook Object Model Application Development for Windows Mobile-based Devices | Source Provider Customization Type Flags | Source Provider PIM Type Ownership Flags | Customize an Appointment Item's Background Color | PIMSRC_COLOR | IPimSrcContactListIcon::Paint | IPimSrcContactSummaryCard::Display | Register a Source Provider

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