Walkthrough: Creating an Intermediate Declarative Outlook Solution

In this walkthrough, you create a declarative solution in Microsoft Outlook that displays the order history of a customer in a task pane when the Business Contact inspector is open for a customer in Outlook.

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

The external system used in this case is the AdventureWorks Web service that is included in the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Software Development Kit (SDK). For more information about the Web service, see Code Sample: AdventureWorks2008 ASP.NET Web Service.

The solution also shows how to create a custom ribbon button that has an Action for the Customer external content type. The following figures show how the aspects of the sample declarative solution appear in Outlook.

In Figure 1, the main Outlook window shows a custom view of the folder containing the Customer information.

Figure 1. Custom Outlook view of folder with customers in main Outlook window

Outlook custom view of Customers folder

In Figure 2, the Inspector window in Outlook shows a Customer. Additional properties are shown in an adjoining custom form region.

Figure 2. Inspector window in Outlook

Customer Properties in Outlook Inspector

In Figure 3, the order history of the customer is shown in the task pane by using External Data Parts.

Figure 3. Inspector window in Outlook with Customer and task pane with order history.

Customer Properties in Outlook Inspector

Figure 4 shows the custom menu on the ribbon displaying ribbon and actions. The URL action enabled via the ribbon links directly to a Web page.

Figure 4. Custom menu on the ribbon

Custom ribbon with actions


  1. Create a folder on your development computer to store the solution artifacts.

  2. Name this folder Solution Artifacts (this is the name that is used throughout this walkthrough).

  3. Download and install the AdventureWorks2008 sample database on a server from Sample Databases for Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

  4. Download the Code Sample: AdventureWorks2008 ASP.NET Web Service included in the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Software Development Kit (SDK).

  5. Deploy the service on a Web server, as specified in the Readme file that accompanies it.