Friday, 16 October 2015

Linking to Outlook folders

Considering how thoroughly it's explained in the Help file, it's surprising how often the question “how can I link to Outlook folders?” crops up. This is popular as, for example, it allows the user to query the contents of their Inbox, use data from their Contacts list, report on their Calendar, and so on. Fortunately for us, this is very easy to do - if you can link to a table, you can link to virtually any Outlook folder on your friendly neighbourhood Exchange Server. We'll go through how in just a second but first a note for all users of Access 97 (are there any left?) - you can do this too but only after you've installed a free add-on from Microsoft, available here.

Now that's out of the way, here's how you do the linking.

  1. In Access click File, Get External Data, Link Tables.
  2. In the resultant “Link” dialogue box, change the Files of type parameter to Exchange or Outlook (either will do fine). This launches the Link Exchange/Outlook Wizard.
  3. Use the tree structure shown by the Wizard to highlight the Outlook folder you want to link to and click Next.
  4. Specify a name for the linked table.
  5. Untick the “store my MAPI profile” check-box (unless you are likely to be the only user of the linked table).
  6. Click Finish.

And that's it, you then have a table in your database that links back to your Outlook folder, and can be queried just like any other table. Note that this doesn't work for Outlook Express.

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