All posts in Office Development

I had an accident last week, my Vista hard disk crashed L. Fortunately I didn’t lose any valuable (it has happened to me before so I now know better and keep backups of everything important) data but my Vista Installation was gone. So after getting a new hard disk and completing the system rebuilt I decided to import my Outlook data (yes I had a backup 😉 I only lost a day’s mail). When the restore process completed all of my mail and RSS Feed folders were successfully imported. Now I only had to import my OPML file to get back the 100+ feeds I’m following. Of course it didn’t occur to me that the OPML file does not keep any outlook folder information in it (dohh…), so the import process does not have a way to match the backed up folders with the imported feed accounts, thus when the Feed import completed I ended up having duplicate RSS Feed folders. At first I thought “OK I’ll select all folders, delete them (or move them to an archive folder), and then run the import again…” only to find out that you cannot multi-select Outlook folders!!! You have to delete them one by one!!!

But when you have to delete so many folders you start thinking if there could be another way you could achieve this deletion. And of course there is, Microsoft exposes an object model and API you can use in order to programmatically use its Office suite. Your program can then be hosted and perform the required action in an Office application as a custom Add-in. So I thought it would probably take me a little longer to develop an add-in that would delete anything under a specified folder but it could prove to be very useful and time saving through time. But why on earth would I want to delete all my feed folders, why throw away all those posts, wouldn’t it be better if I could instead match the folders with the imported RSS accounts? This could also prove useful if you have restored a hierarchical organized RSS feed folder collection which you would like to preserve.

I believe that the second idea is more useful than the first. What’s your opinion? Shall I give it a try? Which feed property would you use to discover the outlook folder to use?