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VSTO developing Outlook add in for Outlook 2003 to outlook 2010

We have a VBA tool in Outlook apears as a button on emails that allows for saving of emails to a network drive (make the process much faster).

We wanted a developer to turn it into a proper VSTO (as they advised) developed Outlook add-in to make installation of the tool far easier and we can distribute it direclty to staff.

However after starting the project the developer has come back and said there is a problem. He said it is not possible to develop a single tool that will work both in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2010. (we need compatiability from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2010)

He said he would actually have to develop two different tools.
I wanted to confirm whether this is accurate. I said that I do not need the tool to take advantage of the Ribbon interface. Current the VBA tool works in both all three versions, We just add the button to the top row on the email (bascially it's a macro).

Also I found it hard to beleive, because lets say you alredy have an add-on developed for OUtlook 2003, that means by upgrading you break the current add-in and have to redevolop,therefore a deterrent for many to upgrade.

Any input on this welcome?

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1 Solution
David LeeCommented:
Hi, afflik1923.

I am not a professional add-in developer.  With that in mind, here's my thoughts on the issue.  There has to be some means of triggering the code (i.e. what you have now as a macro).  Add-ins typically add a button or menu selection to Outlook's interface for that handles this.  In Outlook 2003 and 2007 that would likely be a button on the toolbar.  Outlook 2010 eliminated both menus and toolbars entirely and uses the ribbon exclusively.  There may also be differences in how add-ins interact with Outlook in 2003, 2007, and 2010.  Yes, upgrading Outlook does sometimes break an existing add-in.  In fact some add-ins specifically say that they only work with certain versions of Outlook.  It's no different than FireFox, for example, where upgrading may render a given add-in inoperable.  I'm not clear on what you mean when you say "add the button to the top row on the email".  Outlook 2007 and 2010 have something called the QAT (quick access toolbar), but, if memory serves, Outlook 2003 does not.  I'm not aware of a way to add items to the QAT from code, but perhaps the add-in interface offers something that the macro interface doesn't.  

It's certainly possible that this could require different add-ins for different versions of Outlook.  I'm just not sure that's a requirement.  

You might also be able to achieve the goal of adding the macro to everyone's computer without having to resort to building and installing an add-in.  Here's how.

1.  Set Outlook's security options via group policy.
2.  Set the code up on one computer.  Outlook stores all macro code in a single file.  Once you have the code working and ready to go on one computer you can copy the code file and distribute it to all computers via a logon script or group policy.

I've used this approach myself and it works well so long as no one is writing any of their own macros.  If they are, then the code file you distribute would overwrite their existing code file causing them to lose their macros.
afflik1923Author Commented:
David LeeCommented:
You're welcome.
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