We currently have a large amount of custom mailboxes hosted on Lotus Notes/Domino and have been tasked to migrate these over to our Outlook/Exchange environment.

The mailboxes are basic Lotus Notes shared mailbox that a group of users have access to, but the mailboxes functionality has been extended to provide features that are bespoke to the business, such as an auto-reply feature and several other workflow orientated features.

I am looking for a way to do a similar thing but with our Outlook/Exchange environment. Something along the lines of a custom Outlook Web App.

My first thought was to use the Outlook API and subscribe to the NewMail event, then run some code that would strip out the information from the incoming email and create a database record from it with maybe an MVC front end to manage it all.

However I am aware that it is also possible to create custom fields on the actual message item itself on the Exchange server, therefore it may be possible to use the actual email itself in place of the database record, however I don't know the implications of doing this from a performance or load perspective.

I'm also aware that you can create extensions for the Outlook client itself, this may be an option if we could create a plugin that provides the custom bespoke functionality.

What other approaches could I take to implement a similar kind of functionality that has not been listed above, and which if any would be the most sensible approach ?


The most sensible one would be to implement the function in Exchange ( the server ) rather than on the client ( Outlook ) if for no other reason then you'd need to make sure the outlook client is running somewhere. This was an object lesson in building exchange extension through client functionality.

If they won't let you near the server I would look at using the exchange API in a custom app rather than hanging it off office mainly so you can run it as a service without user interaction, Office presumes an interactive session.

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