Outlook, like the other applications in the Microsoft Office suite, can be extended quite capably by most users who are relatively comfortable working with VBA macros. Many people have written themselves some handy procedures to help automate a few moderately difficult day-to-day tasks. However, when these kinds of solutions grow in scope to become useful for more people than just yourself they are better implemented as a COM Add-In.
VBA macros are not very deployable – copying code amongst desktops is no way to install software. Add-Ins are bona fide applications that can be packaged and installed like most professional software, but building them involves a steep learning curve and not being aware of some common pitfalls can turn your brilliant solution into “vaporware” in no time. As such, here are pointers to help get you started, some best practices to use and highlights of helpful resources to keep abreast of.
Read the rest of my article in Cimaware Software’s Office Expert newsletter…