Sunday, 22 July 2007

Do you use Facebook, Outlook and a smartphone?

I have just written some software which syncs your contacts from Facebook to Outlook.

If your phone can then sync picture contacts you will have your facebook contacts photo on your phone when they call! All very cool

You can find the software here.

I have used the following technologies:-

  • Microsoft Facebook API (needed to get the contacts picture etc - also great because it didnt appear to be effected by Facebooks 15 calls per minute limit). Blogged about here and can be downloaded from here

  • Microsoft Primary Interop Assemblies. These where a bit of a nightmare to use at first because I wanted the application to work across Outlook XP, 2003 and 2007. XP doesn't support contact pictures, so that was ruled out - but the only way I could get a build to work across platforms was to uninstall 2007, and install 2003. The interops are clever enough to use the never version up from them so using 2003 interops will just work with the 2007 Outlook version- nice one Microsoft! just a shame it not so easy to target an earlier version!

  • Google Pages - I use this to host the software and to do things like version notification, and adverts (boo I know Im the devil). Google pages is so simple to use, unfortunately it is a tad restrictive but you can easily work around it. I may blog about how I included adverts, and version checking if people are interested at a later date.

Microsoft facebook API does have some issues -

  • It gives a check box to always stay logged in, unfortunately it doesn't say this is for the duration of the session, so if you shut the application down you need to log in again. Very confusing!

  • For some reason it logs you out of facebook when you login into the application, this is not done by the normal API so unless there is some form of screen scrapping going on I'm not sure what is happening!

  • The user controls are missing some really obvious properties like hide network etc...

  • The Aysnc Login I could not get to work to save my life - constantly complaining about not being in a single thread. I dunno maybe somebody clever than me can show me how to use it!

Overall Im really happy with the application. I spent quite a while on it and enjoyed developing it - but it did take a long time to polish it out and make it as bug proof as possible which is why I have put adverts in. I don't know why... but for some reason I feel guilty about this!

Strange huh!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

outlook 2002 does support contact photos it just puts them as ContactPicture.jpg in the notes field and this gets synced with your phone with activesync. So any chance of outlook 2002 support please?