Microsoft have announced that they are opening up the technology behind their .PST files- the files that hold all the email, calendar and contact info that Outlook archives. While many people aren’t fans of .PST files (products such as Symantec’s Enterprise Vault have whole modules aimed at eradicating them), they are still prevalent and so anything that makes interacting with easier has got to be good :-)
While developers have been able to work with .PST files in the past through MAPI and the Outlook Object Model, it required that Outlook was installed on the machine. However once this new documentation is released it will:
“will allow developers to read, create, and interoperate with the data in .pst files in server and client scenarios using the programming language and platform of their choice. The technical documentation will detail how the data is stored, along with guidance for accessing that data from other software applications. It also will highlight the structure of the .pst file, provide details like how to navigate the folder hierarchy, and explain how to access the individual data objects and properties.”
This is another move by Microsoft to increase interoperability between their products and those of other manufacturers, and is to be applauded I think. Some say this might lead to more people moving away from Exchange but I doubt that anyone was sticking with Microsoft’s email platform simply because of .PST’s ;-)
The full post can be found here.