Mail App (Apps for Office) And How To Build One Series

In this blog post you can read how to create a mail app. Mail apps are apps that get displayed next to Outlook items you’re viewing or writing to enhance the browsing or authoring experience. Mail apps are part of Apps for Office:

Main Pros of Mail Apps:

  • Can integrate business process directly into Outlook
  • Is working in OWA and Outlook – same code
  • Mail App project is build using Client side code only

What this Mail App will do:

  • Query custom web service (which we create)
    • send the email address of a user sending an email as a parameter to exposed web service
  • Display returned data in the mail app container using KnockoutJS

End Result

End result will be an app for Outlook as seen on the image above. It will display found company and its yearly report on Revenue/Profit. In example above, email was sent from one of MS people(, since app shows data of Microsoft Corporation. All data is fictional, inserted in the step of creating a database.

Articles – Separated into smaller chunks:

  • (Coming) Article 1 – We will create database which will expose data – (Code First, Entitify Framework)
    • this database can represent data of a backend system, hosted in Azure
  • (Coming) Article 2 – Create web service using ASP.NET WebApi
  • (Coming) Article 3 – Display data using Knockout + HighCharts Javascript library
  • (Coming) Article 4 – Using created Web Service, javascript cross site call – JSONP

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