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Microsoft Unlocks Outlook Data

The documentation and tools together should advance interoperability with the data stored in .pst files

In the name of interoperability, Microsoft Monday announced two open source projects that are supposed to go along with the technical documentation on Outlook Personal Folders (.pst) that it recently released.

It said that the documentation and tools together should advance interoperability with the data stored in .pst files and satisfy customer requests for greater access to that data as well as enhance data portability.

Apparently developers can use the stuff to build solutions, "including competitive products, that run on top of the .pst file format, unlocking data stored in .pst files in simple scenarios, such as extracting photos stored in .pst files to create an album, as well as more complex scenarios, including archive search, e-discovery and corporate compliance, and uploading data to the cloud."

Developers are supposed to be able to read and write data out of .pst files on any platform, regardless of whether Outlook is installed.

The projects include a .pst Data Structure View Tool, described as a graphical browser of internal data structures for .pst files to help developers understand .pst file content, and a .pst File Format SDK, a cross-platform library that will let them read the data and develop applications accessing it.

Microsoft means to add the ability to write data to .pst files down the road.

See http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff385210.aspx.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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