Re-using content in Outlook comes down to copy and paste. Making sure emails are created consistently within a team or even across teams will provide poor results using copy and paste. That is why we created the officeatwork 365 Content Chooser for Outlook designed for Office 365. The goal is to have curated content available to multiple users in various teams that can be consumed with just a few clicks right within Outlook. This will increase productivity and quality of communication for an entire organization. There is no better platform than Office 365 to make something like this reality.
What it does
The officeatwork 365 Content Chooser add-in for Outlook allows users to easily consume curated content for creating e-mail messages right within Outlook across multiple teams or even the entire organization.
How we built it
We extended our existing Content Chooser that runs in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote to also support Outlook. As Outlook requires a separate Manifest file we of course needed to first create that file and then make adjustments to the core Content Chooser to also understand how to handle e-mail messages in Outlook. That was all! We released the Content Chooser for Outlook add-in in the Office Store in the second week of January 2017.
Challenges we ran into
The only real challenge we ran into was figuring out what formats where supported in what way in Outlook. Especially images where tricky which we finally had to drop due to security concernes.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are actually proud of the application architecture we chose that allowed us to have the add-in for Outlook running in no-time. This is of course only possible thanks to the new Office extensibility cloud architecture (agaves).
What we learned
We learned that building add-ins across multiple Office host applications is much less of a pain than it used to be with previous technologies (actually, this was not really possible in the past!).
What's next for Content Chooser for Outlook
Facilitating the Microsoft Graph to list and fetch the content files. Additionally, we will wait and see what feedback we now get from the audience after including the support for Outlook.