In my previous entry, you heard a little about the trouble of installing into the GAC without using MSIs. I just found some useful information about choices with interop libraries for Outlook from here.
This article illustrates a few interesting things! If you are writing an Outlook addin, you have a few choices:
- Write your addin exclusively for Outlook 2003 and use the Office 2003 PIA
- Write your addin for multiple versions of Outlook and use the Office XP PIA
- Write code to custom load PIAs at runtiume
#3 is no small amount of work. #1 doesn’t make sense for anyone other than Microsoft. Microsoft wants everyone to use the latest version (and upgrade), so they love this option. For the rest of us, that actually want a reasonably sized user base to draw from, you’ve got to use option #2.
And, the XP PIA has a number of known bugs – only fixed in the 2003 PIA. For instance, I ran into this bug the hard way. There is no fix unless you are using Outlook 2003.
On the good news front, I am glad that folks from Microsoft (like Omar, mentioned above) are helping to document this stuff along the way.