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Python Programming On Win32 by Mark Hammond, Andy Robinson

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Collaboration Data Objects

Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) is a general-purpose COM automation interface for working with Microsoft Exchange. Because CDO is an automation interface, it’s suitable for use with scripting languages, such as Visual Basic, JavaScript, and of course, Python.

CDO has gone through various name changes over its long life. Its evolution can be traced through "Simple MAPI,” a set of APIs for Visual Basic 1, through a more general-purpose Visual Basic Extension (VBX), then into a general-purpose COM interface known as Active Messaging, and finally receiving even more features and being renamed CDO.

It provides a rich object model; there are objects for messages, folders, users, distribution lists, etc. The object model is “rooted” from a MAPI session object. The session object identifies the mailbox and provides a list of subfolders, each of which has its own list of messages and subfolders.

First, let’s experiment with MAPI from a Python prompt. Create a MAPI session using the standard COM technique:

>>> from win32com.client import Dispatch
>>> s=Dispatch("Mapi.Session")
>>>

Then log on to the MAPI session. This presents a dialog box to authenticate the session:

>>> s.Logon()
>>>

By consulting the documentation for the MAPI session object, you can see there is an Inbox property, which is a Folder object. You can see how many messages this folder contains:

>>> len(s.Inbox.Messages)
304

And look at the first one:

>>> s.Inbox.Messages.Item(1).Subject 'Free WinZip ...

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