Monday, May 20, 2013

Using the EWS FindPeople operation in Exchange 2013 and Exchange Online (2013)

In previous versions of Exchange accessing the Directory (or Global Address List) with EWS was limited to just resolving a specific entry or expanding a Distribution list. In Exchange 2013 the concept of the persona's has been introduced To distill this down a little a persona allows you to have a Contact that can pull its related information from multiple sources while previously everything was just stored in one object in the Exchange Store.

There are a number of new EWS operations to go along with personas and the Unified Contact Store the most interesting of these is the FindPeople operation which allows you to do something you couldn't do previously which is enumerate the entire GAL (or any other address list).  At this point I should make the point that the GAL is just one of the data sources that FindPeople can search you can also include searching the local contact folders. 

To able to search an Address List (including the GAL but it will work with any of the Address Lists like ("All Room", "All Contacts") you need to know the AddressList Id.  However this is one part of these new operations that really needs improvement because at the moment there is no way in EWS to get a list of AddressList Id's. While the FindPeople operation is used in OWA in 2013 they have a custom command in OWA called "GetPeopleFilters". So if you want to use the FindPeople operation you need to either Get the AddressList id from using OWA and capturing it with fiddler eg

(If your using Office365 this is the only way you can get this information that i know of as the Get-AddressList cmdlet or LDAP/AD access isn't available in the cloud)

In a OnPrem environment you can just use the Get-AddressList cmdlet eg

(or you could also use LDAP to get this information)

Once you have the address list Id your ready to code, there are no methods in the EWS Managed API for this operation so you need to use WSDL ProxyCode or RAW Soap to use this operation. For example the following is a C# sample for using the FindPeople operation to enumerate through the address list 100 entries at the a time

  1. FindPeopleType fpType = new FindPeopleType();  
  2. IndexedPageViewType indexPageView = new IndexedPageViewType();  
  3. indexPageView.BasePoint = IndexBasePointType.Beginning;  
  4. indexPageView.Offset = 0;  
  5. indexPageView.MaxEntriesReturned = 100;  
  6. indexPageView.MaxEntriesReturnedSpecified = true;  
  7. fpType.IndexedPageItemView = indexPageView;  
  10. fpType.ParentFolderId = new TargetFolderIdType();  
  11. DistinguishedFolderIdType contactsFolder = new DistinguishedFolderIdType();  
  12. AddressListIdType adList = new AddressListIdType();  
  13. adList.Id = "2117949e-abe8-4915-91eb-6b9f867fd8de";  
  15. fpType.ParentFolderId.Item = adList;  
  16. FindPeopleResponseMessageType fpm = null;  
  17. do  
  18. {  
  19.     fpm = esb.FindPeople(fpType);  
  20.     if (fpm.ResponseClass == ResponseClassType.Success)  
  21.     {  
  22.         foreach (PersonaType PsCnt in fpm.People) {  
  23.             Console.WriteLine(PsCnt.EmailAddress.EmailAddress);  
  24.         }  
  25.         indexPageView.Offset += fpm.People.Length;                      
  26.     }  
  27.     else {  
  28.         throw new Exception("Error");  
  29.     }  
  30. while (fpm.TotalNumberOfPeopleInView > indexPageView.Offset);