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Extending Office Communicator 2007 user interface by adding one or more custom tab pages

This article specifies the process of extending Office Communicator user interface by adding tab pages that can render web content to the Office Communicator window. These custom tab would appear below the buddy list. These custom pages can display web pages, java applets, Adobe Flash/Flex applications, ActiveX controls etc...Maximum number of the tabs that can be added is 32.

Steps for adding tabs is as follows:

Step 1. Place an XML file that holds the tab definition on a HTTP server. Format of XML should be as follows:
    <?xml version="1.0" ?>
                <image>http://site/image.png (must be in PNG format, size should be 16x16)</image>
                <name>Tab title</name>
                <tooltip>Tooltip text</tooltip>
                <contenturl>http://site/content (URL to the web page that needs to be displayed in the tab)</contenturl>
                <userid>true|false (determines whether SipUri of signed in user should be sent)</userid>
                <contactid>true|false (determines whether SipUri of selected contacts should be sent)</contactid>
                <method>get|post (determines how parameters are passed to web page)</method>
                <accessibility>inside|outside|both (determines whether the URL must be displayed when the user logs in from inside/outside the enterprise, or both)</accessibility>

Step 2. Modify Registry settings
Add the registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Communicator\TabURL, value should specify the HTTP path to the XML

Step 3. Make sure that the HTTP path of XML file is also included in the Trusted sites zone in Internet Explorer

Step 4. Dynamically updating tab web content (Optional)
If your content is specific to the user that is selected in the contact list, it can be dynamically updated. Make sure that value for the XML nodes contactid and userid is set to true, this will allow communicator to send SipUri of logged in user and selected contacts to the web page. SipUri of signed in user will be sent as URL parameter i.e. like http://pathtowebpage?userid=SipUri. To retrieve list of selected contacts you will need to add JavaScript function OnSelectionChange(contacts, groups, distribution_groups), if value of a function parameter contains multiple values, then values are separated by semi-colons.

Print | posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 4:15 PM |