support Windows Contacts (Vista address book)

NEW
Unassigned

Status

MailNews Core
Address Book
--
enhancement
11 years ago
4 years ago

People

(Reporter: Mikel Ward, Unassigned)

Tracking

unspecified
x86
Windows Vista
Bug Flags:
blocking-thunderbird3 -
wanted-thunderbird3 -

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(URL)

(Reporter)

Description

11 years ago
Thunderbird provides some read-only support for Outlook Express and Outlook via hidden LDAP preferences, but it's not very good, and it requires that Outlook is the default mail program, which kind of defeats the purpose.

There's a new read-write API to access the Windows Contacts in Windows Vista.  It would be great to support that.

Also need to consider the preferences UI (see bug 83100).
Moving to core address book as that would be the best place to implement this.
Component: Address Book → MailNews: Address Book
Product: Thunderbird → Core
QA Contact: address-book → addressbook

Comment 2

10 years ago
Looks like the most sensible way to support this would be to define a new class that implements nsIAbDirectory, and accompanying classes for directory objects. Then it could be made available as just another kind of directory in the address book, alongside MDB and LDAP directories.

(I'm having a play around, but this is my first time hacking on Mozilla sources, so I'm not expecting to get anywhere any time soon).
(Assignee)

Updated

10 years ago
Product: Core → MailNews Core
I need to do some more research, but I'm tempted to resolve WFM, since using the method to enable Outlook Express address books (I think, I had to delete that Windows profile because of other testing issues) integrated fine with Windows Contacts. At least after I fixed the problem that write access to Outlook (Express) address books was borked up. :-)

Comment 4

9 years ago
This would be a significant advantage for Thunderbird users on Windows 7 (and Vista). 

It should supersede Thunderbird Address Book on the Windows platform. When opening up Address Book from the Tools menu, the Windows Contacts folder should open. The location for the folder is %userprofile%\contacts . The Windows Contacts spec is a new one based on XML. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Contacts

When Thunderbird adds a contact, it is added to Windows Contacts. 

That way there is no problem of address book migration. You can move between other apps and Thunderbird with ease. People will naturally choose Thunderbird because of its superior interoperability.
Flags: wanted-thunderbird3?
(In reply to comment #4)
> It should supersede Thunderbird Address Book on the Windows platform. When
> opening up Address Book from the Tools menu, the Windows Contacts folder should
> open. The location for the folder is %userprofile%\contacts . The Windows
> Contacts spec is a new one based on XML.
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Contacts

Please don't mix bugs/enhancement requests, this bug is purely for providing an interface which will allow Thunderbird's address book to share contacts with the Windows address book.

We are currently exploring more ways where we can enhance and combine existing contact stores (e.g. online, local etc) with our own store providing a better all-round way of storing contacts.

Comment 6

9 years ago
Why should Thunderbird maintain two separate address books on the same system?
(In reply to comment #6)
> Why should Thunderbird maintain two separate address books on the same system?

I never said maintain two separate address books - I said combine and enhance. Although its not 100% possible at the moment, it is conceivable that in future someone could make their Windows address book be the master store which is the one and only store. However we shouldn't limit our users to having to use Windows Contacts (because not everyone wants to use Microsoft's address books) and further we shouldn't limit our users to the limitations of Windows Contacts (no, I don't know what they are and if it would matter or not, but every bit of software has limitations).
Duplicate of this bug: 480365

Comment 9

9 years ago
This bus appears to be a duplicate of this bug: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=361848
(In reply to comment #9)
> This bus appears to be a duplicate of this bug:
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=361848

Uh, no. That is about import/export, this is about native support, which I think we already have, but need to fully verify.

Comment 11

9 years ago
What's the progress on this issue? I really need this functionality on Vista and would be glad if it could be integrated ASAP.
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3?
(In reply to comment #11)
> What's the progress on this issue? I really need this functionality on Vista
> and would be glad if it could be integrated ASAP.

I am probably unable to devote much effort to this in the near future, but I have reason to suspect that it already works right now.

If you wish to help, please download a Thunderbird nightly, and follow the instructions on this page and see if it works:
<http://kb.mozillazine.org/Using_Outlook_%28Express%29_contacts_with_Thunderbird_or_Mozilla_Mail>. I'm not sure if it's the Outlook Express version you would need or the Outlook version, so if you could report which one works, I would be much obliged.

Comment 13

9 years ago
Windows Contacts programming information from MSDN. 

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms735779.aspx

Comment 14

9 years ago
The new "Windows Mail" from Vista is not the same as Outlook.
Look into MSDN and you will see that "Windows Mail" store contact data in some other reason like xml. The WAB format is not longer supported if i have understand the documentation corectly.

Comment 15

9 years ago
(In reply to comment #14)
> The new "Windows Mail" from Vista is not the same as Outlook.
> Look into MSDN and you will see that "Windows Mail" store contact data in some
> other reason like xml. The WAB format is not longer supported if i have
> understand the documentation corectly.

Exactly, that's the purpose of this bug. Thunderbird has had support for WAB for some time. But at least MS stuck to making their new .contact format plain XML.
While this would be a valuable feature, we're late enough in the release cycle that there's no way we could get this in without either taking a substantial schedule hit or shoving a bunch of existing work from our plates.  Neither of these things seems like a reasonable option at this point.

That said, as evidenced by the existence of a CardDAV addressbook written as extension, it should be possible for an interested party to implement this using an extension.
Flags: wanted-thunderbird3?
Flags: wanted-thunderbird3-
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3?
Flags: blocking-thunderbird3-

Updated

8 years ago
Duplicate of this bug: 425027

Comment 18

4 years ago
Ok, I will add a comment here after a gap of 4 years. 

jcammer said back in 2009, "I have reason to suspect that it already works right now", using the outlook express settings from http://kb.mozillazine.org/Using_Outlook_%28Express%29_contacts_with_Thunderbird_or_Mozilla_Mail

Having just made the changes to Thunderbird Nightly and restarted I have read write access to the windows contacts folder (at least the edits I made in TB reflected in the contact folder.

So all that is needed is a UI ("use windows contacts folder") to push this out to the public.

Updated

4 years ago
Duplicate of this bug: 741188
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