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TPKelly-5923 avatar image
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TPKelly-5923 asked XiaopoYang-MSFT edited

API Application

Hi, I'm an Office Manager delegated the job of researching about API for system integration; meaning I don't know anything about programming.

Background: We are a recruitment company currently using a self-developed system for internal use, written using Python. We would like to integrate our system with Outlook mainly for:
1. Email synchronisation - sending email through our system to keep a history of email exchange within our system, and to track recruiter KPI
2. Calendar synchronisation - setting up interviews through our system and syncing it with Outlook calendars

For some reason our current developer cannot advise on this. Therefore here I am, wondering if it's possible to do this integration and what the procedure is.

Any guidance or pointer will be appreciated! Thanks.



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SimpleSamples avatar image
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SimpleSamples answered SimpleSamples edited

Perhaps the best advice for a manager would be to start with a requirements definition that is as complete and accurate as possible. By definition of what a requirements definition is, you, a non-programmer, can do that. Software people have been developing and writing about such things for as long as computers have been around; there are very many books. I do not know what to suggest, especially not for a manager.

Think of a requirements definition as being much like the instructions that would be developed after the system is written. The non-technical description of what the software does is likely to be a good requirements definition. A requirements definition should describe the screens (forms or whatever) as well as the data processed. Describe in non-technical terms how the data is processed.

Only after you have the requirements defined can you proceed to design the system to do it. Otherwise you can waste money developing something that does not work. Software people are very familiar with that.

The article 10 Requirements Traps to Avoid is interesting. It does not explain what requirements definitions are.

If the Python developer is unable to do the required integration then you probably need to hire a developer that can, either as an employee or a consultant. It will probably be better to develop the software using C#. The Python developer might feel threatened. If the Python system is not documented well then this is why management should insist on documentation. Developers often do not want to do documentation and management often does not want to pay for it (pay for the additional time).


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WayneAKing-0228 avatar image
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WayneAKing-0228 answered TPKelly-5923 commented

Since you appear to be looking to use/leverage
the existing Python application(s), you might
seek guidance in a Python forum.

https://discuss.python.org/

Users
https://discuss.python.org/c/users/7

Python Forum
https://python-forum.io/

  • Wayne


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This implies the question of whether to use Python. That is an important question. I will update my response with some relevant comments.

1 Vote 1 ·

Wow, thank you sooo much for the detailed replies and comments!

I will definitely look into the requirement definitions and the Python forum!

Wonder if there is also any quick answers to these questions:

  1. In order to "integrate" with Outlook, with functions mentioned in my question, do we need to apply with MS for permission to use their API? I suppose we do, as we need an unique key as identification when our system communicates with the API. If so, how do we apply for one?

  2. What's the difference of using Python and C# to write the program?

Thank you!



0 Votes 0 ·

As for getting permission to use the API, no, you do not need to; just have a license to use the software. The data must be your data of course. There might be something specific you need permission for but I cannot think of anything.

The main difference between Python and C# is that Microsoft supports C# much more. Hopefully Python will work as well as C#; I am not sure.

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