Windows Contacts

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Windows Contacts
A component of Microsoft Windows
Windows Contacts Icon.png
Windows Contacts.png
Details
Included with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
Replaces Windows Address Book
Related components
Windows Live People
Windows Contacts
Filename extension .contact
Internet media type text/x-ms-contact
Developed by Microsoft
Type of format electronic business card
Container for contact information
Extended from XML
Website Windows Contacts

Windows Contacts is a contact manager that is included in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. It replaced but retained most of the functionality of Windows Address Book, and works with Windows Mail.

Windows Contacts uses a new XML-based schema format. Each contact appears as an individual.contact file, in which custom information including pictures can be stored. Window Contacts features extensibility APIs for integration with other applications and for storing custom information. The legacy *.wab format and the open standards *.vcf (vCard) and *.csv (CSV) are also supported.

Features[edit]

  • Windows Contacts is implemented as a special folder in Windows Vista and Windows 7. It is in the Start Menu of Windows Vista and can be run in Windows 7 by searching for 'Contacts' (or 'wab.exe') in the Start Menu. Contacts can be stored in folders and groups.
  • It can import vCard, CSV, WAB and LDIF formats.
  • It can export in vCard 2.1 and CSV formats. Users can right-click a contact to quickly convert it to vCard format and send it to anyone.
  • It can print contacts in Memo, Business Card, Phone List formats.
  • Because contacts are stored in the Contacts folder simply as individual.contact files, they’re just another data type in the operating system that can be indexed and searched by Windows Search. Individual contacts can be quickly accessed from the Start menu search text box.
  • Windows Live People, the contact manager for Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Mail can store its information in the Windows Contacts folder if the option to encrypt it is unchecked in Windows Live Messenger.[1] Whenever contacts in Messenger are updated, they'll be updated in Windows Contacts as well. This feature however only works up to Windows Live Messenger 8.5. Windows Contacts synchronization is not supported in Windows Live Messenger 9.0.
  • Windows Contacts exposes APIs for creating new contacts, reading and writing in an existing contact, adding a "Label" in the form of a URI to a "Property" or a "Property" to a "Contact", API for synchronizing devices with Windows Contacts.[2][3]

Example Windows Contact file[edit]

The following is an example of a Windows Contact file containing information for one person:

Windows Contact 1.0:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="None"/
<c:contact xmlns:c="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Contact"
        xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" 
        xmlns:MSP2P="http://schemas.microsoft.com/Contact/Extended/MSP2P" c:Version="1">
        <c:Gender>Unspecified</c:Gender>
        <c:CreationDate>2009-04-01T14:20:31Z</c:CreationDate>
        <c:Extended xsi:nil="true" />
        <c:ContactIDCollection>
                <c:ContactID c:ElementID="f38b1a9b-08b1-409a-b8e3-e0b9ba4be1c3">
                        <c:Value>5e26d97a-572b-4aea-8ee2-d225070acba0</c:Value>
                </c:ContactID>
        </c:ContactIDCollection>
        <c:EmailAddressCollection>
                <c:EmailAddress c:ElementID="ee53fca8-a876-48fb-ac92-ce30a3ce0b65">
                        <c:Type>SMTP</c:Type>
                        <c:Address>forrestgump@forrestgump.com</c:Address>
                        <c:LabelCollection>
                                <c:Label>Preferred</c:Label>
                        </c:LabelCollection>
                </c:EmailAddress>
                <c:EmailAddress c:ElementID="0b86ff5c-4201-460b-9eae-bc5d79dfe66d"
                        xsi:nil="true" />
        </c:EmailAddressCollection>
        <c:NameCollection>
                <c:Name c:ElementID="3aec1c79-ea8d-4ce4-b204-94246502e9d0">
                        <c:FormattedName>Gump, Forrest</c:FormattedName>
                        <c:FamilyName>Gump</c:FamilyName>
                        <c:GivenName>Forrest</c:GivenName>
                </c:Name>
        </c:NameCollection>
        <c:PhysicalAddressCollection>
                <c:PhysicalAddress c:ElementID="d63a50ea-bf80-45b1-a293-73345b58adcd">
                        <c:Country>United States of America</c:Country>
                        <c:PostalCode>30314</c:PostalCode>
                        <c:Region>LA</c:Region>
                        <c:Locality>Baytown</c:Locality>
                        <c:Street>100 Waters Edge</c:Street>
                        <c:LabelCollection>
                                <c:Label>Business</c:Label>
                        </c:LabelCollection>
                </c:PhysicalAddress>
                <c:PhysicalAddress c:ElementID="c3c677a9-5b9d-40f5-9de2-9ad83b4ef646">
                        <c:Country>United States of America</c:Country>
                        <c:PostalCode>30314</c:PostalCode>
                        <c:Region>LA</c:Region>
                        <c:Locality>Baytown</c:Locality>
                        <c:Street>102 Waters Edge</c:Street>
                        <c:LabelCollection>
                                <c:Label>Personal</c:Label>
                        </c:LabelCollection>
                </c:PhysicalAddress>
        </c:PhysicalAddressCollection>
        <c:PhoneNumberCollection>
                <c:PhoneNumber c:ElementID="1031f375-5317-4b15-af90-3e5b65437596">
                        <c:Number>(111) 555-1212</c:Number>
                        <c:LabelCollection>
                                <c:Label>Voice</c:Label>
                                <c:Label>Business</c:Label>
                        </c:LabelCollection>
                </c:PhoneNumber>
                <c:PhoneNumber c:ElementID="f939f8df-87e3-487d-9382-fde63ac3d13a">
                        <c:Number>(111) 555-1215</c:Number>
                        <c:LabelCollection>
                                <c:Label>Voice</c:Label>
                                <c:Label>Personal</c:Label>
                        </c:LabelCollection>
                </c:PhoneNumber>
        </c:PhoneNumberCollection>
        <c:UrlCollection>
                <c:Url c:ElementID="10791e0a-02a1-4c7a-8b13-707cee38dafe">
                        <c:Value>http://www.bubbagumpshrimp.com</c:Value>
                        <c:LabelCollection>
                                <c:Label>Business</c:Label>
                        </c:LabelCollection>
                </c:Url>
                <c:Url c:ElementID="06ed7300-0d3e-4bf0-8dc5-f3e06248d896">
                        <c:Value>http://www.forrestgump.com</c:Value>
                        <c:LabelCollection>
                                <c:Label>Personal</c:Label>
                        </c:LabelCollection>
                </c:Url>
        </c:UrlCollection>
        <c:PositionCollection>
                <c:Position c:ElementID="f192d6ef-31bd-4e4e-910e-77aa47734698">
                        <c:Department>Shrimp Department</c:Department>
                        <c:JobTitle>Shrimp Man</c:JobTitle>
                        <c:Company>Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.</c:Company>
                        <c:LabelCollection>
                                <c:Label>Business</c:Label>
                        </c:LabelCollection>
                </c:Position>
        </c:PositionCollection>
        <c:PhotoCollection>
                <c:Photo c:ElementID="eb855b4d-e556-4dbb-ad00-527021e761a9">
                        <c:Value c:ContentType="image/jpeg">
                        /9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQEASABIAAD/2wBDAAYEBQYFBAYGBQYHBwYIChAKCgkJChQODwwQFxQ
                        YGBcU</c:Value>
                        <c:LabelCollection>
                                <c:Label>UserTile</c:Label>
                        </c:LabelCollection>
                </c:Photo>
        </c:PhotoCollection>
</c:contact>

The XML code could be simplified in case of data duplication.
For example if the business address and the home address are the same, it could be simplified by adding a Label Business and a Label Personal to a PhysicalAddress:

<c:PhysicalAddressCollection>
        <c:PhysicalAddress c:ElementID="d63a50ea-bf80-45b1-a293-73345b58adcd">
                <c:Country>United States of America</c:Country>
                <c:PostalCode>30314</c:PostalCode>
                <c:Region>LA</c:Region>
                <c:Locality>Baytown</c:Locality>
                <c:Street>100 Waters Edge</c:Street>
                <c:LabelCollection>
                        <c:Label>Business</c:Label>
                        <c:Label>Personal</c:Label>
                </c:LabelCollection>
        </c:PhysicalAddress>
</c:PhysicalAddressCollection>

Outlook Express Export Bug[edit]

There is a known problem when exporting the Windows Address Book (WAB files) to another PC. If you have contacts organized into folders, this folder structure will not be preserved when the WAB file is imported. All contacts will be preserved, however, leaving some with a considerable task of manually reconstructing the folders and moving addresses back into their rightful places. See: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249670

A solution for Windows versions still using WAB files as their address book is to copy, not export/import, the WAB files to their correct location. This often preserves the folder structure. Most unfortunately, in Windows Live Mail this does not work as WLM doesn't use WAB.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Making your Windows Live Contacts work with Windows Contacts
  2. ^ Windows Contacts Schema Overview
  3. ^ Programming Windows Contacts

External links[edit]