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VSTO and WCF - Opinions Please


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#1 sam_coder


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Posted 09 June 2011 - 09:39 AM

Hey Guys,
I've been working on a product for a while, and have been thinking of improving it. Without boring you too much, it's a simple outlook addin, that allows you to voluntarily mine specific bits of data to a CSV file, for mail merging.

At the moment, the mining process is triggered with a toolbar command button. In fact the entire user interface is embedded from within Outlook.

What I'd like to do, is increase the scope of the plugin, and allow external application access to the same data, and follow the same pattern, ultimately allowing the user to control who and or what has access to it.

Rather than trying to build a complicated security and authentication scheme (since I'm no expert), I'd like to reduce the user interface to simply an "about screen" and an "access configuration screen", and expose the controls used to extract data as WCF services. Since WCF would in theory handle most of the authentication and access rights, right out of the box, no re-inventing the wheel right?

I was thinking of setting up named pipes endpoints, and seeing if I could use the windows authentication, so from within outlook, you could simply select users or groups that have access, and further turn the "back door" on or off.

Has anyone here had any experience with something like this? Anyone with more experience than I have any opinions on this approach?

It's not a technical problem yet, just wondering if anyone could point me in a better direction, or possibly provide some advice, or tell a story about any bad experiences.

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