One of the cool things about Exchange 2007 is the new Web service interface into the store. In theory, having mailboxes and contents exposed via Web services makes it a lot easier for developers and casual dabblers to use Web service-aware tools to interact with Exchange content.
Two weeks ago, I wanted to perform a quick experiment by seeing if I could use Exchange Web Services (EWS) in a SharePoint page to make an always up-to-date extension list for our office. Now, I know this information is stored in Active Directory as attributes on the User objects, but I didn’t see a quick, easy way to configure a SharePoint web part to perform an LDAP or AD query. Instead, I opened up SharePoint Designer and pointed it toward our EWS instance, and what I found surprised me.
Does anyone out there in reader land have any clue why SharePoint Designer insists that an EWS instance isn’t “a valid description of an XML Web service”?
I can browse to it manually, enter my credentials, and get a bunch of XML that sure looks like valid WSDL — but SharePoint Designer’s integrated WSDL parser can’t seem to make heads or tails of it. I could easily consume other types of Web services, and looking at their WSDL, it looks like it’s making use of a lot fewer XML namespaces; their XML structure seems quite a bit simpler than Exchange is generating.
I tried contacting the official SharePoint team blog and was basically told, “Go away, kid. Call support.” I’ve not had a lot of spare time recently to pursue this, but I’m pursuing some other avenues to see if I can’t get to the bottom of this. Stay tuned!