Accessing the Outlook Inbox – ‘NoCOMClassIdentified’ error

We get a lot of email where I work. A metric butt-ton.

One of the things I’d like to be able to do is access that email programmatically, in order to extract production processing reports for further analysis.

As a first step, I went looking for a way to access the Inbox using PowerShell. I found a post on Microsoft’s Hey, Scripting Guy blog: Use PowerShell to Data Mine Your Outlook Inbox.

There was just one problem – when I tried the steps to access the Inbox, I got a major error:

PS C:\Windows\system32> add-type -assembly “Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook”
PS C:\Windows\system32> $olFolders = “Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.olDefaultFolders” -as [type]
PS C:\Windows\system32> $outlook = new-object -comobject outlook.application
new-object : Retrieving the COM class factory for component with CLSID {0006F03A-0000-0000-C000-000000000046} failed due to the following error: 80080005 Server execution failed (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80080005 (CO_E_SERVER_EXEC_FAILURE)). At line:1 char:12 + $outlook = new-object -comobject outlook.application + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ + CategoryInfo : ResourceUnavailable: (:) [New-Object], COMException + FullyQualifiedErrorId : NoCOMClassIdentified,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.NewObjectCommand

I searched for “NoCOMClassIdentified” and found a couple of references. I finally found one (I don’t have the link, alas) that helped me realize the problem was that I was running it from a PowerShell session that I’d opened as Administrator (for teh POWER!!!).

When I opened PowerShell as myself, I was able to complete the sequence to access the 60,000+ messages in my Inbox (did I mention we get a LOT of email here?), and use a quick pipe to Where-Object to extract just the emails I sent to myself:

PS P:\> Add-Type -Assembly “Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook”
PS P:\> $olfolders = “Microsoft.Office.Interop.Outlook.olDefaultFolders” -as [type]
PS P:\> $outlook = new-object -comobject outlook.application
PS P:\> $namespace = $outlook.GetNameSpace(“MAPI”)
PS P:\> $folder = $namespace.getDefaultFolder($olFolders::olFolderInBox)
PS P:\> $folder.items | Select-Object -Property Subject, ReceivedTime, Importance, SenderName |
>>  Where-Object {$_.SenderName -like “Spurlock*”}Subject ReceivedTime Importance SenderName
——- ———— ———- ———-
How to send an email from … 10/23/2014 7:01:29 PM 1 Spurlock, Edward (Austin)
RE: How to send an email f… 10/23/2014 7:06:15 PM 1 Spurlock, Edward (Austin)
PowerShell script to updat… 10/28/2014 6:17:21 PM 1 Spurlock, Edward (Austin)
RE: PowerShell script to u… 10/28/2014 6:25:15 PM 1 Spurlock, Edward (Austin)

Accessing email through Outlook works, but according to Bill Long’s Exchange Blog, using the Exchange Web Services (EWS) Managed API for PowerShell scripting offers a number of advantages. For one, you can access Exchange data from a system that does not have Outlook installed. Another advantage is being able to do “ranged retrievals” – accessing a subset of the data on each retrieval, rather than having to pull everything down at once and sort it out (as I did with Where-Object).

3 thoughts on “Accessing the Outlook Inbox – ‘NoCOMClassIdentified’ error

  1. And Octopress extends Jekyllrb, so it might be worth checking out too.

    DreamHost supports Ruby on Rails, but it looks like Octopress and Jekyllrb can be run locally to generate static pages that can be uploaded to DreamHost. Choice is good.

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