VB6/ASP - Retrieve Email using Microsoft OAuth 2.0 (Modern Authentication) + EWS Protocol from Office 365 in Background Service

You can retrieve email using traditional user/password authentication from Office 365 account by EWS Protocol. IMAP4 protocol is not supported in background service.

However Microsoft will disable traditional user authentication in the future, switching to Microsoft OAuth (Modern Authentication) is strongly recommended now.

Installation

Before you can use the following sample codes, you should download the EAGetMail Installer and install it on your machine at first. Full sample projects are included in this installer.

Add Reference

To better demonstrate how to retrieve email and parse email, let’s create a VB 6.0 Standard EXE project at first, then add a CommandButton on the Form, double-click this button. It is like this

VB 6.0 standard project

To use EAGetMail POP3 & IMAP4 ActiveX Object in your project, the first step is Add reference of EAGetMail to your project. Please go to menu -> Project -> References -> and select EAGetMailObj ActiveX Object, click OK, the reference will be added to your project, and you can start to use it to retrieve email and parse email in your project.

add reference in VB6

Office 365 OAuth 2.0 client credentials grant

Normal OAuth requires user input user/password for authentication. Obviously, it is not suitable for background service. In this case, You can use the OAuth 2.0 client credentials grant, sometimes called two-legged OAuth, to access web-hosted resources by using the identity of an application. It only works for Office365 user, it doesn’t work for personal Hotmail account.

Create your application in Azure Portal

To use Microsoft/Office365/Live OAuth (Modern Authentication) in your application, you must create a application in https://portal.azure.com.

Important

You can use any Microsoft user to create the application, it doesn’t require application owner is administrator in your Office365 domain. But your Office365 administrator must authorize the application to access user mailbox.

  • Sign in to the Azure portal using either a work or school account or a personal Microsoft account.

  • If your account gives you access to more than one tenant, select your account in the top right corner, and set your portal session to the Azure AD tenant that you want.

  • In the left-hand navigation pane, select the Azure Active Directory service, and then select App registrations -> New registration.

    azure portal new app registration
  • When the Register an application page appears, enter your application’s registration information:

    azure portal app registration information
    • Name - Enter a meaningful application name that will be displayed to users of the app.
    • Supported account types - Select which accounts you would like your application to support. Because we need to support all Office 365 and LIVE SDK (hotmail, outlook personal account) select Accounts "in any organizational directory and personal Microsoft accounts".
  • Redirect URI (optional)

    Select the type of app you’re building, Web or Public client (mobile & desktop), and then enter the redirect URI (or reply URL) for your application.

    For web applications, provide the base URL of your app. For example, http://localhost:31544 might be the URL for a web app running on your local machine. Users would use this URL to sign in to a web client application.

    For public client applications, provide the URI used by Azure AD to return token responses. Enter a value specific to your application, such as myapp://auth.

  • Client Id/secrets

    After you registered your application, Azure AD assigns a unique application (client) ID to your app, and you’re taken to your application’s Overview page. click "Certificates and secrets" -> "client secrets" and add a new client secret.

Important

Please store "client secret" by yourself, because it is hidden when you view it at next time.

API Permission

  • Click "API Permission" -> "Add a permission" -> "Exchange" -> "Application permissions" -> "Check full_access_as_app";
  • "Add a permission" -> "Microsoft Graph" -> "Delegated Permission" -> "User.Read", "email", "offline_access", "openid" and "profile".
azure app api permission

Authentication

  • Click "Authentication"

    • Implicit grant: check "Access tokens" and "ID tokens";
    • Redirect URI: input the url to get authorization code, for native desktop application, you don’t have to add redirect uri.
  • Mobile and desktop applications -> Redirect Uri, please check or add the following URI.

    https://login.microsoftonline.com/common/oauth2/nativeclient
    https://login.live.com/oauth20_desktop.srf
    http://127.0.0.1
    

    Note

    • https://login.live.com/oauth20_desktop.srf is used for Live SDK, http://127.0.0.1 is used for local Http Listener.
  • Supported account types:

    Select Accounts in any organizational directory (Any Azure AD directory - Multitenant) and personal Microsoft accounts (e.g. Skype, Xbox)

  • Advanced settings:

    Set both "Live SDK Support" and "Treat application as a public client" to "Yes".

azure app authentication Overview

Above client id and client secret support both "Office365 + EWS" and "Live (hotmail, outlook personal account) + IMAP", Office365 OAuth doesn’t support IMAP with Application permissions, only EWS is supported.

VB6/ASP - Retrieve Email using Microsoft OAuth 2.0 from Office 365 Account in Background Service - Example

Option Explicit

Const MailServerPop3 = 0
Const MailServerImap4 = 1
Const MailServerEWS = 2
Const MailServerDAV = 3

Const MailServerAuthLogin = 0
Const MailServerAuthCRAM5 = 1
Const MailServerAuthNTLM = 2
Const MailServerAuthXOAUTH2 = 3

Const GetMailInfos_All = 1
Const GetMailInfos_NewOnly = 2
Const GetMailInfos_ReadOnly = 4
Const GetMailInfos_SeqRange = 8
Const GetMailInfos_UIDRange = 16
Const GetMailInfos_PR_ENTRYID = 32
Const GetMailInfos_DateRange = 64
Const GetMailInfos_OrderByDateTime = 128

Const CRYPT_MACHINE_KEYSET = 32
Const CRYPT_USER_KEYSET = 4096

Private Function GenerateRequestData()

    Const client_id = "8f54719b-4070-41ae-91ad-f48e3c793c5f"
    Const client_secret = "cbmYyGQjz[d29wL2ArcgoO7HLwJXL/-."
    Const scope = "https://outlook.office365.com/.default"

    GenerateRequestData = "client_id=" & client_id & "&client_secret=" & client_secret & "&scope=" & scope & "&grant_type=client_credentials"

End Function

Private Function RequestAccessToken(requestData)
    RequestAccessToken = ""

    If requestData = "" Then
        Exit Function
    End If

On Error GoTo ErrorHandle

    Dim httpRequest
    Set httpRequest = CreateObject("MSXML2.ServerXMLHTTP")

    ' If your application is not created by Office365 administrator,
    ' please use Office365 directory tenant id, you should ask Offic365 administrator to send it to you.
    ' Office365 administrator can query tenant id in https://portal.azure.com/ - Azure Active Directory.
    Const tenant_id = "79a42c6f-5a9a-439b-a2ca-7aa1b0ed9776"

    Dim tokenUri
    tokenUri = "https://login.microsoftonline.com/" & tenant_id & "/oauth2/v2.0/token"

    httpRequest.setOption 2, 13056
    httpRequest.Open "POST", tokenUri, True
    httpRequest.setRequestHeader "Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"
    httpRequest.Send requestData

    Do While httpRequest.ReadyState <> 4
        DoEvents
        httpRequest.waitForResponse (1)
    Loop

    Dim Status
    Status = httpRequest.Status

    If Status < 200 Or Status >= 300 Then
        Debug.Print "Failed to get access token from server."
        Debug.Print httpRequest.responseText
        Exit Function
    End If

    Dim result
    result = httpRequest.responseText

    Dim oauthParser As New EAGetMailObjLib.OAuthResponseParser
    oauthParser.Load result

    Dim accessToken
    accessToken = oauthParser.accessToken

    If accessToken = "" Then
        Debug.Print "Failed to parse access token from server response."
        Exit Function
    End If

    RequestAccessToken = accessToken
    Exit Function

ErrorHandle:
    Debug.Print "Failed to request access token." & Err.Description

End Function

Public Sub RetrieveEmail()

    Dim accessToken As String
    accessToken = RequestAccessToken(GenerateRequestData())

    If accessToken = "" Then
        Exit Sub
    End If

    Dim Office365User As String
    Office365User = "user@mydomain.onmicrosoft.com"


Dim curpath As String
    Dim mailbox As String
    Dim oTools As New EAGetMailObjLib.Tools

    ' Create a folder named "inbox" under current directory
    ' to save the email retrieved.
    curpath = App.Path
    mailbox = curpath & "\inbox"
    oTools.CreateFolder mailbox

    Dim oServer As New EAGetMailObjLib.MailServer
    ' Office 365 Server address
    oServer.Server = "outlook.office365.com"
    ' Use OAUTH 2.0
    oServer.AuthType = MailServerAuthXOAUTH2
    oServer.user = Office365User
    ' Use access token as password
    oServer.Password = accessToken
    ' Use EWS Protocol
    oServer.Protocol = MailServerEWS

    ' Enable SSL/TLS connection
    oServer.SSLConnection = True


On Error GoTo ErrorHandle:
    Dim oClient As New EAGetMailObjLib.MailClient
    oClient.LicenseCode = "TryIt"

    Debug.Print "Connecting " & oServer.Server & "..."
    oClient.Connect oServer
    Debug.Print "Connected"

    ' Get new email only, if you want to get all emails, please remove this line
    oClient.GetMailInfosParam.GetMailInfosOptions = GetMailInfos_NewOnly

    Dim infos As EAGetMailObjLib.MailInfoCollection
    Set infos = oClient.GetMailInfoList()
    Debug.Print infos.Count & " emails"

    Dim i As Long
    For i = 0 To infos.Count - 1
        Dim info As EAGetMailObjLib.MailInfo
        Set info = infos.Item(i)

        Debug.Print "Index: " & info.Index & "; Size: " & info.Size & _
        "; UIDL: " & info.UIDL

        ' Receive email from IMAP4 server
        Dim oMail As EAGetMailObjLib.Mail
        Set oMail = oClient.GetMail(info)

        Debug.Print "From: " & oMail.From.Address & _
            vbCrLf & "Subject: " & oMail.Subject

        Dim fileName As String
        ' Generate a random file name by current local datetime,
        ' You can use your method to generate the filename if you do not like it
        fileName = mailbox & "\" & oTools.GenFileName(i) & ".eml"

        ' Save email to local disk
        oMail.SaveAs fileName, True

        ' Mark email as read to prevent retrieving this email again.
        oClient.MarkAsRead info, True

        ' If you want to delete current email, please use Delete method instead of MarkAsRead
        ' oClient.Delete info
    Next

    ' Quit and expunge emails marked as deleted from IMAP4 server.
    oClient.Quit
    Exit Sub

ErrorHandle:
    Debug.Print Err.Description

End Sub

TLS 1.2 Protocol

TLS is the successor of SSL, more and more SMTP servers require TLS 1.2 encryption now.

If your operating system is Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 2003/2008/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2, you need to enable TLS 1.2 protocol in your operating system like this:

Enable TLS 1.2 on Windows XP/Vista/7/10/Windows 2008/2008 R2/2012

Appendix

Comments

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