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Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) is a messaging architecture and a Component Object Model based API for Microsoft Windows. MAPI allows client programs to become ( e-mail) messaging-enabled, -aware, or -based by calling MAPI subsystem routines that interface with certain messaging servers. While MAPI is designed to be independent of the protocol, it is usually used with MAPI/RPC, the proprietary protocol that Microsoft Outlook uses to communicate with Microsoft Exchange.