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Forms in Outlook

Posted on 2000-02-09
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I am looking for a form that users can fill for product change requests.  I am a web developer, and I am trying to manage change requests that come from my customers.  Is there a prebuilt form that ships with Outlook98 that does something like this or do I have to create one from scratch?  This is my first time using Outlook forms.  Can these forms be tied to an Access DB?

Thanks for any help,

kpetti
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Question by:kpetti
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sreenathk earned 400 total points
ID: 2506580
Hi Kpetti,
   There is no such prebuilt form in outlook. But it is very easy to built it using VB. But the client where this form runs must have MS.Exhage as his default mailbox.
  If you want to have some info on how to create such a form in VB, here it is.
1. Create a project using VB5.0 and above. user will enter data in this form.
2. VB uses dynamic link lybrary mapi32.dll for enabling email services. So include it using references in your project.
3. Now your project toolbar contains two tools namely mapisession and mapimessage. Include them on your project. They are no visible once your run the project.
4. Once you capture all user data, start a MapiSession. (sing MapiSession.Signon).
5. Now MapiMessage variable will give you all the services of an email, like sending,reading, attaching an document, writing data in subject filed, writing data in message body etc.

This is very easy, if you need any help see Visual Basic online help book. The help that is provided by Vb is more than sufficient to finish this task within hours.

Thank you
Sreenath
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Author Comment

by:kpetti
ID: 2507887
sreenathk,

Thanks for the quick response.  I have tried to read a little in a Outlook book that another developer has here at work.  Could you tell me why it would be better to build in VB rather than in Outlook itself.  I am trying to find out the pros and cons of both methods.

Thank you,

kpetti
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Expert Comment

by:sreenathk
ID: 2510408
It is not possible to build it in Outlook. It is a limitation of outlook usage. But at the same time Microsoft provided this feature using VB. Windows allows you to customise your mails and outlook using MAPI32.dll. If you can understand the general usage of MAPIMessage and MAPISession you can build your own OUTLOOK and there you can have all you customizations. So It will take one or two days to build that application from total scratch.
So are you going to give me the points.
Sreenath
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Author Comment

by:kpetti
ID: 2511466
I am not sure why you are telling me that it can't be done in Outlook.  I  just looked at an entire book on how to create custom forms in Outlook.  

I have been using EE for about the past 3 years.  I have seen this site since its infancy.  What is the motivation behind getting points?  Is there a monetary gain or is it recognition for being the top expert?  These points have no value or meaning to me.

From the beginning, EE was formed to help developers like me.  Lately I see it getting more and more commercialized.  What ever happened to Experts that did this service just because they got the personal satisfaction of knowing that they really helped out someone that needed some help?

I would be more than happy to award you the points but as an Outlook expert, I don't think you should tell me that you can't do what I am trying to achieve in Outlook.  I am not saying that your VB solution would not work just fine for me, but don't tell me that I can't do something if that is not the case.

kpetti
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Expert Comment

by:sreenathk
ID: 2517737
That's good reply from you. I think I should change my attitude in saying "No". What you say is correct only. Try for the solution using outlook forms. Meanwhile I will get some more info for you.

Sreenath
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Author Comment

by:kpetti
ID: 2518868
Adjusted points to 100
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Author Comment

by:kpetti
ID: 2518869
Sreenath,

I am glad that you appreciate my reply.  When solving a problem, there usually is not one right answer.  All possibilities need to be looked at.  Problem solving is a logical process, however logic does not bring creative solutions.  The best solutions are born from your imagination, experience, and personal creativity.

I have thought over the weekend of the most suitable solution for my needs.  I have decided to construct an .asp form which utilizes the CDONTS functionality.  Since this is a Product Change Request form, testers are not always at their computers.  With a strictly Outlook solution, users will need to configure the outlook account on the test machines.  All of our computers in our office have IE on them.  I will create a form and no matter what building, state, or country they are in, they can access and use my form.  

I appreciate your help and honesty.  Although I am not using a proposed solution from you, I wish to award you the points and am actually increasing them to encourage you to be as open minded with the people you are helping.

Thank you again,

kpetti

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