Creating a custom form in Outlook 2007 based on the existing Task form.


So I am working on a project that has multiple stages behind it.  We are trying to take data from two systems that some of my users use to track client cases.  We are then working with a web developer to build a case status update page for all of our unique clients that login to our website.  So they can see where we are at with their cases.  That data will come from the data we export out of these systems.

One of the systems is a web based application that I have no control over.  I have been able to export the needed data to a spreadsheet and I will be adding the data from the other case tracking system to this spreadsheet.

Unfortunately we are using outlook tasks for the other form of case tracking.  This actually works rather well for the current implemenation as these users have developed a standard way of entering the case information into a task.  They use the tasks to make notes about the cases, set due dates and reminders and also send status updates to the client.

So in looking at the current process I thought that I might be able to build a custom form that holds the case information in specifically created fields in the form so that my users could start using this custom task form to keep track of their clients cases.  The form really isn't any different than a default task in Outlook 2007 it just has an extra page with 11 different fields to hold data specific to the clients case.  Everything else about the task is exactly the same except for that.

So far I have run into one little problem that is holding this up.  I haven't been able to figure out how to allow the send status update button to place all the new information from the new fields into the email generated for the status update.  I am sure there is some complexities behind that button but I can't find where the properties of that button exist or how to create a button similiar to that so I could send status updates easily.  All the send status update button does now is just place all the "task" information in the generated email but it doesn't take data about the case from my custom fields and place it in the status update email.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to fix this or go about it a different way please let me know.

Your help is appreciated.

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David LeeCommented:

I don't know of a way to change the behavior of the Send Status Report button.  Creating a button that mimics its behavior is simple.  Simply add a command button and use code like that in the snippet to create and display the report.
Sub CommandButton1_Click()
    Dim olkReport 
    On Error Resume Next
    Set olkReport = Application.CreateItem(olMail)
    With olkReport
        'Change the subject on the next line as desired'
        .Subject = "Status Report for Task " & Item.Subject
        'Change the property names to those of your property names'
        .Body = "Some Label: " & Item.UserProperties.Item("MyPropertyName1") & vbLf _
            & "Some Label: " & Item.UserProperties.Item("MyPropertyName2")
    End With
    Set olkReport = Nothing
End Sub

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ITPIPAuthor Commented:

Thanks for your response.  The code makes sense but I have run into a much simplier problem than that.  Where do I script the button?  

This is where I am so far.

I go to the new drop down where it gives you the option for what type of new oulook message you want to create.  I choose one of the bottom options that says "Choose Form".  I choose my newly created form from the Orginizational forms library and then open.  I go to the Developer tab and click Design This Form.  I go to my second page of the form that holds my new fields and also my newly created "Send Status Update" button(I did that by clicking on the control toolbox and then choosing command button.  Now I named my button but I can't find where to enter the code to drive the click command for this button.

I am very very new to creating outlook forms so I aplogize for my lack of knowledge in this area.  If you need more info from me please let me know.

David LeeCommented:
"I am very very new to creating outlook forms so I aplogize for my lack of knowledge in this area."
No problem.

"Where do I script the button?"
Click the "View Code' button in the Form section of the ribbon.  Paste the code into the code editor that appears.
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ITPIPAuthor Commented:
Perfect.  I am almost done but I have run into one more snag.  I need to take the notes from the original task page and display it in the email created from my status update button.  I have been able to display all of my custom fields and I noticed that subject line was placed in the email subject line created by the button but I can't find what to call to pull the Notes section of a task.  I thought it was just Item.Notes but that doesn't look like its it.  I did some searching but so far have come up empty.  Any suggestions?

David LeeCommented:
It's Item.Body.
ITPIPAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your previous post.  I was trying to find a place where I could get that same information myself and I did run across a site that helped.

Ok I think I have the form done but I have run into another question.  I want our users to keep these forms filled under a seperate folder from the default tasks folder.  I was hoping to force this by making it easy for them to create these Case forms.  So I thought that if I clicked on that folder and then went to New->Choose Form and then choose my custom form from the Organizational Forms Library, once I filled out the necessary information and clicked save and close, the task form should save in the folder I am currently in.  But instead it saves it under the default tasks folder.

If I create just a new task in this folder it works fine though.  Does this have to do with assigning the type of item that is going to be saved in this folder or is it something I need to change in my form or where the form is saved?

Bascically I would like to make this custom form the default item type for this separate folder.

If you have a question about my inquiry please let me know.

David LeeCommented:
You're welcome.

You can make your form the default item type for a folder.  This page explains how: (look under "Change Folder Default").
ITPIPAuthor Commented:

You were very helpful.  Thanks a lot.
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