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Include doclink in signature

Posted on 2010-11-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
My team handles statistical and report requests and currently receive those requests by regular email, phone, or internal chat.  We have a database where we then transcribe it to a form in a database where we can track the work and categorize our work.

We would like to 'train' our customers to fill out the form, thus eliminating one or two steps in the process, and avoid things getting 'lost' and not followed up on promptly.

I would like input/advice on the best way to deliver the form to them.  Many have literally dozens of databases on their workspace and I'm sure would simply ignore a request to enter directly in the database simply because they are busy and don't want to search for it.  

I would like to know if either of these is possible:
Put a doclink to a new request form in the signature of my regular email, so I can 'reply' to them with the link, asking them to click and fill it out?   The only options I see in the signature setup is HTML or text - but I'm wondering if something can be done programattically.

Can I email them with the request form embedded directly in the email, so that when they fill it out save it (appropriate programming behind the save button), it saves directly to the database and doesn't have to be emailed back?  


Finally, they will have a view of their open requests.  I anticipate back and forth questions will happen for clarification and change requests, so I will have to provide a way for that, and  have any edits to the original request appear as children.

Anyone have any other ideas?
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Question by:jkee54
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10 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:doninja
ID: 34197520
Is this for internal users who all have Lotus Notes Client installed ?

If so you can still add a html link to the database in the format of

notes://servername/database_path/view_name/document_ID or Page_name in sorted view

When link is clicked it will open the linked database view and document in their Lotus Notes Client.
this is because the handle notes: is registered in your browser by Lotus Notes

To link to the document correctly just change the name at the appropriate places but you can make some short cuts to make it neater or my portable.

Servername must be the name that is connectable within the Lotus Notes client not Internet Browser. You can't use the DNS name of the server unless that is resolvable by the client. You can test in your own client by going to ports in User preferences and using the Trace function. Generaly use the common part or a servers name and let your infrastructure sort out the resolution i.e. NotesServer1 if it is notesserver1/org
Database_path is either the full path and filename of the database or you can use the Databases replica id i.e. (/80240788002B1CC9/) and the server will find the database locally.
Viewname can be either the name of a view if it has no spaces (not strict rule just a pain), the ID of a view or you can use /0/ to specify all documents.
Document_ID or Page_Name is either the hex UniversalID of the document which you will need to use if specifying /0/ as the view or if your view is sorted on the first column, then value in the first column can also be used.

To have the link automatically open a new blank form just change the Viewname section to be
NameofForm?openForm
Ful url
notes://servername/database_path/NameofForm?openForm


Once you have all that just put it in your signature or mail template using usual html link syntax.
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Expert Comment

by:doninja
ID: 34197600
Answering the other question about showing their open requests etc.

You possibly will have to look at either.
Document security using Reader and Authour fields to limit the people who can read/edit the documents.
Using document level security to add the authors user name to a reader field and then a group or role for people who will be able to edit the document. In a view the user will only see documents where they are listed in one of the fields, or has a group association. You can make any communication through adding documents that are responses to the main document with the same permissions.
This system has tightest security but has some performance implications if database is very large or highly used.

Alternative is to restrict access to views and just give users access to pages that show single catagory views of the documents. If a view is catagorised on the Authours name, saved in a field.
Then embed this view in database page with the single catagory action set to user the current users Name.
A little more designer work required to make thsi work but performs better on the server.
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Author Comment

by:jkee54
ID: 34197681
Great!  I tried that, and the link works, but I have to copy and paste into a browser.  Is there a setting to make the url in the signature 'hot' even though it's client and not internet??  The only User Preference referencing hotspots says it needs to be in http format?
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:shuboarder
ID: 34197915
Hi jkee54,

personally, I would leave email signatures out of the equation here and look to set up an agent that emails out the doclinks to the appropriate people on a schedule.
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Expert Comment

by:doninja
ID: 34197979
If your putting this into the html signature then look up 'html link code' in google.

If you want this for a stationary form in Notes Client then depednign on client version but for R8+

Copy your link to the body and then highlight it, select Create..Hotspot..Link Hotspot
In widow copy again the URL and freiindly test to appear as.Save and hey presto should be a clickable link to any notes client you send it to.
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Author Comment

by:jkee54
ID: 34197999
That won't work in practicality since the audience is wide, some may need to ask for something once or twice a year and the email might be deleted by the time they need it.  I thought about responding to their email with the doclink by some kind of agent, but they are also often travelling and don't read email for several days, which would extend the time we are not taking care of their request.

 Also, they are at the level where they have extremely full mailboxes, often just scan and don't read their inboxes. So the object of the signature is that they would have any-old-email from one of us and be able to click on the signature - kind of like, seeing the link in the signature, and being able to quickly click and fill it out without taking any time to search for anything or waiting for a reply from us.
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Expert Comment

by:doninja
ID: 34198022
would agree an agent is a good end point but that will still need the same link code to put into a mime entity plus someway of system being told who the agent is going to send the mail to etc.

Possibly your system has that information but maybe start with something simple and then develop it into an agent once your comfortable with the idea and want to automate it.
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Author Comment

by:jkee54
ID: 34198119
doninja - sorry  - my reply was to shubarder who suggested sending an email with the link.
I still can't get the link in the signature to work.  I put the URL with surrounding text into a Word document and saved it as html, the used User-Preferences-Signature to reference that document.  I looked up hotspots in Notes, then checked User Preferences  where you check "Make Internet URLs (http...) into hotspots.

Then when I create a new document the right signature is there, it's 'blue' like a hotspot should be, but it's not a true hotspot.
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Accepted Solution

by:
doninja earned 400 total points
ID: 34198237
Are you looking at it whilst still editing the document ?

The link code works once you send it, i.e. to yourself. Whilst editing you can edit the text or properties.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jkee54
ID: 34198311
Whoo hoo! That worked... Thank you!
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