Winform event handler to capture params from email hyperlink

Posted on 2011-02-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
How do I get a Winforms application event handler to receive three parameters from an email (actually, a user clicking something in the email).

my experience is email body contains a hyperlink similar to¶mB=2¶mC=3
a web service receives the values of each of the three parameters and processing them as necessary.

In this case a C#.NET Winforms application needs to receive the three parameters and process them. It is like we are automating the application by sending filter information before it displays a DataGridView. I can format the email hyperlink (or something better) as needed, because I control the creation of the emails.

What C#.NET class should I use to create a handler to receive the parameters, and how do I create inter-process messaging like this?
Question by:tonygallo10
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Accepted Solution

razisyed earned 500 total points
ID: 34929445
This is basically done through a custom url protocol handler and. You can use something like myapp://servlet?paramA=1&paramB=2 which will launch your windows winform app.

Take a look at the following msdn articles explaining how to do it:


Author Comment

ID: 34929592
Sorry. I did not explain that the Winform application may be running already, so I cannot use args[0].

It is okay if a window (with DataGridView) popups up automatically from the Winform application, because the action was caused by the user clicking in the email text.

Somehow, I need to get the Winform app to "listen" for the event caused by a user clicking on hyperlink myapp://servlet?paramA=1&paramB=2 in the email.

Expert Comment

ID: 34930268
You can actually still use the same. You would have to make your application a single instance application, and then handle the load event that fires when someone clicks and the application is launced again.
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Author Comment

ID: 34943855
command line args are not working, because this is a ClickOnce deployed program see and the blog entry at

Also, I can see problems creating the keys in the registry as I deploy this application to many users who are not administrators on their computer. I stalled in the Microsoft instructions, when i needed to enter the path to the exe in the registry key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/TestStatusAlert/shell/open/command

Click Once applications do not have an explicit and consistently (through multiple version updates) available path to the exe.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Jesse Houwing
ID: 34970629
In that case you should look at a different way to distribute your application. Clickonce doesn't fit the requirements of your app.

Author Comment

ID: 34971685
The feature we need to add is just one part of a large application, which has been deployed with ClickOnce. It is the standard deployment strategy of my client. There IT doesn't want to give admin privileges on user desktops, and I agree from a security standpoint.

The one suggestion I have from the experts requires modifying the registry, which requires admin rights. There must be another way.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Jesse Houwing
ID: 34982615
You could create an outlook addin to do it from the mailclient or something similar, but there is no other way to do it by simply clicking a link.

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