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Userform in Outlook connected to Access

Posted on 2014-04-24
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Last Modified: 2014-05-02
Hi Experts,

I work in a small company, where my team of 4 receive perhaps 100 emails a day with various attachments relating to different products.  Currently its a mess how we organize these emails.

As a possible solution I would like to build an Outlook userform which would be used to update an Access database which would record several features of each email received.   In my mind the userform would have the following features:

1) the email would be selected within outlook and then the userform activated. The subject heading of the selected email, time/date etc would be passed to Access automatically.  

2) there is an input box in the userform where the products name the email relates to is entered.   Now there are 500 or so different products with rather long names - some are very similar with perhaps a number on the end only being the difference.  Ideally there would be some sort of ability that where as letters are entered available a product name which contain those letters can be selected from multiple options (from a list of products names contained in Access).  Not sure what would the best way to do this is - but for the tool to be adopted by the team its important this step is easy, quick and pain free!

3) several checkboxes classifying the email into what type (eg order, customer query etc) - there are only 5 or so types here

4) some other input boxes where various comments can be entered - these don't have to be verified.

5) enter button where the info is passed to access

My questions are whether each of these parts are possible (with an emphasis on 1 and 2) and some directions on how to go about it.  As a bit of background I have 5 years or so background in VBA (99% in excel though)/Access and am fairly competent although limited use of useforms.  

Thanks for your time!
Matt
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Question by:matt_m
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Expert Comment

by:PatHartman
ID: 40023076
Yes you can do it but this might be easier if you do it from the Access side.  Access can link to Outlook tables.  But I don't think Outlook forms can link to Jet/ACE tables so that leaves you writing a lot of code.
Outlook foldersTake a look at what you can see from Access to see if you can possibly automate any of this.  The benefit of doing this from Access is that you can use bound forms.  If you do this as a user form in Outlook, you'll need to write DAO/ADO code to populate the form when you want to view data and code to save the data when you want to update/add it.
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Author Comment

by:matt_m
ID: 40023990
Thanks Pat - yes I expected that there would be lots of ADO code involved - I've done a lot of similar stuff with Excel/Access interaction that's been really successful.  The solution really has to be on the Outlook side as getting the rest of the team to use Access will be a challenge.
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Author Comment

by:matt_m
ID: 40024057
As an update - I've being googling around and have managed to assemble code to connect to Access and populate a table with properties of the currently selected email. What I really need a hand with now is ideas on the best solution to point 2 above.
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PatHartman earned 250 total points
ID: 40024706
getting the rest of the team to use Access will be a challenge
But they wouldn't be using "Access".  They would be using an application that you created for them which is totally different.

Since I work in Access, I build Access forms rather than user forms.  Doesn't the user form have a combobox control?  You might have to rig up something that does a VLookup() if you don't have a combo.
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Assisted Solution

by:Helen_Feddema
Helen_Feddema earned 250 total points
ID: 40026230
I have done a number of custom Outlook forms from which data is imported to Access tables.  I don't think a UserForm would work here, because Userforms live in an Outlook project.  The one the user would fill in is in their project, not yours, and in any case UserForms are not bound to data.  So I think you would have to design a custom Outlook form, make sure your users all have this form, and that data they enter comes though to you when the form is received.  Then you can retrieve the data and put it into Access tables.
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Author Closing Comment

by:matt_m
ID: 40038724
Thanks guys - you've really given me some great ideas
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