Access & Outlook, passing information

Hello all,

 So I have an Access database that saves appts to an outlook shared calendar. The entries have a unique identifer in the subject.

 What I was wondering was, is there any way to set it up so when the user interacts with that appt in Outlook that it will open the Access DB and pass that unique identifer along? I feel like its a bit of a long shot, but my expectations of Access have been raised lately. :)

Thanks!
Abbie OffmanComputer Services OfficerAsked:
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)President / OwnerCommented:
<<What I was wondering was, is there any way to set it up so when the user interacts with that appt in Outlook that it will open the Access DB and pass that unique identifer along? I feel like its a bit of a long shot, but my expectations of Access have been raised lately. :) >>

  That's a tough one and it really doesn't have to do with Access.

 All the Office apps have VBA and support OLE, so they can all interact with one another.

 The issue is what will drive the process and for that you have two basic choices:

1. Have code in Outlook that interacts with the Access DB when the appt is modified.

2. Have an Access app constantly monitoring (or waking up every so often and checking) all the appts to see if they have been modified.

Since Access created the  appts initally, and since getting code into every users Outlook would be quite problematic, I would go with #2.   The issue with #2 though is two fold:

1. Acceptable performance

2. User experience.

  #1 deals with the number of appts that would need to be checked and how often.   #2 deals with how often.

  So let's say your checking once a minute...is that often enough to give a good user experience?   and if once a minute, can you check all the appts you need to?

Jim.
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Abbie OffmanComputer Services OfficerAuthor Commented:
Hi Jim, thank you for your reply.

I don't think option #2 is exactly what I was looking for. I'm not so much worried about users changing the appt in Outlook, but rather it would be nice if they could go into the calendar, see they have an open job appt for that day and dbl click on it or something to open Access.

I think #1 was more what I was looking for. I'm not so much worried about getting the code out to the users either as 1. its a small shop and 2. it would make their life easier.  If I were to try to go this route, where would I start as far as Outlook code? I'm capable with VBA, but where would the code go?

Thanks!
Abbie
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)President / OwnerCommented:
<<If I were to try to go this route, where would I start as far as Outlook code? I'm capable with VBA, but where would the code go?>>

 Outlook like Access has VBA built-in.   Just don't use the existing module that's there (which is exclusively for Outlook's use).

 How you get there depends on version, but in general, tools/macro, VBA or Alt+F11

 Now there, you can control Access from Outlook just like you controlled Outlook from Access.   The following will get you started with that and should be somewhat familiar territory:

ACC: Using Microsoft Access as an Automation Server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/147816

  Once you have an Access object, you can pretty much do anything within Access.

  Note also that you can write/read the Access DB using DAO or ADO just like you do in Access VBA code if you don't need anything in the Access interface itself (like running a report or showing a form).   Just set a reference in Outlook.

Jim.
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Abbie OffmanComputer Services OfficerAuthor Commented:
Thank you again, Jim. I do believe I'm on the right track. I have Access opening when the appt is double clicked. But it doesn't want to open if I try the same appt again. So it looks like I have a little clean up to do, but the hard part is behind me :)

-Abbie
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Abbie OffmanComputer Services OfficerAuthor Commented:
Hey Jim, just wanted to follow up and let you know I got this to work.  The link on automation and some reading up on getsettings/savesettings did the trick.
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