mailto, templates, vba scripts, macro outlook / exchange level ticket email how to?

Posted on 2014-11-22
Last Modified: 2015-01-08
I am trying to figure out as a side task for myself how to go about setting users to generate a support ticket to same address across the organization that's comes up and prompts them for information/is pre-populated.

ideally - when user in 2008 AD with exchange 2010 env opens email in their local outlook client running 07/2010 that they address to that it per-populates with a subject line and questions in the body


Subject : Request for support from Helpdesk
What is your issue?
What application?
How can you best be reached?
Due by?

What are some options to easily get this done at the server level i'd think if want it to effect all users and maybe too with a mailto: ?

Thank you.
Question by:dee30
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 40460037
I will have to research, but off the nose your requirements  
look impossible.  How is the SERVER supposed to know that something intrinsically client-side -- prepping and addressing a potential new message -- is occurring?   It could be coded for Outlook and deployed to the clients -- but you asked for server-side and I don't think that's in the cards.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40460586
You just need to create an email template and publish it via exchange. You can then just save a copy of this email template in a shared folder that all users have acces to (Unless you use exchange public folders and then its even easier) and the users can open it from there with all that info already in place.

Google is full of good examples of creating Exchange 2010 email templates.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 40460709
The OP wants the event to be driven when the user addresses a message to a particular address.  That is very different from having the user deliberately choose a template
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LVL 76

Assisted Solution

by:David Lee
David Lee earned 250 total points
ID: 40462432
Hi, dee30.

As @Nick67 has already said, this cannot be done at the Exchange server.  It can only be done in Outlook at each computer.  You'd either have to create and deploy a macro or an add-in to every computer in your environment.  The code would have to trap the event that fires when the user creates a new email.  It would then monitor that new email to see if the user enters that address.  If they do, then it would fill in the subject line and body.  

@Neilsr's suggestion is a better solution.  I know it's not what you asked for, but it is a simpler solution (i.e. it does not require any coding and can be implemented from the server by publishing the form to the organizational form catalog) and a more effective one.  You could enhance it by adding a toolbar button in Outlook and/or a shortcut on the desktop that would create a new email using that form.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 40462774
Now for something completely different.
You could go around Outlook completely, and craft a 'support ticket' web page that would create the email message in the format you desire.

But that's starting to get really heavy duty!
And still not what you were hoping for, which is not possible.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40462840

Please dont correct me and tell me what I already know. I was offering a solution that is workable as what was asked is not.  Very much like YOU have suggested using a web page, It is not what was asked for but is an alternative solution.
We are all here to offer advice and assistance NOT to squabble over points....
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

Nick67 earned 250 total points
ID: 40462980
No offense was intended, and this
squabble over points....
indicates that you haven't looked at my profile, which is ok.
You just need to create an email template and publish it via exchange.
indicates, to me anyway, that you believe that you have provided a possible solution to the core requirement:
What are some options to easily get this done at the server level...
tell me what I already know
Great! If you already knew that the core requirements weren't all going to be fulfillable, and didn't explicitly reinforce what I had said about the impossibility of them, then perhaps that was an oversight in how you phrased your first post.

You, me and @BlueDevilFan all agree that you can't get this done with the desired precision at the server level through Outlook.
That's now clear.
It perhaps wasn't before, or maybe it was :)

So, we can:
1. deploy code to Outlook to create an automated formatting of a message when the correct addressing is done, thereby ensuring that emails to the address are always formatted -- but it is NOT a server solution.
1a. create Custom buttons to invoke that code
2. deploy a template to do the formatting rather than code.  This is a server solution, but will still permit users to bypass it and perhaps send unformatted emails to the address.
2a create Custom buttons to invoke that template.
3. Keep Outlook out of it altogether with an EWS web page.  A very complex server solution that would allow the OP to create rules that would bounce incorrectly formatted messages.  Users would rapidly learn not to use Outlook to send such messages, but use the web page.

But we can't do what the OP asked, which is deploy a simple, server-based solution that'll take the human element out of ensuring that emails addressed to are ALWAYS properly formatted.

Are we agreed?
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 40462996
Bouncing emails To: that do not comply with the correct template is fairly easily done using exchange transport rules. If it is To and the subject does not contain xxx and the ... etc.

It is far simpler to deploy a desktop shortcut to an email template, via a GPO, that is already setup with all required fields on that to develop a complex EWS page.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 40463042
No argument that bouncing the emails is fairly simple to do.
The rest is dependent on your skill set.
Whether creating a site in C# with a  (for a change!) very good set of guides would be more complex than creating a template and deploying it via a GPO would be an open question.  If you're coming from a dev background, maybe the latter would be harder, if you're coming from an admin background perhaps the former would be.

I am not a C# guy, but I like the look of that XML
var createItemSOAPRequest =
      "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"utf-8\"?>\n" +
      "<soap:Envelope xmlns:xsi=\"\" \n" +
      "               xmlns:m=\"\" \n" +
      "               xmlns:t=\"\" \n" +
      "               xmlns:soap=\"\">\n" +
      "  <soap:Header>\n" +
      "    <t:RequestServerVersion Version=\"Exchange2007_SP1\" />\n" +
      "  </soap:Header>\n" +
      "  <soap:Body>\n" +
      "    <m:CreateItem MessageDisposition=\"SendAndSaveCopy\">\n" +
      "      <m:SavedItemFolderId>\n" +
      "        <t:DistinguishedFolderId Id=\"sentitems\" />\n" +
      "      </m:SavedItemFolderId>\n" +
      "      <m:Items>\n" +
      "        <t:Message>\n" +
      "          <t:Subject>Company Soccer Team</t:Subject>\n" +
      "          <t:Body BodyType=\"HTML\">Are you interested in joining?</t:Body>\n" +
      "          <t:ToRecipients>\n" +
      "            <t:Mailbox>\n" +
      "              <t:EmailAddress></t:EmailAddress>\n" +
      "              </t:Mailbox>\n" +
      "          </t:ToRecipients>\n" +
      "        </t:Message>\n" +
      "      </m:Items>\n" +
      "    </m:CreateItem>\n" +
      "  </soap:Body>\n" +

Open in new window

It's got some nice symmetry with what you see with Outlook VBA -- but without the need to deploy anything.  There's something to be said for intranet weblinks!


Author Comment

ID: 40463357
wow, no need to get heated guys.. it's just IT and a 'hey throw some ideas/perspectives at me to consider'.  We're not on a save the world panel here... :)  

okay... I will review all feedback, thank you for your time, and post any further questions and/or alot points over holiday weekend.

Thanks again and let's all keep calm.... :)
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 40463467
No biggie!
Chive on.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40538703

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