Custom Contact Forms and User Properties



Custom Contact Forms and User Defined Properties

I have created a very simple Contact custom form (no user defined fields, no
macros, etc.). I have made this form the default form for a contact folder.
When I create a contact, the form appears and I enter data into the form. One
things happens:

- After I save the form and I view it using the View->Current View->Phone
List, it comes up as a note icon with a pin through it and not as a contact
icon. Why is that? If I look at the MessageClass field, it states that it is
IPM.Contact.MyTestForm. Obviously there is an issue with that. Does anyone
have any hints as to how the form can be saved properly?

Consequently, if I edit the contact and add a user defined field, ALL the
user defined fields that are being displayed disappear and I no longer have
access to the user defined fields for that contact. It seems that using the
default custom contact forms in Outlook corrupts the access to user defined
fields for the Contacts OR the saving of the contact with the incorrect type
causes it to break the link with User Defined Fields (since user defined
fields are not supported for the Notes). I’d expect Custom Contact Forms to
support user defined fields.

Does anyone have any insight into this?


Karl Timmermans

When using a custom form, the user-defined fields need to be defined in the
form. User-defined fields defined for the "folder" when using the standard
IPM.Contact message class are not interchangable with those assigned/created
via a custom form and you should never be adding user-defined fields to a
contact with a custom form on an adhoc basis (causes a "one-off" item).

Think of user-defined fields in one of three contexts:

#1 - User-defined fields in folder (applicable when default message class
for the folder is IPM.Contact)

#2 - User-defined fields in item. A user-defined field created for an item
is first added to the folder's user-defined list automatically and by
default. It is <never> added to an individual item's user-defined fields
group until a value is entered for the field. Removing a field from the
<folder user-defined list> does not remove the field in any contact item to
which it has been added. It becomes an <orphan> user-defined field which
remains with the item so long as the message class for it is "IPM.Contact".
Once a UDF has been deleted from the <folder's> UDF list - there is no way
within Outlook to determine which contact(s) have that field without opening
each individual contact item.

#3 - User-defined fields created/used in custom form. All UDFs in this case
become part of the contact item whether the field has a value or not.
Changing the message class(custom form) for a contact item results in
user-defined fields for the original custom form no longer being accessible
when viewing a contact item. Usre-defined fields assigned to the <folder>
are no longer applicable when a contact is assigned a new message class
(custom form) nor are user-defined fields associated with a custom form
applicable if the contact's message class is changed back to the standard
messageclass/form (IPM.Contact).

Sidenote: should <not> create a UDF in a custom form that is assigned to one
of the <standard> Outlook fields even though nothing will prevent you from
doing that.

Karl Timmermans - The Claxton Group
ContactGenie - Importer/DataPorter/Exporter/Toolkit/Duplicate Contact Mgr
"Contact import/export/data management tools for Outlook '2000/2007"

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