Sharing Custom Task Form with Outside Vendor


H

HDS Tom

Hi All!

I work with a vendor who maintains a database for me containing property data and documents. I have created a custom task form, so that when I initiate an action item for the vendor, I can keep track of when I send it, critical information fields, and when it is acted upon.

Up to now, this has all been a manual process, by which I create the task, and then generate an email containing the same information and attaching the appropriate document
files for the vendor to act upon. However, my boss wants me to "automate" some of my procedures, so we had this idea that if we sent the custom task form to the vendor, and had them publish it in their task folder, I could just assign the task to them, rather than creating an email.

So I have gotten the vendor to publish the form, which when they open a new blank form, looks just the same as mine. However, I am having a little trouble with the assigning portion.

Because my form is custom, and the first tab is not visible, when I try to assign the task, I don't get the requisite "To:" field popping up so I can insert the vendor's email and send. I modified my form to include the "To:" field and also to display the "Assigned" status of the task.

However, when I send the task to the vendor, it is sent as an email, and I can't figure out how to get the fields from the task I send to populate the fields in the vendor's form. The only fields which populate when the vendor moves the email/task from the inbox to the task folder are the normal fields, such as
the subject line, due date. In other words, the only fields which populate are the standard task fields, not my custom fields. The information is sent, but only appears as text in an email. The email lists the fields and the correct information, but the custom form doesn't take the information
and populate it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please know that I have VERY limited experience with scripting, so if you offer a scripting solution, it will have to be VERY detailed for me to implement.

Anyway, thanks in advance for your assistance. Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, and a great beginning to their week. Wish mine had started better, but I guess it could be a lot worse.

Cheers!!

To
-
NULL
 
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S

Sue Mosher [MVP-Outlook]

I drafted a really detailed response to this and then the forum ate it. :(
I'm afraid I don't have the patience to start over again, so I'll give you
the short answer: Your chances of getting this to work are slim. You'd have
to make sure that both sender and recipient have the form published as the
same message class (and with the "Send Form Definition with Item" box
unchecked) and that neither of the mail servers is stripping the TNEF content
that the form needs to operate. And then hope that Outlook doesn't through
other quirks in your way, which it's likely to do given that you're working
with task requests. Plus, since you've hidden the first page, you don't have
access to the two checkboxes that determine how updates to the task would be
handled.

I would suggest that the place to streamline this scenario would be in
generating the email and attaching the document -- in other words, stick to
the way you're already sending it but automate what you're now doing manually
-- but you seem to want to avoid any code, so I'm not sure how good a
suggestion that is.
--
Sue Mosher, Outlook MVP
Author of Microsoft Outlook Programming: Jumpstart
for Administrators, Power Users, and Developers
 
H

HDS Tom

Sue,

Thanks for your response. I was trying to avoid coding because I have very
little practice. I did buy your book "Microsoft Outlook Programming" but as
my job is primarily administrative and not technology oriented, I have had
very little time to read and/or practice what is in your book. If there is
some way to automatically
generate an email which transmits the information and/or attachments, it
would cut my work time by about 1/3rd. I tried to attach a ppt slide which
illustrated the form I use and the email I am currently generating, with a
diagram detailing which fields from the form I need to populate in the
email. However, the file size was about 200kb, and the board would not
allow it to be posted. If there is a way to send it to you directly so you
can look at it, and you are willing, please let me know. Otherwise, any
other advice you might have for automatically generating an email would be
greatly appreciated. Again, I really appreciate your help, and if this is
too much for you to respond to, I understand. I was hoping to find a
quick/easy way to streamline the process, but if it requires a highly
technical solution, I will have to continue my current method until I can
procure some technical resources to help me.

Yours truly,

Tom Pratt
 
S

Sue Mosher [MVP-Outlook]

Sorry, but I do not provide programming support by email. I'm happy to try to
answer specific questions in this forum, though. What you want to do
definitely would require some coding. You might find the code sample at
http://www.outlookcode.com/codedetail.aspx?id=780 useful, as it creates a
standard email message from the data entered into a custom form.
--
Sue Mosher, Outlook MVP
Author of Microsoft Outlook Programming: Jumpstart
for Administrators, Power Users, and Developers
 
H

HDS Tom

Sue,

Thanks so much. I will try this out in my "spare time" lol. Again, I
appreciate all your advice and help.

Tom
 
H

HDS Tom

Sue,

thanks for the link to the code. However, when I associate the code with a command button, nothing happens. Now I created the form not in VBA, but in the standard forms design application using the Tools menu in Outlook. Does this make a difference.

Also, the only way to associate code with a button (that I know of at least) is to choose the button and click on "view code" from the form design menu bar. Perhaps this is incorrect and results in my script not executing.

However, I believe my script is trying to run, because when I click the command button and nothing happens, I then go to close my form, and the debugger comes up. Maybe I am doing something else wrong.

Hope I am not being too much of a pain, but I sincerely do appreciate your help.

Thanks,

Tom
 
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K

Ken Slovak - [MVP - Outlook]

Sue's on vacation.

Please show the code you're using and provide an explanation of how you
intend the solution you're using is supposed to work. I can't tell how you
ended up from the previous messages in the thread.
 

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