Posts Tagged With: MailItem

A more direct way of creating an Outlook mail item from the Notes client

The best thing about being in software development is learning something new every day. The most humiliating thing in software development is learning that you did something the hard way when there’s a far easier way to do it. That happens most days as well!

So, I was explaining to my manager, Tami Fries, and one of our business users that my method for opening an Outlook message for the end users was a little sloppy, in that it would open two browser tabs (or windows, depending on configuration) before opening the Outlook message. I wondered in the back of my mind if it had to be done that way. They agreed that my helpful message on one of the tabs and titling the tab ‘Close Me’ would probably not generate any confusion. Nonetheless, I wondered.

I remembered vaguely that when I was creating Excel spreadsheets from Notes and silently emailing them in the background from the FAA to Office Depot, that I had to add an extra line of code to make Excel not appear as an active window. So, I looked at the documentation again and found that all I had to do was use the Display method of the MailItem object.

Here’s the code fragment that generates the Outlook message and displays it for further editing. (Note that I used br without the angled brackets in the HTML, since it was reading the HTML and inserting blank lines into the code snippet, but you’ll want those when you drop this into your LotusScript.)

Dim outlook As Variant
Dim message As Variant
Dim itemType As Integer

Set outlook = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")

If ( outlook Is Nothing ) Then
	Call ws.Urlopen(shareViaMailToURL(subject, doc))
	body = "Here is a link to " & subject
	body = "Your approval has been requested for changes made using " & changeOrderNumber (0) & " in " & thisdb.Title
	body = body & "br br"// replace with the angled bracketed HTML for two line breaks
	body = body & "Please review these changes and approve, provide comments, or request more time to review within five business days of this notification. Otherwise, the change will be considered approved as per DAI policy."
	body = body & "br br"// replace with the angled bracketed HTML for two line breaks
	body = body & "The pending change approval form and links to draft documents can be found here: "
	body = body & "br br"// replace with the angled bracketed HTML for two line breaks
	body = body & "Notes:///" & thisdb.ReplicaID & "/0/" & doc.UniversalID

	' 0 is mail item '
	itemType = 0
	Set message = outlook.CreateItem(itemType)
	message.Subject = subject
	message.HTMLBody = body
End If

The shareViaMailToURL is intended to run if the user doesn’t have Outlook, so that it will use the previously supplied code to open the mailto URL using the code in that earlier post.

So incredibly simple in either method.

Categories: Old Notes, Utilities | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Sending an automated mail using Outlook from a Notes agent

One of the greatest hurdles we’ve had in our transition from being a Notes mail shop to an Outlook mail shop remaining a Notes application shop is automated emails. When someone clicks a button to approve a document in a workflow, I want the system to quietly notify the pertinent parties without bothering the user.

Before I arrived, none of our applications did that. Every time someone wanted an email to accompany the request for approval, an email was opened in the Notes client using formula language. The code did assign the recipients and add text with a doclink, but the user had to click ‘Send’ for the message to go onward. This did allow them to add explanatory text and choose to route the message to a different approver if someone was not available, so it did have advantages. However, not every message ought to sent that way and we can keep the user inside our application by popping up dialogs to customize or select different recipients, or… whatever flexibility we’d like to provide.

So, a number of the applications I’ve designed, or modified from the original, send notices via Notes mail, generated quietly in the background by LotusScript. 2016 rolls around and our organization makes a strategic move away from Notes mail and into Outlook. I spent a year thinking there was no way for me to keep those notifications without dancing around about Notes mail files and replication. The other day, I wondered if I could use OLE to create the Outlook messages and send them without the user needed to intervene. Shockingly, it didn’t even take me a day to figure out how to do it.

The hardest part was figuring out that passing in 0 for the item type needed to specifically be an integer, not just a zero. If figured this out when I created a task using 3. Since it understood that 3 was an integer, I just created itemType as an integer and then 0 really was 0. (Got the clue from someone’s commented code on Stack Overflow, of course)

Here’s the list of Outlook items you can create, with links so you can examine the events, properties and methods:

Name Value Description
olAppointmentItem 1 An AppointmentItem object.
olContactItem 2 A ContactItem object.
olDistributionListItem 7 A DistListItem object.
olJournalItem 4 A JournalItem object.
olMailItem 0 A MailItem object.
olNoteItem 5 A NoteItem object.
olPostItem 6 A PostItem object.
olTaskItem 3 A TaskItem object.
	Agent Send Outlook Mail
	Created Sep 12, 2017 by David Navarre
	Description: This Agent creates and sends an Outlook mail message in the background
Option Public
Option Declare

Sub Initialize
	Dim outlook As Variant
	Dim message As Variant
	Dim itemType As Integer
	Dim reason As String

	On Error GoTo errorhandler

	Set outlook = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")
	' 0 is mail item '
	itemType = 0
	Set message = outlook.CreateItem(itemType)
	message.To = ""
	message.Subject = "This is my test"
	message.HTMLBody = "<b>Body bolded</b> and some not"

	Exit Sub
errorhandler:' report all errors in a messagebox '
	reason = "Error #" & CStr (Err) & " (" & Error & ") on line " & CStr (Erl)
	MessageBox reason, 16, "Error"
	Resume exiting
End Sub

The most amusing thing to me is that I got my initial clue from a post made way back in 2006. Sometimes, I feel like I’m starting all over again. I guess that’s a good thing, because learning new stuff was always fun (this was too!) and not as intimidating as it sometimes seems when I think about having to learn something new. It’s been nice to be in the upper branches of the knowledge tree, but the truth is that what always separated me from other folks was not what I already knew, but how fast I could learn something new.

Categories: Old Notes, Utilities | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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