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Outlook Forms on Mobile Devices RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I creatde an Outlook form template that sends the results to a SQL Server database. It was published to our Organizational Forms Library and works correctly. 

    The issue is that many people are viewing their email on the iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices (haven't heard anything about Windows). On the iPhone the form comes up blank except for saying, "Content is not available" or something like that.

    One user showed me their Blackberry (with a different form) and was able to view the message. However, I still need to confirm it was an actual Outlook form.

    Is it possible to show some text in an Outlook form on a mobile device? At minimum saying something like, "go check your email".

    Thank you.

    ~J

    Monday, October 21, 2013 9:22 PM

Answers

  • Set the Body property when you first create the item.

    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    http://www.dimastr.com/redemption
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    • Marked as answer by Jenna_Fire Thursday, October 24, 2013 5:03 PM
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:44 PM
  • OK. I got it! Here's what I did:

    I inserted a Message field from the Form Chooser. I ran the form and wrote what I wanted it to display in the message. I saved that form as an OFT. 

    I then opened the OFT which had that text in the body. I also put in code that hides the Message textbox when the form is opened. That way the message is not seen by the normal Outlook user.  What is very good is that the body message (and nothing else) is seen by an iPhone user.  So they get the message that this survey cannot run on their device. But Outlook users see the survey but not the message.

    Dmitry, Thank you so much for all your help. You directed my to the right place and I was able to solve it.

    • Marked as answer by Jenna_Fire Thursday, October 24, 2013 5:03 PM
    Thursday, October 24, 2013 5:03 PM

All replies

  • I very much doubt that any client but Outlook will show anything resembling your custom form.

    What exactly does your custom form show? Do you populate the message body?


    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    http://www.dimastr.com/redemption
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Monday, October 21, 2013 9:30 PM
  • If this is the same project you were enquiring about earlier in reference to SQL connections etc (http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/06ad8594-2508-45e2-852b-879c0284a6fd/save-custom-form-data-to-sql-server?forum=outlookdev) - it's not just about whether custom forms will display but expecting that these devices are going to be able to process the code behind the form and connect to a SQL server in real-time using different mobile O/S's which would be even more unlikely.


    Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP] "Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt" http://www.contactgenie.com

    Monday, October 21, 2013 11:34 PM
  • Karl,

    Good eye! Yes it is the same project I was asking about in the other thread. Of course, now I got to speak with the Head Mucky-Muck who wants this (and has little to no understanding of technology - JUST MAKE IT WORK THE WAY I WANT IT). I was using the SQL Server connection to try and make our lives easier for collecting the data. His requirements are for us to send out a survey, in email, and collect the responses. And it has to work on mobile devices as well. 

    To make it worse, the Head Mucky-Muck recently received an email survey that used some sort of Word mail merge table embedded in the message. He was able to respond on his Blackberry with that format. I am still trying to get the details on how that one worked.  

    If I have to boil it down to no code and they can somehow select their answers and send it back that may have to be how it works. It is more important (and ridiculous) for it too look good  and the user experience to be as friction-free as possible. He prefers the SUBMIT button, which automatically sends the message back, over having to reply back to the mailbox. I don't think that could work without any code.

    Any suggestions you have would be really appreciated.

    Thank you.

    ~J


    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 2:33 PM
  • Dmitry,

    I really appreciate your response. I now understand that if it is not in Outlook, the form would most likely be blank.

    Right now the form is just a couple of questions with each question having three option buttons to select as the answer. Also there is a textbox for additional information.

    I think my question has boiled down to: When using an Outlook custom form that the user opens on a mobile device, is there a way to insert text that says, "You have opened this email on a mobile device, please open the message in Outlook for it to display properly" ? Right now, at least on an iPhone, it says "No Content Available"

    Thank you.

    ~J

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 5:55 PM
  • Sure, set the MailItem.Body property to that string.

    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    http://www.dimastr.com/redemption
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 6:10 PM
  • Might I suggest that you take a look at using (recommending) something like "SurveyMonkey" http://www.surveymonkey.com to host your survey, download the result and import them into your SQL database. By the time you go through everything and get it working - going to be a lot more expensive both in time and dollars (whether those dollars are soft or hard). That way, all you need to do is send out a link in your email message especially if you embed a "table" of any kind into a standard HTML based message (which is different from a custom form) and then have to extract that data from the returned responses.

    Suspect the other facets that are you going to run into are:

    #1 - How many people answered - (and who didn't from original list)
    #2 - Sending follow-up messages reminding the non-responders "to respond"
    #3 - Do you allow multiple responses from the same person etc
    .................

    Other part to this is whether this is an on-going open ended survey (i.e. "How much do you love us" for new customers) versus a time-specific type of thing.


    Karl Timmermans [Outlook MVP] "Outlook Contact Import/Export/Data Mgmt" http://www.contactgenie.com

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 8:07 PM
  • Sure, set the MailItem.Body property to that string.

    Where exactly do I add that code? If it is in the VB Script, how would it display on a phone that doesn't run VB Script? I think I am missing something obvious.
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:35 PM
  • How right you are!

    What has made this whole thing beyond ridiculous is that we have several survey tools in-house. But since this is going to upper-management it would be far too difficult for them to have to open an email and then click a link to get to the survey.

    We have to make it so they only have to open the email and then answer the questions. That way it is much easier for them. They will have to click one time  less. 

    To use the in-house survey tool it would have taken at most an hour and this would have been done. But that was far too simple. At this point I have spent several days trying to come up with a solution. Not to mention your help and from others on this forum and those that have helped me out at work. The cost on this has become exorbitant for what they want. And it has been explained to him as well.

    Sorry for the rant. It just amazes me that the decision has come down like this. At some point soon we are going to have to say, "It can't be done exactly the way you want". We will give him options but he won't be happy. I know, it sounds like a kid having a temper tantrum. Only this kid has control over our employment.

    Thanks for listening!

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:43 PM
  • Set the Body property when you first create the item.

    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    http://www.dimastr.com/redemption
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    • Marked as answer by Jenna_Fire Thursday, October 24, 2013 5:03 PM
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:44 PM
  • Dmitry,

    I'm sorry I'm being so thick-headed about this, but I cannot seem to find the Body property. Is it the Message property? Even if it is the Message property, I cannot seem to edit it.

    I'm using Outlook 2007 if that makes any difference.

    Thank you for the help.

    ~J

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 2:13 PM
  • It is a MailItem.Body property. What is your latest code?

    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    http://www.dimastr.com/redemption
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 2:41 PM
  • Below is most of the relevant code I have now. But it is triggered when the Submit button is clicked on the form. This is run after they open the email (and see nothing).

    dim strBody
    
    Sub cmdSendResponse_Click()
     
    Call FormLogData
    Call SendEmail
    
    
    
    End Sub
    
    
    Sub SendEmail()
     
    Set myOlApp = CreateObject("Outlook.Application")
    
    Set myItem = myOlApp.CreateItem(olMailItem)
    
        strBody = "|||Email:" & ReturnName() & "|Question 1:" & Item.UserProperties("Question1") & "|" & _
    "Question 2:" & Item.UserProperties("Question2") & "|" & _
    "Question 3:" & Item.UserProperties("Question3") & "|" & _
    "Question 4:" & Item.UserProperties("Question4") & "|" & _
    "Comments:" & Item.UserProperties("QuestionComments") & "|||"
    
        myItem.subject = "Performance Survey Response"
        myItem.Body = strBody
        Set myRecipient = myItem.Recipients
        myRecipient.Add ("send_to_me@myPlace.com")
    
        myItem.Send
        Item.Delete
    
     
    
    
    End Sub
    

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 2:51 PM
  • But how do you create the original message?

    BTW, there is no reason to create an instance of the Outlook.Application object - VBA has the Application intrinsic variable.


    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    http://www.dimastr.com/redemption
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 2:55 PM
  • But how do you create the original message?

    I created the original message by creating an Outlook form. There is no code I use to create it.  

    BTW, there is no reason to create an instance of the Outlook.Application object - VBA has the Application intrinsic variable.


    All this code is in the form itself. My understanding is that the code is VBScript. Do I have that correct?

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 3:42 PM
  • Wait a second... I think I may have gotten it. 
    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 5:47 PM
  • MailItem.Write event might be a good place to update the Body property.

    Dmitry Streblechenko (MVP)
    http://www.dimastr.com/redemption
    Redemption - what the Outlook
    Object Model should have been
    Version 5.5 is now available!

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:24 PM
  • OK. I got it! Here's what I did:

    I inserted a Message field from the Form Chooser. I ran the form and wrote what I wanted it to display in the message. I saved that form as an OFT. 

    I then opened the OFT which had that text in the body. I also put in code that hides the Message textbox when the form is opened. That way the message is not seen by the normal Outlook user.  What is very good is that the body message (and nothing else) is seen by an iPhone user.  So they get the message that this survey cannot run on their device. But Outlook users see the survey but not the message.

    Dmitry, Thank you so much for all your help. You directed my to the right place and I was able to solve it.

    • Marked as answer by Jenna_Fire Thursday, October 24, 2013 5:03 PM
    Thursday, October 24, 2013 5:03 PM