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Outlook Add-in to parse incoming emails to generate manager reports RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been tasked to come up with a way to have our developers complete a daily status report that the managers and exec will recieve, this first phase, i just created a simply outlook template file that everyone will use that already contains the data they need to provide, formatted and setup to email the appropriate personel.

    Now, after i finished that , what could make it easier on the managers and exec that probably get tons of emails already to help with these emails, most would just simply create a folder and then a rule to filter the emails into there so they can easily review at later time.. thats fine if you only have a few to review..

    So i started looking around and decided, what if i could write a Outlook Add-in that would parse the weekly reports they receive and provide them with a high level management report that they can access from outlook itself. I found ways to parse emails, but not sure they are the best way to handle this, what i would like to do is have the following ribbon on the managers outlook clients

    Then when they click on the weekly report button, the application generates for them a summary of everyones reports into 1 for the week. And monthly(this one is still up in the air on what if anythign this one will do) but i think if i can get something working on the weekly, then we can move onto the monthly.

    So if everyone uses the correct/same outlook template, is it possible to write some code to either parse as they arrive or parse when you click the button and then generate a message or view that is consolidated with everyones statuses?

    Imagine if you will you have 20 developers that report to you.. thats 20 emails a day, opening them all to see what is going on can take some time, so we keep the original emails, but generate 1 for the manager that has all 20 in it listed in order of name( it would be cool to be able to link to the individual email ) but thats on the wish list at the moment.

    Can anyone offer suggestions, tutorials, samples anything that can point me in the right direction on getting something like this setup and working for us.

    thank you

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:07 PM

Answers

  • It's impossible to provide information on parsing your templates as only you know what's in them and how they are formatted.
     
    It would be easier to provide relevant information on addin development if we knew what version of Outlook, and what language and platform you intend to use for the addin (what VS version, VSTO or shared managed code addin, AddIn Express addin, unmanaged code addin, C# or VB.NET or C++ or Delphi/Pascal or VB6 or ...)
     
    In the meantime, the best resource for Outlook developers other than the MS sites is www.outlookcode.com. Lots of information there on addins, general Outlook development, forms development and so on. Other than that the best resources are on the Office Developer site at MS, with samples and KB articles and Webcasts.

    --
    Ken Slovak
    [MVP-Outlook]
    http://www.slovaktech.com
    Author: Professional Programming Outlook 2007
    "Cubangt" <=?utf-8?B?Q3ViYW5ndA==?=> wrote in message news:bb41cfec-6bea-40ed-8614-92fff2d090d0...

    I have been tasked to come up with a way to have our developers complete a daily status report that the managers and exec will recieve, this first phase, i just created a simply outlook template file that everyone will use that already contains the data they need to provide, formatted and setup to email the appropriate personel.

    Now, after i finished that , what could make it easier on the managers and exec that probably get tons of emails already to help with these emails, most would just simply create a folder and then a rule to filter the emails into there so they can easily review at later time.. thats fine if you only have a few to review..

    So i started looking around and decided, what if i could write a Outlook Add-in that would parse the weekly reports they receive and provide them with a high level management report that they can access from outlook itself. I found ways to parse emails, but not sure they are the best way to handle this, what i would like to do is have the following ribbon on the managers outlook clients

    Then when they click on the weekly report button, the application generates for them a summary of everyones reports into 1 for the week. And monthly(this one is still up in the air on what if anythign this one will do) but i think if i can get something working on the weekly, then we can move onto the monthly.

    So if everyone uses the correct/same outlook template, is it possible to write some code to either parse as they arrive or parse when you click the button and then generate a message or view that is consolidated with everyones statuses?

    Imagine if you will you have 20 developers that report to you.. thats 20 emails a day, opening them all to see what is going on can take some time, so we keep the original emails, but generate 1 for the manager that has all 20 in it listed in order of name( it would be cool to be able to link to the individual email ) but thats on the wish list at the moment.

    Can anyone offer suggestions, tutorials, samples anything that can point me in the right direction on getting something like this setup and working for us.

    thank you


    Ken Slovak MVP - Outlook
    Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Sure, you can parse the body of an email using various string functions. For Outlook 2010 and later, the email editor is always a subset of Word, so the Word object model can also be used to parse the Document represented by the emails. In that vein, probably the easiest thing to parse would be a Word table with the data.
     
    The Web site references I mentioned would have good information for what you want to do.
     
    You can handle incoming emails using the NewMailEx() function, that's probably the best way to do it. As things might come in when Outlook is closed if you use Exchange server, you'd also need to parse existing items in Inbox when Outlook starts up. You can do that by getting a handle to the Inbox.Items collection and iterating that collection looking for items that meet your criteria.

    --
    Ken Slovak
    [MVP-Outlook]
    http://www.slovaktech.com
    Author: Professional Programming Outlook 2007
    "Cubangt" <=?utf-8?B?Q3ViYW5ndA==?=> wrote in message news:f3593f81-a3a7-4c3c-985f-de60330ac6d5...

    Well they wouldnt come into the managers as templates, they would be normal emails, the template is what the developers will use to send the email, so as for the parsing, i was asking in general, if its possible to build something that will parse an incoming email or an existing email to generate such a report for the managers?

    The emails will be html format.

    Using and developing for Outlook 2010( possibly 2012 soon )

    Using VS2010 for development and writing in C#.


    Ken Slovak MVP - Outlook
    Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:57 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • It's impossible to provide information on parsing your templates as only you know what's in them and how they are formatted.
     
    It would be easier to provide relevant information on addin development if we knew what version of Outlook, and what language and platform you intend to use for the addin (what VS version, VSTO or shared managed code addin, AddIn Express addin, unmanaged code addin, C# or VB.NET or C++ or Delphi/Pascal or VB6 or ...)
     
    In the meantime, the best resource for Outlook developers other than the MS sites is www.outlookcode.com. Lots of information there on addins, general Outlook development, forms development and so on. Other than that the best resources are on the Office Developer site at MS, with samples and KB articles and Webcasts.

    --
    Ken Slovak
    [MVP-Outlook]
    http://www.slovaktech.com
    Author: Professional Programming Outlook 2007
    "Cubangt" <=?utf-8?B?Q3ViYW5ndA==?=> wrote in message news:bb41cfec-6bea-40ed-8614-92fff2d090d0...

    I have been tasked to come up with a way to have our developers complete a daily status report that the managers and exec will recieve, this first phase, i just created a simply outlook template file that everyone will use that already contains the data they need to provide, formatted and setup to email the appropriate personel.

    Now, after i finished that , what could make it easier on the managers and exec that probably get tons of emails already to help with these emails, most would just simply create a folder and then a rule to filter the emails into there so they can easily review at later time.. thats fine if you only have a few to review..

    So i started looking around and decided, what if i could write a Outlook Add-in that would parse the weekly reports they receive and provide them with a high level management report that they can access from outlook itself. I found ways to parse emails, but not sure they are the best way to handle this, what i would like to do is have the following ribbon on the managers outlook clients

    Then when they click on the weekly report button, the application generates for them a summary of everyones reports into 1 for the week. And monthly(this one is still up in the air on what if anythign this one will do) but i think if i can get something working on the weekly, then we can move onto the monthly.

    So if everyone uses the correct/same outlook template, is it possible to write some code to either parse as they arrive or parse when you click the button and then generate a message or view that is consolidated with everyones statuses?

    Imagine if you will you have 20 developers that report to you.. thats 20 emails a day, opening them all to see what is going on can take some time, so we keep the original emails, but generate 1 for the manager that has all 20 in it listed in order of name( it would be cool to be able to link to the individual email ) but thats on the wish list at the moment.

    Can anyone offer suggestions, tutorials, samples anything that can point me in the right direction on getting something like this setup and working for us.

    thank you


    Ken Slovak MVP - Outlook
    Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Well they wouldnt come into the managers as templates, they would be normal emails, the template is what the developers will use to send the email, so as for the parsing, i was asking in general, if its possible to build something that will parse an incoming email or an existing email to generate such a report for the managers?

    The emails will be html format.

    Using and developing for Outlook 2010( possibly 2012 soon )

    Using VS2010 for development and writing in C#.

    Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:48 PM
  • Sure, you can parse the body of an email using various string functions. For Outlook 2010 and later, the email editor is always a subset of Word, so the Word object model can also be used to parse the Document represented by the emails. In that vein, probably the easiest thing to parse would be a Word table with the data.
     
    The Web site references I mentioned would have good information for what you want to do.
     
    You can handle incoming emails using the NewMailEx() function, that's probably the best way to do it. As things might come in when Outlook is closed if you use Exchange server, you'd also need to parse existing items in Inbox when Outlook starts up. You can do that by getting a handle to the Inbox.Items collection and iterating that collection looking for items that meet your criteria.

    --
    Ken Slovak
    [MVP-Outlook]
    http://www.slovaktech.com
    Author: Professional Programming Outlook 2007
    "Cubangt" <=?utf-8?B?Q3ViYW5ndA==?=> wrote in message news:f3593f81-a3a7-4c3c-985f-de60330ac6d5...

    Well they wouldnt come into the managers as templates, they would be normal emails, the template is what the developers will use to send the email, so as for the parsing, i was asking in general, if its possible to build something that will parse an incoming email or an existing email to generate such a report for the managers?

    The emails will be html format.

    Using and developing for Outlook 2010( possibly 2012 soon )

    Using VS2010 for development and writing in C#.


    Ken Slovak MVP - Outlook
    Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Here is what im working with and the "unknowns"

    I was able to write code to loop thru the inbox items and pull out the ones that i need.

    Now what would be nice, if its possible, is take and consolidate everyones email into 1 email or maybe something else(like a word doc or pdf) that can be reviewed by the managers easily. Below is a simple example of the email template we created. If its easier, maybe we can loop thru all the emails in the inbox, and each one they have, is consolidated per "Sender"

    TODAY
    PROJECT NAME 1
    •	Worked on it today
    •	Worked on it after meeting today
    
    PROJECT NAME 2
    •	Worked on it today
    
    PROJECT NAME 3
    •	Worked on it today
    
    
    TOMORROW (if weekend, list Mondays items)
    PROJECT NAME 1
    •	 Will work on tomorrow/next week 
    
    PROJECT NAME 2
    •	 Will work on tomorrow/next week
    
    
    ISSUES/CONCERNS
    
    •	
    
    
    MISCELLANEOUS 
      PROJECT NAME
    •	Personal project to improve efficiency

    Friday, April 12, 2013 8:15 PM
  • You can do whatever you want with any information you parse from various emails. You can create Word docs or new emails or whatever, that's up to you.

    --
    Ken Slovak
    [MVP-Outlook]
    http://www.slovaktech.com
    Author: Professional Programming Outlook 2007
    "Cubangt" <=?utf-8?B?Q3ViYW5ndA==?=> wrote in message news:4c9dc57f-ff7a-41a3-9bc8-737f4921c67f...

    Here is what im working with and the "unknowns"

    I was able to write code to loop thru the inbox items and pull out the ones that i need.

    Now what would be nice, if its possible, is take and consolidate everyones email into 1 email or maybe something else(like a word doc or pdf) that can be reviewed by the managers easily. Below is a simple example of the email template we created. If its easier, maybe we can loop thru all the emails in the inbox, and each one they have, is consolidated per "Sender"

    TODAY
    PROJECT NAME 1
    •	Worked on it today
    •	Worked on it after meeting today
    
    PROJECT NAME 2
    •	Worked on it today
    
    PROJECT NAME 3
    •	Worked on it today
    
    
    TOMORROW (if weekend, list Mondays items)
    PROJECT NAME 1
    •	 Will work on tomorrow/next week 
    
    PROJECT NAME 2
    •	 Will work on tomorrow/next week
    
    
    ISSUES/CONCERNS
    
    •	
    
    
    MISCELLANEOUS 
      PROJECT NAME
    •	Personal project to improve efficiency


    Ken Slovak MVP - Outlook
    Tuesday, April 16, 2013 2:57 PM
    Moderator