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HTML as reply-tool ? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hallo Everyone,

    We need to send out an email with structured fields that the recipient can fill out.

    One method which seems/seemed promising was to send out a stand-alone HTML form, let the recipient fill out the fields and then click "Send". Here is the form syntax ...

    <form action="mailto:myemail@mydomain.com?subject=Reply Form" method="post" enctype="text/plain">

    <input type="Text" name="myfield" size="20" value="an initial value">

    <input type="submit" value="Send">

    </form>

    With Firefox and Chrome this works fine: The user opens the HTML-document, enters data (guided by picklists and validity checks for numbers), clicks on "Send" and the data is written (in a structured format) to a new email to the address given. Excellent!

    But with IE none of this works: The picklists and validity checks (e.g. for numbers), which apply automatically in FireFox and Chrome, do not work in IE. And when the user clicks on "Send" no data is transferred to the Email.

    This is a REAL shame because such a static (non-hosted) HTML-file would be the perfect way to collect data via email. But it simply doesn't work with IE (or with Edge). Why is this?

    So ...

    Should I simply drop the idea (and use Excel)? Or are there adjustments that I can make to the HTML-syntax to get IE to apply the checks and send the Email.

    Or maybe IE requires this type of action to be carried out from a hosted (URL) location? Rather than working from a physical .html file.

    Or should I be looking elsewhere (e.g. Outlook form-fields) to send structured "Reply-requests" (questionnaire / information-gather) to users/recipients?

    Many thanks for any tips or links that you can give me.

    Yours,

    Alan

    In Cologne

    Tuesday, April 2, 2019 9:40 AM

All replies

  • I found the "Email Data Collection" option in MS-Access: This works well and does exactly what we need. Excellent!

    All I need to do now is to find out how to customise this function so as to now need the wizzard. If anyone knows of any HOWTOs, then that would be a great help.

    All the best,
    Alan (in Cologne)

    • Marked as answer by AlanInCologne Tuesday, April 2, 2019 12:29 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by AlanInCologne Saturday, May 11, 2019 1:47 PM
    Tuesday, April 2, 2019 12:29 PM
  • Hallo Everyone,

    Well I investigated using the same (HTML) syntax used by MS-Access for sending out "Update Emails". These are emails containing pre-filled fields (filled from the database) for recipients to update and then send back to be re-imported into the database.

    A very useful function ... BUT ...

    Although I could get my own version of this working and update the data in the fields and send the reply email back to be re-loaded into the database, there are a number of signficant hitches which mean we probably won't use this solution. Which is unfortunate because it looked extremely promising.

    The hitches are the following ...

    1. The fields are not internally labelled so you have to write code which guesses/anticipates where the values (to re-import) will be. Arrgghh

    2. The email is "open" so the recipient can (by mistake) type in characters outside the input fields. This can dramatically mess up the reading of the reply. Arrgghhh

    3. The fields are not validatable so users can enter nonsense (e.g. badly formatted dates) which also messes up the re-import. Arrgghh again.

    This is such a shame because this is exactly what we needed but with these bugs/hitches we cannot use it.

    So my question is whether anyone out there knows of any workrounds or alternative architecture/syntax/platforms which would iron out these problems.

    At the moment our tendency is to drop this idea and return to sending out Excel sheets which then need to be completed by the recipient and sent back to us. Clunky but it works and the Excel sheet can be configured to guide the user with his/her input being validating wherever possible.

    Anyway, many thanks for any tips that you can give us.

    Yours,
    Alan in Cologne



    Saturday, May 11, 2019 1:56 PM