19b. Outlook Integration – Mail [14:56]

Description: This video provides an overview of how to send and import mail to and from the Core3 and Outlook.

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Let’s take a closer look at how to send and import eMail to and from the Core3 and Outlook. As discussed in the Setup video this Outlook Integration requires purchasing, installing, and registering the Outlook Manipulator plug-in. When sending email from the Core3 to Outlook using the Outlook Manipulator plug-in there are three main advantages. These three advantages are that you can send HTML formatted or plain text emails, you can send emails with multiple attachments, and there is no Outlook security dialog as the Outlook Manipulator suppresses this Outlook security dialog from appearing, which can be very convenient when sending mass email campaigns. Let’s have a look at the functionality in the Core when sending emails.

0:56 Here I am looking at Sally’s record in the Core3, now before I go ahead and send her an email I’m going to go to the Core Preferences area, select Melinda because I’m currently logged in as Melinda, navigate to the Email tab and check my sending option to Plug-in because I want to show you how to send an email using the plug-in features. I’ll just go ahead and select Done there at the bottom, and let’s go ahead and draft a new email to Sally by selecting the Email icon here, or you could also click the New Email button over here. I have some templates set up – one of them is a Sample HTML Template that has some merge fields. I’m going to go ahead and apply that; it’s going to populate the Subject, the Body which contains my merge fields, and my HTML body there, as well as my signature.  Now I could add attachments to this email if I like but what I’ll do instead is just go ahead and select the Send as HTML option and that’s going to allow me to send an HTML formatted email. If we did not have the plug-in enabled and installed I would not be able to select this Send as HTML option. So, extremely important that you do get the plug-in installed and licensed to use this feature. Next I can go ahead and hit the Print Email button to go ahead and preview the email, and this is how it’s going to look when Sally receives it. I’ll go ahead and select Done and then what I can do is select the Send option that gives me a date/time stamp that the email was sent on. Select done and let’s navigate to Outlook and here we can see my email that is going to Sally and it has my merge fields as well as my HTML body there. Select Send and off it goes.

2:46 This can be very handy if you want to send a mass email campaign – that was not a campaign. I’m going to send an email campaign this time, apply the sample template, and let’s go ahead and we’ll do an advanced find and we’ll send to everyone in the Staff Newsletter, select Done. I’m going to send as HTML, and then I’m going to “Send as an email campaign” which is going to send separate mail merged messages to each two recipients rather than one message to all. This looks a little more personalized, it has merge fields so it’s going to have their first name; we have our beautiful HTML body and our closing signature. We simply select Send, date/time stamp the email was sent on, and off it goes. If we open up Outlook here I have my three different emails to each two recipients and if we open it up again the merge fields, my HTML body. Let’s open up this one here to support and there it is. A very simple and efficient way to send emails and add additional functionality to FileMaker by allowing for HTML formatted emails with multiple attachments and never seeing an Outlook security dialog.

4:02 When importing emails from Outlook into the Core3 you will associate specific emails with specific Core3 contacts. Using this feature will allow you to find a contact in the Core3 and have a complete archived correspondence history of all emails sent and received across the entire organization. You will no longer have your email split across various machines and various Outlook profiles and Exchange accounts; everything is now going to be kept in the Core3 for safe keeping and future reference. Let’s open the Core3 and see how we import mail.

4:40 Here I’m looking at Sally’s record in the Core, now before we begin to import all of our mail items I’m going to go to the Core Preferences and let’s ensure that I do have the plug-in enabled, and when I go to the Importing tab I want to check to make sure that my Source Folders and my Archive Folders are here and setup and named and exist in Outlook. So in Outlook I should have an Inbox/Core, Sent Items/Core, Inbox/Core Archive, and Sent Items/Core Archive folder. Let’s go to Outlook and here indeed I do have an Inbox/Core, Inbox/Core Archive, Sent Items/Core, and Sent Items/Core Archive. Now what’s going to happen is all of the emails from the source folder; which there are two in incoming and outgoing, which are the Inbox/Core and the Sent Items/Core, are going to be imported into the Core3. So any email that I put in these specific folders is going to get imported into the Core3. I can see that I have two emails here in my Inbox/Core and I have two emails here in my Sent Items/Core, as soon as we import these emails into the Core whether they have a match in the Core or not (which we’re going to talk about in a moment) they get brought into the Core. We do have a Resolve Unmatched Email routine that we can run to do some clean up later and I’ll show you how that works. As soon as these emails get brought into the Core they are then moved automatically to this Core Archive folder. Let’s go ahead and before we import our emails we’ll select our Attachment Settings; here I’m going to select the Embed option. This just means that any of the emails that have attachments are going to actually get embedded in the Core3 for safe keeping. Now you can store these attachments as a reference but we do caution against this because using file references incorrectly can cause some undesirable results. So we’re going to go ahead and stick with the Embed method.

6:44 All we do is go ahead and select Done. We go to the Core>Outlook Integration and I’m glad I came here first because this allows you to see that when on the Contacts tab in the Core3 the Outlook Integration options are relevant to the Core area we are at. So the Contacts tab relates to pushing contacts. In order to import mail we need to go to the Activities tab and here select Core>Outlook Integration and there I have all of my Activity related Outlook Integration data exchange options. So I’m simply going to select Import Mail and it’s going to alert me that four emails are going to be imported, four emails were imported successfully. And I’m then given this Error window showing that although the emails were brought in successfully they don’t have matches, or at least not all of them do, because these email addresses are actually missing in the Core. I’m going to go ahead and select OK and before we go into resolving our unmatched emails let’s go into Outlook and we can see that the two items in the Sent Items/Core have now been moved to the Sent Items/Archive. And if we go up to the Inbox/Core I can see that that folder is now empty and those two emails were successfully brought in and moved to the Core/Archive folder.

8:06 Just like we do with all of our other areas for data exchange with Outlook anytime we bring a record in we assign it a unique Core ID. This same email cannot get imported twice because it’s been assigned a unique Core ID and we’ve set that Core ID to a custom field in Outlook that the user does not see here. So let’s go back into FileMaker and here are my four emails, we did receive that email notification that some of these emails don’t exist in the Core. So this is a perfect example, let me open up this email, as you can see both of these email addresses do not exist in the Core because they’re highlighted here in orange. What I’m going to do is go ahead and select Done and let’s go to a contact, let’s go ahead and we’ll just find Melinda and give Melinda a few additional email addresses. So that was the first email that did not exist and just since we’re on her record we’ll go ahead and add another email address. So now I can go back to the Activities tab and I can run what’s called “Resolve Unmatched Mail”; what that’s going to do is that’s going to run a check and it’s going to resolve any of the unmatched email addresses and link the emails that were at one point unmatched to an appropriate contact record. It looks like I had a few more in there that may not have been matched so I’m going to go ahead and select OK. As you can see all the emails have now been properly linked up, when I open this same email I no longer have the email addresses in the From and To field highlighted, alerting you that they do have a home and have been linked. And if I were to navigate to the Contacts tab >Activities here you can see here on the Activities tab; here are my emails that have been imported and linked to the appropriate contact. In this case we have our “Test without attachments”, I can select the blue arrow there and I can review the email there. Please note that when emails are parsed into the Core3 they’re matched up to the corresponding contact based on the To, From, and Cc email addresses. I do recommend that you read the documentation for the email importing, actually for all of the areas of the Core3 because it really goes into more depth and detail as to how this process and routine works.

10:38 Something that you might run into is wanting to import these emails again after you’ve brought them in. Let’s say we’re going to bring in the “Test with attachments” and we want to try to import that again into the Core. I’m going to put the email that I want to bring in the “Test with attachments” into the Inbox/Core and let’s go to the Activities area and select Core>Outlook Integration>Import Mail, I get a warning that one email is going to be imported, but when the import process runs it’s says that zero emails are successfully imported. That’s because we don’t bring the same email in twice and let me show you why that happened. The email was moved to the Core/Archive because it was identified as already being imported into the Core. If I were to move this email back to my Core/Inbox here, and let me show you what we did behind the scenes the first time we imported this email.  If I go ahead and change the fields that I’m showing in Outlook, what I’ve done is I’ve added a CORE ID field and I’ll just show that field at the top there so it appears on the left. And here you can see this email once it was imported was assigned a unique Core ID. Now when you import emails if they already have a Core ID then they’re just going to be ignored because that tells the Core that we’ve already brought these emails in and we don’t need to bring them in twice.

12:05 Now if you’re testing and you’re importing back and forth you might want to take advantage of this script that we’ve written just for this scenario so that way you can reset these Core ID’s. And all you need to do is move your emails that you want to reset back to your Sent Items/Core folder and your Inbox/Core folder, or whatever your watch folders are. And note here that these have a Core ID and my emails in the Sent Items/Core folder would also have a Core ID if I exposed it on the Outlook layout. If I go into FileMaker I’m actually going to have to re-login as the admin because we have designed this script just for this process. You can go into your Manage Scripts area and if we scroll down to the Activities>Outlook area we have what’s called and “Activity OM Mail Clear Core IDs” script. This is a Developer area so please use this with caution and consult your developer first. This script will simply clear the Core IDs for all emails in the Outlook watch folders, it’s not going to delete any records in FileMaker, it’s just going to clear the Core ID’s so you can then bring them back again should you choose. I’m just going to go ahead and select Play and run that script, and it alerts me that these four emails are going to be cleared.  Now if we were to go into Outlook I can see that the Core ID has now been cleared and let me just re-login as Melinda and what I can do now is I can re-import these emails into the Core. Because they are recognized as being new emails that don’t have a Core ID and here you can see they were successfully brought back into the Core. I’m going to go back into this watch folder and just remove the Core ID field, it is never good practice to expose the Core ID field in Outlook it is more of a developer tool that we use behind the scenes, but I just want to give you a full view of what’s happening here in the Core when we do the Mail Import. Importing email is really that simple, you just go create your watch folders, specify your attachment setting, import your emails, and then resolve any unmatched emails for any emails that haven’t been assigned to a contact.

14:26 This is just a brief overview of the many features and possibilities of the Core3. For more information on what the Core3 can do for you please explore this website, review the videos and documentation, and download a demo. Please contact us via email, phone, or browse our forum if you have any additional questions. We look forward to hearing from you and automating your business to operate more efficiently.