Outlook Add-In – Basics

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Releases of BPS Version 8.0 and newer contain features made especially to cooperate with Microsoft products:

1) MS Project

2) MS Word

3) MS Outlook

This article talks about things that are required to run Outlook AddIn properly. It’s worth to mention that AddIn is compatible with MS Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 (there is one install set for both versions). Article contains information about:

1)    Process configuration

2)    AddIn Instalation

3)    Profile creation

4)    Adding tiles in MS Outlook

Process configuration

The very first thing you need to have is created process.  Process configuration has to be made in BPS Workflow Designer, at the beginning you need to check option: ‘Allow to start workflow via smartphone’ screened below:

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This option, by default is unchecked, so you need to check it consciously. Thanks to such option we have ability to prepare number of workflows for given process, but only one of them (eg. simpler version of workflow) may be available for Outlook AddIn.

Next step we need to prepare is: desired path – to run documents. It’s good to know, that configuring path is required only when we want to start process automatically, without opening web browser. To be able to use the path, it must meet given requirements:

1)      Path  visibility on “Forms”  tab (Step Edit section)

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2)      Checked availability via smartphone option ( Step edit-> Paths -> General tab)

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3)      Last thing we can  provide is SQL visibility ( Step edit-> Paths -> General tab)

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In standard cases we are able to restrict visibility with:

1)      Group/person restrictions

2)      Javascript (in web browser)

3)      SQL expression

 

In case of using Outlook AddIn, system uses only 3rd option from listed above. Writing SQL expressions is optional (when it is empty it should work correctly), but when you put there any expression, it is your thing to return ‘1’ there – in other cases, path would not be visible.

That is all you need to configure on Process stage. Let us think about next one.

AddIn Installation

For AddIn installation (not only Outlook) we have got a special WebPart ‘BPS Office Addins Install’ prepared. It is available in  standard Webcon Webpart Category ( WebCon Business Process Suite). Adding a WebPart is made in standard way, the same as for e.g. Show Workflow Elements.

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After WebPart was succesfully added, next step is to configure it. It is simple, after entering a configuration menu you will see three checkboxes – each field is responsible for other AddIn, as we want to install only Outlook AddIn, we should check just the 3rd option (marked below).

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When Addin Webpart is added on our site with properly configured Base connector ( WEBCON BPS Configuration) you will gain a bonus described in next section.

AddIn installation should be performed in Internet Explorer browser. Installation starts after clicking a freshly created tile. After installation you will see a confirmation.

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Profile creation

When Addin installation webpart is located on our site connected to BPS database it should automatically create a default user profile. Default profile should be visible after Outlook restart.

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Profile created by default will have configured Default name, Default Site ( the same as place where installation webpart was located)  and checked integrated login option (logging into the database without providing any SQL users).

When addin is installed in other way (local, simply linked) it will not create any profile. In that case – AddIn allows to create profile manually. You can simply choose such option at the Outlook Ribbon -> Main Tools -> WEBCON -> Profile settings -> Profile list -> Add

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How to add a tile in MS Outlook

After successful installation of AddIn and creating our profile we are ready to add new Tile. To do that, we need to choose our profile and then, in New section use grayed tile named ‘Add’. After that we will see tile configuration window screened below:

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At the configuration step we can use following sections:

  1. Tile Name ( Tile’s display name shown in MS Outlook)
  2. Description – as above
  3. Order  – order of tiles ( AddIn allows to save multiple tiles)
  4. Process – process we want to start via tile
  5. Document type – type of document (listed from process)
  6. Workflow – choose one workflow, related to given process
  7. Start in browser – when this parameter is checked, document created by Outlook addin will open a new browser window with configured parameters.
  8. Path – available  only when „7” is not checked. Choice of paths is related to restrictions described earlier in this article.
  9. Mappings – allows to map form fields. You can use here for e.g. information from email like sender name, sender e-mail, body, title and much more.

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