08 April 2014

Beware Of Outlook IDs

Outlook 2013 iconAll Solutions can be customized in various ways. We have tried to make it as easy as possible, for example by giving many options in the settings of each product. This works smoothly, as the administrator just have to select the options that best suit the organization.

Some customizations are a bit more complicated, and here I will give a piece of information about Outlook IDs that I hope will be helpful for anyone who needs to customize an Outlook field.

Folder HelpDesk and KBase
Two of the Outlook add-ons have forms that are possible to customize: the issue tracking tool Folder HelpDesk and  the knowledge base KBase. In these solutions, standard Outlook post items are used as incident tickets and knowledge articles. The items are possible to customize, but you have to be careful with when you name tags and controls.

Customize in settings
KBase logotypeIn KBase we have made it very easy to customize the form. The administrator only have to write a field name in the settings and select if the new field should be a text field or a Yes/No field. Then KBase will create the new fields in the article form.

Customize in HTML
Folder HelpDesk logoWhen it comes to Folder HelpDesk some knowledge of HTML is necessary. This may be seen as a limitation, but working directly in HTML gives you more possibilities than you have in KBase. You can use any HTML editior to customize the ticket form, and should you still have difficulties, our developers are ready to assist. They will do it for free as long as the customization is not too extensive.

Outlook IDs
Many subscribers have made use of the form customization possibilities in Folder HelpDesk and KBase.Outlook 2013 icon However, it happens that they come to the support and complain that the data in their new fields is not saved to the database or SharePoint. The reason for this problem is normally that they have used an ID that is already present in Outlook.

When customizing an Outlook form you must not use an ID that already exists in Outlook. If you do, data from the field where the same ID is used for the second time will not be saved . This is not a big problem as long as you are aware of it, because if you test and notice that data is not saved, you can just give your tag or control another name. However, if you have bad luck also the other name is already used in Outlook!

To help subscribers and other blog readers to avoid  several trials and errors with custom IDs, we have now published two FAQ on that give lists of IDs already in use by Outlook. Here are the links, and I hope you will find them useful!

In future versions of Folder HelpDesk and KBase we plan to add a warning that will be activated if you are trying to save a custom field with an already existing ID.

By Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions