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Monday, August 22, 2005

Welcome - social networking

As a heavy user of various social networks such as LinkedIn, Ecademy and OpenBC I often find it difficult to manage contacts and profiles across these networks. These tools allow me to upload the my Outlook contacts - but how do I download them?

Missing these features I decided to add them.

Another issue is identifying where emails comes from, i.e. which people and companies. Outlook displays the from address - but what is the company? Rather than having to look up people manually in my address book, I decided to let the computer do this job. Result: A company column is added to the Outlook Inbox so I can instantly see who the mail was from.

For your benefit I have decided to share these features with you! I only ask that you provide me with feedback, link with me on LinkedIn and introduce the tool for two friends.

Posted by Morten Marquard at 3:01 PM | 1 comments

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Skype toolbar for Outlook - find and collaborate

DocLife Add-in for Outlook integrate Skype telephony and collaboration into Microsoft Outlook XP and 2003. Using DocLife Add-in for Outlook you can initiate Skype calls or chats directly from any Contact in Outlook.

Skype is a powerful collaboration tool; it drives down communication costs, but, more importantly, it adds another dimension to collaboration apart from email.

As a heavy Outlook user I wonder how I can:

  • Define Skype Name for an Outlook Contact
  • Find Skype Name for all Outlook Contacts
  • Start a Skype call or chat directly from within Outlook

As I couldn't find this functionality anywhere, I simply added it out of need.

Define Skype Name for an Outlook Contact

DocLife Add-in for Outlook automatically adds several fields to each contact, including SkypeName. Once you fill in the contacts SkypeName you can start making direct Skype calls or chats directly from within Outlook.

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Find Skype Name for all Outlook Contacts

DocLife Add-in for Outlook can lookup Skype Name for all your Outlook Contacts. Simply select Add Skyp to Contacts from the menubar.


This ensures that Outlook Contacts remain your master contact database.

Analyzing 1.600 of my own contacts I found that 15% are using Skype.

Start a Skype call or chat directly from within Outlook

Once Outlook knows the SkypeName it provides you with the ability to initiate a call or chat with Skype directly from a Contact or an Email.

When working with a Contact Skype icons will be present if SkypeName for the contact has been set.

Now you can respond to emails using Skype. If the sender has a SkypeName in Outlook Contacts, you can reply to the email directly from within the email. This functionality will shortly also be available from Outlook Appointments which enables you to schedule meetings with people in Outlook and conduct the conference in Skype.


Using Outlook Journals you can keep track of communication with Contacts, whether emails or Skype calls or chats.


However, I didn't look close enough, and it turn out that Skype has such functionality in beta. The functionality seems to be awesome and complementary to what I have done.

Posted by Morten Marquard at 11:37 PM | 0 comments

Feature requests - please add

As we are starting the beta-period, I welcome any feature requests:
  • LinkedIn contacts of contact viewable flag - a flag that indicated whether you can view contacts of your contacts

Posted by Morten Marquard at 2:35 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, August 06, 2005

DocLife BRM - Corporate version

Today, email is the most important business communication tool carrying more than 50% of information between corporations. Capturing and sharing emails across corporations pose huge challenges, and categorize and archive emails is critical in order to ensure that people are kept up to date.

DocLife BRM, Corporate, is a tool that automatically capture, classify and archive emails for all employees within a group, department or a whole company. Emails can be classified according to intelligent business rules, leveraging Outlook Contacts. Typical classification dimensions include:
  • Company
  • Project
  • Employee
  • Case
  • Date & time
Leveraging Microsoft SharePoint we enable the end-user to get an overview of communication with business partners., including emails, contacts, notes, documents, account status, pipeline, tasks, projects, cases.

If you are interesting in more information, don't hesitate to contact me.

Read more here:

Posted by Morten Marquard at 1:51 PM | 0 comments

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Capture and download a LinkedIn search

The LinkedIn network provide powerfull tools to search for people. In some situations you wish to download the profiles of people for later inspection etc.
Unfortunately LinkedIn currently hasn't any tools for this - so DocLife BRM now support the Capture Search functionality, that download profiles found from a search on LinkedIn. It captures that last search you have made on LinkedIn.

Posted by Morten Marquard at 3:43 AM | 0 comments

Company info in your Inbox

DocLife BRM Add-in provides information about which company the email origines from diretly in your Inbox as outlined below:

Notice the Company column, marked with blue above. This column display company information from the contacts. In many cases this information is valuable when filtering and selecting important emails to deal with.


A posting on Ecademy raised the importance of this issue.

Posted by Morten Marquard at 3:25 AM | 0 comments

Using DocLife BRM Add-in

DocLife BRM Add-in has the following toolbar:
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Clicking on
DocLife will open the following menu:

You can now download profiles from LinkedIn, Ecademy or OpenBC. When downloading contacts, the add-in will search for the Contact in a folder, and if found add information to the contact. If not found, it will add a new contact with the category "DocLife".

Please note that LinkedIn also has functionality that allow you to download contacts and import them into your Outlook, check here. While absolutely great LinkedIn finally offered this feature it doesn't handle updates of existing contacts, thereby adding duplicates!

When you open a contact you'll notice a few changes from the standard Outlook view:

Notice the four new menu's on the contact . When these menu items show up, you can click on them, and a browser window will show you the profile. Clicking
G will search the persons name on Google.

Downloading contacts might take a while depending on the number of contacts and your connection speed to the internet. My personal experience is that it takes approximately 4 seconds for each contact - and I'm on a medium ADSL connection and have a fairly old PC (850MHz). So downloading 1.000 contacts will take approximately 1 hour. Outlook will be blocked while you download!

After you download your contacts you can view them in the selected Outlook Contacts folder (default it will be named DocLife) as outlined below:

You can customize this view to include the fiends you need. Place the mouse over the Full Name column, right click the mouse and select Field Chooser. Select User defined fields in folder and add the fields you need by dragging them onto the Contacts bar.

Posted by Morten Marquard at 2:31 AM | 0 comments

Troubleshooting installation


In some situations the Add-in will not start.
As a start try selecting Tools->Options in Outlook which will show the following screen:

Then select the "Other" pane and Advanced Options which will show the following screen:



Then select "COM Add-Ins..." which should display the "DocLife Extension for Outlook" add-in among other Add-ins (if any). It will display the mscoree.dll, as well as potential errors such as, "cannot load mscoree.dll". This is most likely due to lack of some DLL's, such as msxml2, redemptions, etc.



A way to start troubleshooting this is to verify the following:

Your operating system:

  • Windows 2000 - you must have Microsoft .NET Framework version 1.1 installed, MSXML must also be installed
  • Windows XP - MSXML must be installed
Try to find the file addinerr.txt which is located in the TEMP directory, usually
C:\Documents and Settings\$USERID\Local Settings\Temp
If this file exists please send it to mailto:morten.marquard@gmail.com

DocLife Add-in in disabled items



In some situations, the DocLife Add-in can be added to Outlook's disabled items. This typically happens if something goes wrong, i.e. problems with installation.

In order to re-enable the Add-in click Help->About Outlook which will show you the following screen:



Then click Disabled Items which will show you the following screen:


Posted by Morten Marquard at 2:17 AM | 0 comments

Get and install DocLife BRM Add-in

You can download the DocLife BRM Add-in for Outlook XP/2003 here (not yet freely available. Please contact morten.marquard@gmail.com for details).

License
DocLife BRM Add-in for Outlook is freely available for private users. Corporate users can test it for one month before purchasing a license.

Pre-requisites

Installation

Once downloaded you can install the Add-in by double clicking on the installer. You need to re-start Outlook before the Add-in will show up in Outlook.

When you open Outlook the first time after you have installed the DocLife BRM Add-in you'll be prompted to enter your profile. You then need to enter your ID from the various networks you are member of.

During setup DocLife Add-in will try to locate the above ID's automatically, provided that you are logged into the various social networks from your internet browser.

You can find the ID's manually as follows:

Finally you must enter the folder where you wish to place your social networking contacts. From default this is set to DocLife. If you wish to place your contacts in your standard Outlook Contact folder, in English version of Outlook Contacts, remove DocLife from the field making it empty.

When you start Outlook after the installation a new menu is added .

Posted by Morten Marquard at 2:16 AM | 0 comments

Known issues

Microsoft Office Outlook Error in registry for extension "Exchange Extensions;?" error received.

When you start Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or when you open and then close the Add-In Manager dialog box in Outlook 2003, you may receive the following error message:

Microsoft Office Outlook Error in registry for extension "Exchange Extensions;?".

The syntax or format of the registry entry is incorrect. Check the registry settings and compare the registry for this extension to other extensions in the registry. This problem is corrected in Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Microsoft Office 2003. For additional information, visit http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=823633.

Posted by Morten Marquard at 12:38 AM | 0 comments