Tag Archives: outlook

What’s New in Microsoft Outlook 2016?

office-365-groups-in-outlook-2016

Although its design has remained relatively the same over the last few years, Microsoft Outlook for 2016 has some powerful new features to improve your email workflow and organize your messages better. Let’s take a closer look.

Clutter Support

One of the biggest improvements for Microsoft Outlook in 2016 is the new Clutter feature. It allows you to tell Outlook which messages are important to you and which ones are not. It doesn’t delete lower priority emails outright but separates them to the side. It uses machine learning to decide what is important based on a number of criteria, including how many other people are receiving the email, your connection to the sender and how often you respond to a specific person’s correspondence.

Ongoing Upgrades

Because so little has changed, upgrading to MS Outlook 2016 from the previous version should be relatively pain-free. Unlike previous iterations where new features and updates were put off until the next major update, now new features and fixes will be updated on an ongoing basis.

OneDrive Cloud Connection

MS Outlook continues to create a deeper connection with cloud storage. For example, when you click on the Attach File icon, you will be presented with a menu rather than a browser search box. You can choose to search through your online storage such as OneDrive for Business or your personal OneDrive account. This saves you an extra step of downloading a file to your hard drive and then attaching it from there.

Tell Me

One nifty new feature is the “Tell me what you want to do” tab and light bulb icon at the top of the Ribbon. Rather than just search for a help topic, the “Tell me” function will search through Outlook’s database and automatically present the correct command or topic.

Get Back @ Me

You can simply type somebody’s name preceded by the @ symbol in an email message and their name will be automatically highlighted. In addition, Microsoft Outlook will put their name in the “To” box automatically.

Photo Preview

Have you ever received an email that says photos are attached, but you dreaded downloading the photos to your hard drive just to see if they are worth pursuing? Now you can see an image of each photo in the message itself, so you can judge right away if you want to see the bigger version.

Push Email Support

If you ever get tired of hitting the “Get Mail” button, you’ll be happy to know that Outlook 2016 now has Push email support built-in. New messages will be pushed to your Outlook inbox as soon as they come into the server.

Email Groups

Email conversation chains can quickly become confusing and disjointed. The new Groups feature in Microsoft Outlook 2016 allows you to build group sets with people you want to be able to engage in conversation threads much like an online chat. This feature is partly a competitive response to popular chat applications like Slack, but Outlook Groups provides seamless integration with other OneDrive and Outlook calendars.

Better Calendars

Calendar enhancements include the ability to see weather forecasts for upcoming dates and the choice to offer new times in response to invitations for meetings and events. You can also view multiple calendars at the same time, simplifying the task of coordinating your disparate schedules with a variety of stakeholders.

Although the Microsoft Outlook user interface changes have been minor in 2016, mostly made to keep the program’s appearance consistent across desktop and mobile devices, under the hood it’s a different story. For 2016, Microsoft has added features that address many of the suggestions made by users over the last few years, and new enhancements will be introduced on a constant basis. Business moves so fast today that it’s important to have the latest features at hand. Outlook for 2016 will help you work more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

Keep in mind that you can take advantage of all of these new outlook features and integrate it into your MS Access database online in our private remote desktop hosting cloud.

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How to send email with Access without using Outlook

Building an Access database provides many benefits because it not only gives users an easy way to manage their data, but Access can also be used to manipulate external applications through code. One of those extremely helpful benefits is its ability to send out an email message. Access is not an email client, so it doesn’t really send out the email message itself. Instead, it can be used to automate external email client programs, such as Outlook, to actually send out the message on its behalf. But what if Outlook is not installed on the user’s computer? Normally, that is not a problem as long as the user has an email client installed on the machine. The SendObject method or the EmailDatabaseObject macro action will try to use whatever email client is installed as the default to send out the message. This article will address those situations where the user does not have any email client installed or if bypassing the security warning in Outlook is desired. (more…)

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How to collect data in MS Access via email with Outlook

Beginning with version 2007, Microsoft Access included a feature that seamlessly links your database table to Outlook and makes it easier to collect user data via email messages. This quick tutorial will show you the steps for setting up the email template for collecting the data as well as the steps for processing the collected data.

Creating the email message

Follow these steps to create the email message:

  1. Select the table that you need to collect the data for from the Navigation Pane.
  2. From the External Data tab on the Ribbon, in the Collect Data group, click on the Create E-mail button.
  3. The Collect data through e-mail messages Wizard should open as show in Figure 1.
    collectdata1

    Figure 1

  4. Click Next. The next screen will present you with the option to choose the type of email form you want to use. You can only use either HTML or InfoPath forms (see Figure 2).
    collectdata2

    Figure 2

    Select HTML if your users do not have InfoPath installed on their machines.

  5. Click Next after you have made your choice.
  6. If your table contains existing data, the next screen that shows up is where you’ll choose whether the data you’re collecting are new information or for updating the existing data in your table (see Figure 3).
    Figure 3

    Figure 3

  7. Click Next after you have made your selection.
  8. The next screen (see Figure 4) allows you to select which fields from your table you would like to include in the email message for collecting the data. You can set the order of the fields or change the label captions for each field.
    Figure 4

    Figure 4

  9. After you have selected all the fields you want to collect, click Next to see the next screen (see Figure 5).
    Figure 5

    Figure 5

  10. This screen allows you to specify which Outlook folder will be used to store the email replies for the collected data. You can change the default location by clicking on the folder’s name and then switch to the Outlook window and select or create a new folder (see Figure 6).
    Figure 6

    Figure 6

  11. From the same screen (see Figure 5), you can also specify if you want all email replies to be processed automatically, which means that the data collected will be automatically added to your Access table. To control how the data is processed, you can click on the link labeled “Set properties to control the automatic processing of replies.” This would open up the Options screen (see Figure 7).
    Figure 7

    Figure 7

  12. From the screen shown in Figure 5, click Next to move on the next step.
  13. The next screen specifies how you would like to provide the email addresses for the recipients of your message (see Figure 8).
    Figure 8

    Figure 8

  14. If you select to provide the email addresses from an Access table, clicking Next will present the screen shown in Figure 9.
    Figure 9

    Figure 9

  15. Select the email address field from the current or related table and then click Next.
  16. The next screen allows you to specify the subject line and body of the message (see Figure 10).
    Figure 10

    Figure 10

  17. Click Next to see the next screen (see Figure 11). This screen is informational only.
    Figure 11

    Figure 11

  18. Click Next again. The next screen allows you to select specific recipients for the email message, send the message to all recipients (see Figure 12).
    Figure 12

    Figure 12

  19. When you’re ready to send the email message, click Send.
  20. When your users get the email message, all they have to do is reply back by filling out the form in the message with the information being requested.

Managing Automatic Reply Processing

After you have set up your data collection email, you can go to the Message Options screen to change its settings. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. From the External Data tab on the Ribbon, in the Collect Data group, click on the Manage Replies button. The Manage Data Collection Messages dialog window should come up (see Figure 13).
    Figure 13

    Figure 13

  2. With the data collection message template you want to modify highlighted, click on the Message Options button.
  3. The Collecting Data Using E-Mail Options dialog window should open up (see Figure 14).
    Figure 14

    Figure 14

  4. From this screen, you can check or uncheck the options you prefer.
  5. Click OK to close the Options window.
  6. Click Close on the Manage Data Collection Messages dialog window.

Processing Replies

If you did not set up your email data collection to be processed automatically by Outlook, or if a reply failed to be processed, you can manually process each reply by following these steps:

  1. Locate the folder you designated for storing the collected data in Outlook.
  2. Right-click on the user’s reply you want to process and select Export data to Microsoft Access.
  3. On the Export data to Microsoft Access dialog window, verify the data to be added to the table and click OK.
  4. If the export is successful, you should get the confirmation window shown in Figure 15.
    Figure 15

    Figure 15

  5. You must repeat these steps for each reply you want to process.

Conclusion

Since Access 2007, database developers can now automate external data collection via email messages using Outlook. If you have users who need to send out surveys or questionnaires and want to avoid the manual process of collecting feedback, you might consider giving this new feature a try.  More importantly this type of integration is actually possible via a web browser and in the cloud with Access hosting’s remote desktop hosting. All you need to do is sign up for an Office Pro plan with MS Access and Outlook to try it free for 30 days.

Posted in Access 2007, Access 2010, Access 2013 | Tagged , , | 11 Comments