Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange Migration: Lotus Notes Document Link Creator for Outlook

How to send Lotus Notes document links from Outlook – Part II The Automation Process

As I promised in the post Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange Migration: How to send Notes document links from Outlook – Part I I would document automating the steps of creating Notes document links to send from Outlook.

Overview – Sending a database link from Lotus Notes

While in Lotus Notes to send a database link a user would select the database (or document in a database) then would right click Database->Copy as Link then go to a Notes Memo and paste the Notes link.
1. Creating a Notes link

Lotus Notes to Exchange Migration open database

2. Sending the notes link from the Lotus Notes client

Lotus Notes to Exchange Migration database link

The contents of a Notes link pasted in Notepad

Lotus Notes to Exchange Migration NDL Contents

Logical Process

  • Read the clipboard contents – it has to have a Lotus Notes database link
  • Save the contents to a file with extension *.NDL
  • Display the newly created file NDL file in Windows Explorer for the user to attach to an email using Outlook

Out of the box Microsoft Outlook doesn’t have this functionality. I covered the manual process of creating a Lotus Notes link to send from Outlook from this post How to send Notes document links from Outlook – Part I.

Now we’ll automate the process make enable Outlook users to be more productive by removing the manual process.

Code Structure of the Lotus Notes link creator for Outlook

I’ve broken down the script into two main Subs and a function:

  1. CreateLink(strFile, strDirectory) – This function will create the doclink.ndl file by reading the contents of the clipboard. Takes two parameters the first is the empty NDL file (or simply a text fle) called doclink.ndl and the second is the file path to save the doclink.ndl after writing the clipboard contents to it.
  2. RenameLink(strFile, strDirectory) – This function will rename the doclink.ndl to the title of the database.ndl. The name is obtained by reading the taking the first line outside the <ndl></ndl> tags. Takes two parameters the first is the writen NDL file called doclink.ndl and the second is the file path of the doclink.ndl saved by CreateLink(x,y).
  3. CleanTheString(sTitle) – This function is used to remove non-alpha numeric characters from the string. Once the string is clean it can be used as the filename for the doclink. This function is called by RenameLink(strFile, strDirectory) Sub. Called by RenameLink which passes database name and this function will process to remove the unwanted characters that are not valid to used in the filename.

Code Snippets

I’d be posting code snippets in the near future for this project

How do Outlook users utilise this tool?

All the users need to do is perform this steps outlined under Overview – Sending a database link from Lotus Notes then double click on the (say the name of the script is) DocLinkCreator.vbs the script will then do what it was program to do to create the file. Once the file is created attach it to an Outlook message.

Limitations and Improvements

  • Obvious any text in the clipboard will be saved in a file with the NDL extension. The code doesn’t check for the content type of the clipboard. It merely checks if there’s contents or not. I felt this wasn’t necessary since the user will need to be in Lotus Notes and would have Right->clicked->Database->Copy as Link and then run the DocLinkCreator.vbs to create the Lotus Notes database link. The user will not click on the DocinkCreator.vbs if there wasn’t a need to send a Notes database link.
  • This design can only create Notes links one at time. While it’s possible to extend the code to read each <ndl></ndl> tag and create individual files from the contents of these tags I feel that this was beyond the scope of this post.

Related posts:

  1. Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange Migration: A look at Lotus Notes Links in Outlook 2003 – Part II
  2. Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange Migration: How to send Lotus Notes Database links from Outlook – Part I
  3. Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange Migration: Access Lotus Notes Links in Outlook 2003 – Part I
  4. Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange Migration: A look at Lotus Notes Links in Outlook 2007
  5. Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange Migration: How to Transfer Lotus Notes Contacts to Outlook

4 Comments

  • 1
    July 25, 2008 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Any chance you can share your code snippets? We are looking at this same type of setup. Thanks!

  • 2
    July 30, 2008 - 7:02 am | Permalink

    @Don, I’ll dig up the code from my back up. Hopefully I could share this with you shortly…

  • 3
    September 11, 2008 - 6:42 am | Permalink

    Don, Apologies for the delay in posting this request. But here it is->http://roqu3.com/lotus-notes-doclink-creator-the-code/ (under Lotus Notes DocLink Creator – The Code)

    You can download the requested code. Hopefully it’s some use to you.

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