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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    HTML Form to Outlook/checkbox to approve/disapprov

    We have a form on our Internet that an outside user fills out when they want to register for our web service. Currently, this triggers an email to our help desk account. We want to add a feature that will allow our outside users to "update" infor via this web service. In doing so, we want our field/remote office to grant approval or disapproval of this add'l access. Therefore, when an outside user has filled out the form, they select the appropriate field office from the drop down list and click submit. This sends the email to the field office mailbox. From here, we were looking for a way to provide a check box within the email where all the field offices have to do is check approve or disapprove. Once they do this, then it would send it on to our help desk for processing. (or another method that would accomplish something similar to this)

    Currently all of our users are still at Outlook 98. Anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: HTML Form to Outlook/checkbox to approve/disapprov

    Oh yeah - lots of good ideas....

    Is the process with Outlook forms or ASP? If it's Outlook, EXIT SUB (meaning, the following suggestions won't help much).

    Assuming it's ASP (or if you want to start using ASP)...
    I take it that you're using CDONTS or some similar ASP-based mail component to send an HTML formatted email to the selected office...

    You would basically need to do to main things:
    1) Modify the email currently being sent to include the desired checkbox AND a link to open a new webpage that will allow the user to grant or deny access
    2) Add another ASP page to receive user's input (via Querystring).. Then process their result from there.

    Please let me know if my assumptions are even remotely close to your situation - and if you need more information to help complete the process.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: HTML Form to Outlook/checkbox to approve/disapprov

    Yes, your assumptions are close to our situation! I never know how to phrase things right when asking questions but you pretty much got it. Yes, with ASP and using Windows 2000 CDO for sending email to selected office. I guess my question now is how would I modify the email being sent to include desired checkboxes?

  4. #4
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    Re: HTML Form to Outlook/checkbox to approve/disapprov

    OK - now we're in business!

    Just out of curiosity - did someone from within your organization write the current process... or was it done by an outside consultant?
    Atlhough my previous response may have sounded simple, it's not quite exactly easy if you're new to ASP.

    Can you provide any more specific information about the situation? Perhaps you could post some of the code currently being used and a little about the data structure...

    Hope this helps

  5. #5
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    Re: HTML Form to Outlook/checkbox to approve/disapprov

    No, it was (or is) being done by an outside consultant. I know very little about ASP. However, I don't like the solutions they are presenting to us so looking to see what other options we might have. The first option they gave us was similar to what you mentioned, provide a link in the email that takes them to another web page where they can approve or disapprove. Yet, they indicated we would need to maintain a database of valid usernames and passwords that have this authority, which was a turn off. Next, they suggested that it would be best to leave it as a manual process, which didn't appeal to us either.

    Being I'm new, I'm not sure what other information you need. Basically, off of our home page there is a link that says "Register". Clicking on this takes you to a fill-in form (i.e. registration.asp) with the required fields, one of those being the field/remote office they do business with. When a user clicks submit, it sends the data in an email to the appropriate email account so that they can approve/disapprove their request. Currently, it is a manual process where the field/remote office opens the email, forwards the message to us, typing in whether they approve/disapprove. We can work with this if we have to but our thought was we could enhance upon it. Our desire is that when the email goes to the field/remote office, all they have to do is check a box (or something) approving/disapproving and then it automatically forwards it to us. Maybe this is tougher than we think.

    I don't have the code readily available as I'm posting to the lounge from home. If I'm able to later today from work, I will post the code.

    Appreciate the help and suggestions!

  6. #6
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    Re: HTML Form to Outlook/checkbox to approve/disapprov

    The biggest issues that I can see (and I think your consultant was on to this also) are data tracking and security.

    It would be quite easy to generate a new control in the first email for accepting or rejecting a candidate. The problem is that in order to generate a new email, the ASP page will need to receive and process all of the information that was sent in the first emai (including the option to approve/disapprove). Basically, if you don't already have a database on your web server, this email would have to send ALL of that information in a querystring. It could possibly quite long (depending on the amount of info you have). A much easier solution would be to store the data in a database on the server, then simply send 2 or 3 pieces of information via querystring: 1) The user's ID, 2) Approval or Disapproval, 3) some piece of information to validate the person sending the request. Of course, you may choose to create a login screen as part of the 2nd step just for added security.

    Which brings up security... The reason you will need to use a Querystring type of submission (rather than an HTML-based form inside the email) is that Outlook won't allow you to submit a form from within an email. (I'm not exactly sure if all versions of Outlook prevent this, or just the most recent.) This is normally a benefit - it prevents malicious emails from sending sensitive data without your knowledge. The downside of Querystrings is that ANYONE could be sending it. There's not really an easy way to authenticate the querystring unless one of the elements was something like a password. Of course, the downside of that is that it's not encrpyted and anyone could intercept this. The best solution in this case would be to have a Login page that receives the querystring but forces you to login with a valid username and password before sending the 2nd email.

    I hope this gives you some insight into the issues at hand.

  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Re: HTML Form to Outlook/checkbox to approve/disapprov

    YES, it does and much appreciated. I will have to go rethink this and how we want to handle. THANK YOU!

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