*Bulletin ID* A2E_199
*Last Review* 06/10/2006
*Revision* 1.0
*Previous IDs* None
*Obsoletes* None

Dealing with Custom Forms in Add2Exchange Enterprise and Add2Outlook

Summary

Explanation of Custom Forms and how to synchronize with them in Add2Exchange Enterprise

This is supplementary information to that which appears in the Add2Exchange Guide. Consult that first:

http://guides.diditbetter.com/a2e-guide/special_item_types.htm

Symptom

Items do not synchronize because they have custom forms attached.

Description

Exchange items may be created with special message classes. These message classes are usually created either by application add-ons to Outlook or by administrators creating a custom form that captures additional information from the user.

For example, an application may create a subclass of the regular contact message class, “IPM.Contact”, which includes additional information about that contact. The special class will be given an additional qualifier on the message class name, such as “IPM.Contact.DidItBetter”.

Special message classes pose a challenge for synchronization because they specify additional information that is not predefined. Add2Exchange supports synchronization of these customized information fields.

Synchronization of special message classes which do not have custom forms is seamless. No additional configuration is necessary.
For items with custom forms, the custom forms must be published on all folders which are subject to synchronization. If you are using Private-to-Private relationships, this includes the hidden Pivot Folder. For details on how to publish custom forms, see the Microsoft tutorial at:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/tutorial-creating-and-distributing-custom-forms-with-outlook-HA001210610.aspx

Be careful not to "One off" forms: 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/238765

It is possible to create a custom form containing VBScript designed for a private mailbox structure, this type of form may have to be redesigned if replicating to a Public Folder. Note, however, that it is acceptable to use such forms on private-to-private relationships despite the fact that the public pivot folder is involved. The custom form must still be published to the pivot folder, but since it will not be invoked, synchronization may work properly in such a case.

See Microsoft’s VBScript documentation for details on functions that will not work on public folders.

DidItBetter can quote development support services for custom forms on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your account representative for such requests.

Custom forms are supported in most cases and our experience shows that synchronization of custom forms works for the vast majority of our customers. However, since custom forms are application-specific and may store their information in ways that cannot be synchronized by Add2Exchange, we cannot and do not guarantee support for all custom forms.

Resolution

If you are experiencing an issue with custom forms, make sure you have carefully followed the directions for configuring Exchange and Add2Exchange to support them. DidItBetter Software supports our customers in setting up these configurations through the normal support options provided for in your software maintenance agreement. If custom forms are still not working after configuring the approved settings, further investigation and troubleshooting is offered through higher-level support options for a fee. Please see the support options listed in the Customer Support Overview section. Many people want to publish a custom form and have the information replicated. Some custom forms work and some do not. sometimes all regular folder fields will replicate and some custom fields will replicate the first time, but not replicate the second and third time. Please test your form in a test environment.

To do this first you will need to edit the custom form from the source and then publish it to both locations so your custom form and fields will be there. Make sure the form has EXACTLY the same name in the SAME case in both places. You will have to do this manually for all users as A2E will not replicate the custom form just by setting up a relationship.

Next, make your custom form the default form in both the source and destination locations and then open up an item and see if the form gets copied to the machine and folder (personal forms library). If the custom form opens, the form information can now replicate. TIP: You cannot have a password on the form during at least one A2E replication cycle per relationships so it can edit the form and add our replication fields.

Next, go back to following the installation instructions (as if the folders were using regular forms) and give the appropriate permissions outlined in the manual.

After the relationship is built, exit the A2E Console and start the service. Within 2 replication cycles, the information should transfer from source to destination. Next, test to make sure the custom information gets replicated the second and each successive time. Make a change to the source in one of your custom fields and see if it gets replicated to the destination. If it does, then go to the next test. If the relationship is bidirectional, make a change to the destination and let it replicate to see if the changes go back to the source. If so, then keep a watchful eye on it during your trial period and when satisfied, put into production. Be sure to set up the proper permissions in your live environment to the users and folders specified within the relationship.

If this does not work, consult the Add2Exchange support forums at:

http://support.diditbetter.com/forums.aspx

Applies To

  • Add2Exchange Standard
  • Add2Exchange Enterprise

Keywords: Custom Forms

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