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Cardbox for email archives

Discussion of the use of Cardbox to archive emails

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cardboss

18-Jan-2006 14:55

If you want to discuss using Cardbox to archive email messages then please reply to this message.

Alker

19-Jan-2006 10:23

Is there a similar program for archiving Outlook emails in Cardbox?

James

19-Jan-2006 11:17

I would also be interested in a soluition on this.

bert

19-Jan-2006 12:40

Log time ago I programmed such a thing in VBA Outlook 2000 macro's which was very useful.
One button in Outlook archived the current message, sender, recipient, etc, etc in Cardbox + saved the current mail in a msg file (included attachments) in a standard folder. The .msg could be launched again with a button in Cardbox (with that msg you can reply, open attachments etc etc).
But... then came some viruses and MS did something in Outlook so that you have to click many times when you approach Outlook (Outlook 2000 sp2). That was **not** useful.
As far as I know, only with vb6 or vb.net there are workarounds for this (terrible) security in Outlook.
Could not find time to make this but it will make it centainly one time.
So, if someone is faster than I am... I'm also very interested!
Regards
Bert

cardboss

19-Jan-2006 18:18

For Outlook, there is half a solution at http://www.cardbox.com/support/kb/emailOutlook.htm

This is an Outlook macro that exports the contents of an Outlook folder in Cardbox's "External" format, from which Cardbox can import it into a database. The web page also contains the format file for that database.

LIMITATIONS: As it stands, the sample macro can only handle received emails, not sent ones. Bert, you will find that you don't get security warnings... so perhaps you could investigate ways of improving the macro to get round more of Outlook's limitations?

I deliberately haven't gone into the question of how to play an Outlook macro from within Outlook. We make Cardbox, not Outlook, and if we had written Outlook we would have written it differently!

- Martin.

bert

19-Jan-2006 20:42

Interesting! That is challenging!

The macro as displayed did in my situation work after two changes:
- First line I changed to
     Dim o
- I remarked 3rd line :
    'Dim fso As Scripting.FileSystemObject

(Outlook 2000 9.0.0.2711)

Is is an interesting macro (but I will still search a solution for saving msg files including attachments). But that is future.

Thanks and regards
bert

Mary Doyle

19-Jan-2006 22:53

I have lately been working on a solution of my own to the problem of archiving emails and attachments in Cardbox.

I am using a separate program to download the emails with attachments from Outlook.
The program is Amber Outlook Converter, which I think is very good value at $19.95.
( http://www.processtext.com/abcoutlk.html )

This program will download emails from Outlook in a variety of formats. My chosen format is comma delimited. There was a problem with this initially as unlike most download formats available in Amber Outlook Converter the CDL download did not download the attachments. At my request this has now been changed.

The attachments are downloaded to a sub-folder of the folder to which the CDL is downloaded. There is still one remaining problem, which the suppliers are again working to overcome, namely that the CDL format, unlike the other formats, does not include the name of the attachment in the records.
 
When the CDL download does include the name I propose to use a use VBScript (externally) to
- to load the file into Cardbox
- loop through the new records
- identify the attachment(s) and store the name(s)
- locate the relevant attachment
- change its name, based on a running number extracted from another Cardbox database
- change the name in the Cardbox record – with full path.

This has the advantage of getting round the potential problem of duplicate attachment names. It will then be easy to identify and open the relevant attachment directly from Cardbox.

I use a very similar procedure for dealing with electronic documents.

This may not be a solution for anyone else, but I thought I would share it nevertheless.

Mary Doyle

cardboss

20-Jan-2006 08:58

Mary, that sounds excellent. I've downloaded the trial version of the Amber Eudora Converter and given it a quick test. To convert a Eudora folder you open it, select all the messages, choose an output format and say "Save As".

- There's an inconvenience in that the actual text of a message uses "%c%n" to separate the lines, and so the records need to be batch-edited in Cardbox after they've been loaded.
- It gives the date of the email only, not the time. You really need both the date and the time for a good archive.
- Also, some of my sent emails are dated 30/12/1899, which is not accurate.

Nevertheless this is a very sound strategy: we concentrate on Cardbox and email specialists concentrate on email conversion.

Charles Welling

20-Jan-2006 16:42

There's another "half a solution", which needs no external programmes. Simply export the folder of your choice from Outlook to an Access database (File, Import/Export). You can tell Outlook to export only soecific fields in the same way that Cardbox exports only the fields that you choose. Read the database into Cardbox and you're done.
You can have a seperate folder in Outlook to copy the emails to that you want to keep in Cardbox, so that you only get what you consider worth saving.
Attachments have to be saved seperately though, and you'll have to add any links to them manually in Cardbox.

Mary Doyle

20-Jan-2006 18:25

Hi Cardboss

Re:
the actual text of a message uses "%c%" to separate the lines, and so the records need to be batch-edited in Cardbox after they've been loaded.

I have solved this problem when testing with the following Cardbox macro:
EditRecord
x = Fields("bd") ' i.e. body of the email
y = Replace(x,"%c%n",vbCrLf)
Fields("bd")=y
SaveRecord

The line and paragraph formatting of the original is then retained.

It would be quite easy to build this into the Load Email script.

Re:
Time as well as date important in an email archive : I will forward the suggestion to Amber. Like Cardbox they are very responsive to requests to improve the programs.

Hi Charles,

Re: Using Access
To me Access is an external program and one I don't have. Apart from the fact that I don't like it, Access is relatively expensive and probably most Cardbox users wouldn't need it.

Using the Amber Email conversion programs, which can, like Cardbox, be driven by an external Script, the whole operation of downloading the emails, loading them into Cardbox, identifying the attachments etc could be controlled by a single external script. The script could be called from within Cardbox using a Cardbox macro to launch it.

Incidentally what drove me towards Amber Outlook in the first place was the fact that if you export emails from Outlook the date field is not included in the specific fields for export, and the date is not actually exported (I have tried this with various Outlook export formats, though not with Access).

Has anyone else encountered that problem and found an easy way around it?

Mary

Charles Welling

21-Jan-2006 11:16

Mary, I don't use Access either. You don't need to have it to export from Outlook to an Access database. But I'm afraid this format too does not contain the date. So I guess it's was a worthless suggestion :)
Charles

Mary Doyle

21-Jan-2006 12:36

Charles,

Without actually trying it, the omission of the date in Outlook downloads is not something one would anticipate. I cannot understand the logic behind the date not being downloaded. It is a fairly crucial part of an email for all sorts of reasons.

Mary

Mary Doyle

21-Jan-2006 21:51

Update to my earlier email:
I have just downloaded Amber Outlook Converter 5.2

The CDL download format
- now includes a field for the attachment names (as previously promised)
- now includes date + time (I passed on the suggestion from Cardboss).

Re: Cardboss's test of Amber Eudora Converter
"- Also, some of my sent emails are dated 30/12/1899, which is not accurate."

I have previously downloaded all my emails from Outlook so that I could at least have a good way of searching them. All the dates reproduced accurately, so I have no idea why this problem is occurring. I double checked my file by searching for 31/12/1899 and found no records. Would it have to do with the format of "sent" dates in Eudora? If interested in using the Amber converter program it would be worth discussing it with Yernar Shambayev (ProcessText Group) [ processtext@processtext.com ]. As you can see, they are very quick at responding to problems and suggestions for improvements.

I have Martin of Cardbox to thank also of course, as about a year ago he adapted Cardbox to read multi-line CSV files in order to facilitate me for the purpose of importing my emails.

Now all I have to do is put the final touches to my script and download my emails again, with attachments.

Regards to all.

Mary

bert

24-Jan-2006 22:27

Hello,
The Outlook macro which is on the site of Cardbox (http://www.cardbox.com/support/kb/emailOutlook.htm) I changed it a little. Quick and dirty! But...
- It saves all mailitems from an Outlook folder as separate .msg files (attachments are embedded in msg files)
- It gives every mail a unique number in Cardbox - the same number as in the name is of the msg file
- It writes the text of every mail item to a Cardbox record. Outook fields: Send Time, From, To, CC, BCC, Subject, Body, names of Attachments
- It let you choose by a dialog in which folder you want to store the msg files
- In Cardbox is in a field: file://[ path ]/[######]Oultookfoldername.msg ; so the msg can be launched without a macro in Cardbox.
I tested it in W2K Prof / outlook 2003 as well as Win XP Prof + Outlook 2000 SP1. It worked...!

If this is what you really need... 001@worldmail.nl
Regards
Bert

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