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Applet Focus: DWS Go to Sender's Web Page

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Advansys, Dave Strickler

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Posted: 1 May 2002
 

Advansys Formativ gives you the power to make GroupWise work the way you want! To help you understand what is possible with Formativ, read on for an insight into a particular solution and how it can help you. We discuss how it works and offer some suggestions for extending its functionality even further. Bookmark this page now!

DWS Go to sender's web page

How does this applet benefit me?

The DWS Go to sender's web page is a cool and useful Formativ powered solution written by Dave Strickler, DWS President. As with all useful tools, the DWS applet was built to save time when addressing a simple, everyday need: when you receive an e-mail from someone you do not know, before replying, you may wish understand a little more about the sender. One of the easiest methods to gather additional information is to go to the sender's Web address by manually copying the domain part of the sender's e-mail address, for example the 'emailsolutions.com' part of the address 'dstrickler@emailsolutions.com', and then adding 'http://www.' to it in the MS Internet Explorer URL address field (www.emailsolutions.com).

As this facility is not a standard GroupWise feature (assuming the sender's URL is not acc! essible in the message body text), Dave wrote the DWS solution in Formativ to do all the steps automatically, at the click of a button on the GroupWise mail message toolbar! Thanks to Dave sharing his applet in the Formativ Applet Central area at GroupWise Cool Solutions, you too can benefit from the time-saving convenience which Dave's solution offers.

Download

The DWS Go to sender's web page applet can be downloaded from the GroupWise Cool Solutions Formativ Applet Central area here.

How does it work?

The great thing about the DWS applet is that it is simple and effective. When the ? icon is clicked on the mail view toolbar, the applet automatically extracts the domain portion of the sender's address, prefixes it with 'http://www.' when passing the URL to Microsoft Internet Explorer. An example of its use is shown in Figure 1 below.



Figure 1 - Jump to the sender's web site

Integrating with GroupWise

One of Formativ's key strengths is its ability to execute applets, with point and click simplicity, from just about any toolbar, menu or event in GroupWise - and absolutely no programming is required!

The DWS Go to sender's web page applet is integrated with the GroupWise mail view toolbar. The check box at the bottom of the dialog indicates that the applet will appear on the Formativ Run menu, which can be found under the main Applets menu. See Figure 2 below.



Figure 2 - Formativ Integrations

Take a look at the Formativ User's Guide to see just how easy it is to integrate applets with GroupWise.

Under the Hood

Applet operation

When activated by the user, the applet first checks to see if MS Internet Explorer is installed in "C:\program files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe". If not, the applet exits. The applet then checks if we have a GroupWise message open and, if so, it extracts the sender's email address and extracts the domain portion (i.e. all text to the right following the '@' character). It then runs MS Internet Explorer and passes the new URL on the command line.

Techniques

Checking for a valid GroupWise message

The Set Msg = Client.ClientState.CommandMessage will set the Msg object equal to the currently active or selected message in the GroupWise client. The check if Msg is Nothing then identifies that if the Msg object is empty, then display a message, otherwise proceed with the applet.

Processing the sender's address

As we have a valid Msg object, getting the sender's a! ddress is simple as using the command SenderAddress = Msg.Sender. The domain portion of the sender's address is then extracted using parsing commands DomainName = Mid(SenderAddress,InStr(SenderAddress,"@")+1,255), which essentially finds the location of the '@' character in the SenderAddress and copies all text to the right into the DomainName variable.

Starting Microsoft Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer (IE) is started by using the Call GroupWise.RunProgram(IEPath, "http://www." & DomainName). The first parameter of RunProgram, IEPath, is the location of the IE application and this contstant is defined at the beginning of the applet. The second parameter is the command line information, which is the just 'http://www.' appended to the contents of the DomainName variable.

Taking it Further

The DWS Go to sender's web page applet was written for an immediate need and is not intended to be a 'commercial strength' solution. However, only very minor enhancements would be required to introduce some error checking, such as exiting the applet if it is not an internet address (i.e. does not contain and '@' character), and extending it to work with both MS Internet Explorer or another browser. You would also remove the hard-coded refence to the location of the browser software.

Download, Installation and Distribution

Download

The DWS Go to sender's web page applet can be downloaded from the GroupWise Cool Solutions Formativ Applet Central area here.

Installation

The applet should be copied to the Formativ local applets folder, the default being c:\program files\advansys\formativ\local\ and then restart the GroupWise client.

Distribution

For personal use, the installation procedure described above is sufficient. To share the same applet easily, you may also install Formativ Admin or Formativ Client so that the Local applets folder points to a shared network folder. This is useful for users, perhaps within a particular department, who wish to run the same applets. For fast, flexible and secure distribution at a corporate level, it is recommended that network and GroupWise administrators implement Formativ's eDirectory capabilities.

Questions?

If you have any questions on this applet or you have a need for a different applet, feel free to post a question or comment in the Advansys Formativ Support Forums by clicking on the following link: Developing Solutions with Formativ.

Additional Information


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