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Creating the Folders and Fields for the Sample

Now that you have a better understanding of what you build, let's get on with it. As I already stated, the first step you should take in this process is to create the appropriate public folders where you will house the information about ImagiNET's clients.

Development, Testing, and Production Environments

If this scenario was in the real world, you wouldn't create a production public folder right off the bat. Many organizations have either a staging, testing, or development environment that is completely separate from anything related to a production system. All development and testing is performed in the staging and testing environments before being released to the production system. Transferring forms and folders typically entails the creation of a personal folder (PST file) to temporarily house your folder and form designs. You can then copy the folders and forms from the personal folder file to the production Exchange Servers manually, provided you have the appropriate Exchange administrative rights.

Another method that some organizations use to stage forms and folder collaborative development is to section off the Exchange public folders into two groups: production public folders, which everyone in the organization has access to, and development public folders, which collaborative developers have exclusive rights to. Sectioning off public folders is accomplished by simply creating a separate top level folder, the exchange development folder, and assigning appropriate security and access permissions to testers and developers. The transition from development and testing to production is a bit easier with this method because you don't require a physical transfer of information as you do using a PST file to transfer forms and folders into a production system. I always get a little uneasy when development environments mix, in any way, with stable production environments, so I do not recommend this method.

Use Microsoft Outlook to create the folder hierarchy depicted in Figure 13.2. Use Table 13.1 to determine the folder types that you will assign to each new public folder.

Figure 13.2
The SCOES public folder structure.

Table 13.1  SCOES Folder Types

Folder Name

Folder Type

Sales and Marketing

Mail items folder

Client Activity Journal

Journal items folder

Client Contacts

Contact items folder

Step two is to configure the Client Contacts Activities property page to ensure that this folder is referencing the Client Activity Journal public folder to display client recorded activities. Do this by right-clicking the Client Contacts public folder from within Outlook and selecting Properties. Select the Activities tab and then click the New button. From the resulting dialog box, place a check mark beside the Client Activity Journal Public Folder and type Client Activity in the name field. When you're done, click the OK button. This ensures that any journal entry added to the Client Activity Journal will be reflected in the appropriate client contact's Activity page.

Public Journal Folders

Remember that Outlook does not use the Client Activity Journal public folder to automatically create Journal items created for contacts in the Client Contacts public folder. Unfortunately, any Journal item that is added to the Client Activity Journal must be done manually by either dragging the appropriate Client Contact item into the Client Activity Journal folder or by creating a blank Journal item that references a particular client contact or group of contacts in the Client Contacts folder.

Additionally, the Client Activity Journal folder is not restricted to maintaining journal entries related to the client contacts stored in the Client Contacts public folder. However, I'm sure with some ingenuity this could be arranged (Hint: Component Object Model (COM) add-ins).

Later in this chapter, after the new Client Contact form has been built and event scripts have been written, I will revisit some of the other folder configuration issues, such as view creation and default post form for the new folder.

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