Outlook Add-In

Using Microsoft Outlook

Introduction

Introduction 

Who hasn’t experienced the frustration of having two fantastic applications which simply won’t interact with each other?  At BigChange we always like to be part of the solution and so we have created the BigChange Microsoft Outlook Add-in, which allows you to seamlessly attach selected emails to Notes, either from within your desktop Outlook app or from Outlook Online.  This means that important information can be stored centrally against Notes in the CRM, facilitating remote working and allowing access for anyone with a laptop or device and an internet connection.

The Add-in can be found in the Microsoft store by clicking here.

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Installation & System Requirements

Installation & System Requirements

System Requirements

The high level of functionality behind the Add-in demands that we use version 1.5 of the Microsoft application programming interface (API), meaning that it cannot be made to work with earlier versions.  This means that you need  Exchange Online via 365 (Source)

The version of Outlook used for emails must also comply with these requirements, ie:

  • Mac- Office 2016 or later (including O365)
  • Windows – Office 2019 or later (including O365) (Source).

If you are unsure, please contact your IT department or Microsoft, who can offer advice on API versions.  You may find this article on deploying an Add-in on a supported version of a self-hosted Exchange useful.

Installation

The add-in can be installed in one of two ways: 

  • Via the Office365 Admin portal – this distributes the add-in to selected tenant machines and is likely to be the preferred route for those companies with their own IT department.
  • Locally through Outlook –  this option is more suitable for companies that do not have an in-house IT department.
1.  Installation Via Office365 Portal 

For information on how you can remove, update and edit add-ins using the Admin portal, visit the following support page on the Microsoft website: https://bigchan.ge/ms365-addin-deployment.    

2.  Installation on a Local Machine 
  1. Open Outlook and whilst on the Home screen, click on the ‘get Add-ins’ icon.
  2. A new Add-in popup window will now have opened. Type ‘BigChange’ into the search box and then click to select it:
  3. Click ‘Add’ and then, ‘Continue’
  4. A confirmation popup will open verifying the addition of the Add-in and pressing ‘Get started’ will open an additional screen asking for your login details – these are the ones which you use for your usual BigChange login. 
  5. Once your credentials have been verified, the Add-in will appear in both your ‘my Add-ins’ section and on the Outlook Home ribbon.

Using the Add-in

Using the Add-in 

Once activated, the Add-in will do the following things automatically:

  1. Where a previous email has been attached to a Note, the Note will automatically be loaded. 
  2. If the email is part of a new thread, the add-in will examine your CRM, searching for that email address and loading any contacts which contain it:
  3. If no contact is found, or a previous email in the same thread has not been attached, a search box will be displayed. You can either enter a contact name or a valid Note reference.
  4. To attach the first email from within a thread to a Note after a valid contact has been selected, you can choose from one of two available options: 
    • Create a Note from within the Add-in itself, which displays a Note popup identical to that in BigChange, for completion before being passed back to the Add-in.
    • Selecting from one of the recent Notes created. If the Note you wish to attach your email to is not in the list displayed, the search box can be used to refine the list and you can then make your selection.

Additional Note Functions Within the Add-in 

You can now perform some of the fantastic JobWatch functions you are used to within the Add-in, meaning that you don’t have to leave Outlook to do it. These include:

  1. Changing the person’s name against the Note. 
  2. Changing the Note owner, which will default to the person who signed in to the Add-in. 
  3. Adding ‘additional comments’, which will appear above the attached email in the dialogue entry, including the ability to tag people. 
  4. Amend the due date and time. 
  5. Change the status and add completion details if they have changed. 
  6. Update progress 
  7. Add a flag where these have been set up by Administrators.
  8. Once you have input the required details, press the ‘Import Email to JobWatch’ button. 

When the email has been imported, a confirmation message will be displayed showing the Note reference and an option to view the Note within JobWatch.

You can choose to view it now by clicking on the ‘View in JobWatch’ link, or it can be accessed later by inputting the Note reference in the ‘search anything’ box at the top right of the main JobWatch menu:

An entry will have been created in the dialogue section of the note, with the additional comments added at the top.

Opening the dialogue entry shows the first few lines of the email, with the option of viewing a version of (1) the email rendered as a PDF, along with (2) any attachments. 

For further information on Notes, please view the dedicated section of the CRM article.

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

The Microsoft Outlook Add-in is hosted on the Microsoft Store and allows customers to easily add emails to existing notes or create new notes from within the add-in itself.

It is available to BigChange customers free of charge, however, users must be running supported versions of Microsoft Office. Supported versions are clearly shown on the Microsoft Store Listing.

Whilst BigChange does all it can to support the add-in, there are unfortunately some errors that can only be corrected by our customers/customers’ IT teams. This is due to the mail infrastructure being outside of BigChange’s control. For these issues, we can only provide an explanation as to the cause and suggest corrective action.


Error Codes: 5012 & 50092

Error Message:

The message displayed will read: ‘This email could not be processed. Please try again in 5 to 10 minutes, to allow Outlook to process the email first’ or ‘Error Code 5012’.

Cause and Solution:

These issues are the result of a lack of email headers. The headers are used to establish who an email is being sent ‘to’ and ‘from’ and without these, we can’t search the BigChange CRM module for a contact note for it to be attached to. The reason for the lack of these headers can vary and could either be from components related to the sender or recipients email servers, for instance, delays in sending emails externally whilst being processed by anti-virus software. Since these issues are external to the BigChange platform and out of our control (since we are neither the sender nor recipient of the email to be imported), we are unable to resolve this issue on your behalf.

Please contact your email provider for further investigation as to the possible cause of missing email headers. Alternatively, users can add themselves in as recipients of a copy (cc) or blind copy (bcc) and this may allow the received email to be imported.


Error Code: 5005

Error Message:

The message displayed will read: ‘You have insufficient privileges to run this add-in’ or ‘Error Code 5005’.

Cause and Solution:

The user doesn’t have ‘Contact Note View’ permissions. This needs to be enabled.


Error Code: 5006

Error Message:

The message displayed will read: ‘An error occurred and your email was not attached to the note’ or ‘Error Code 5006’.

Cause and Solution:

This can occur when the web service supporting the add-in loses its connection to the database and results in a Timeout Error. Please check our ‘System Status’ tab for any known issues.


Error Codes: 5000, 5002, 5004, 5006, 5008, 5010, 50031 & 50032

Error Message:

The message displayed will read: 5000, 5002, 5004, 5006, 5008, 5010, 50031 or the following error messages ‘Connection Error’, ‘Initialisation Error’. ‘Server Error’, ‘Unable To Load User Information’.

Cause and Solution:

BigChange’s supporting systems may be experiencing latency – please check our ‘System Status’ tab for any known issues.


Error:

Dropdown list of existing notes is not positioned correctly.

Cause and Solution:

This occurs when the browser is not maximised.

Please maximise your browser window when using the add-in.


PDF of Email Not Generated Correctly

Error:

When the email is generated, the PDF is not formatted ‘correctly’.

Cause and Solution:

BigChange uses PDF conversion software that cannot handle certain email formatting. We have trialled various other packages but this seems to be a universal issue.


Some Elements are Missing from the Email in PDF Format

Error:

Some elements are missing from the email when converted to PDF.

Cause and Solution:

The element is deemed unsafe by Outlook and cannot be converted to PDF.


Add-in Has to Restart Because it is Not Responding

Error Message:

The message displayed will read:

Cause and Solution:

This occurs when the machine the add-in is being run on is not powerful enough and it can’t complete code executions within 5 seconds. Outlook will shut down the add-in when processing doesn’t occur within the 5 seconds time period.

Users should consider migrating to a more powerful machine.


Add-in is Greyed Out

Error:

The add-in is greyed out and cannot be used.

Cause and Solution:

Outlook may have disabled our add-in if it failed (with the above ‘add-in not responding’ error) a number of times.

Alternatively, another add-in on the user’s machine may have issues and has caused ALL add-ins including ours to be disabled.

Please contact your company’s IT department for further support.

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Updated on 16th December 2021

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