Jan 19th 2010
Delphi programmer with excellent knowledge of Outlook/Exchange integration required to finalize implementation of existing custom software onto new platform.
HISTORY AND CURRENT SITUATION
We have a suite of applications written in Delphi that run all our business operations (project control, asset logging, timesheets, purchase ordering, estimating, invoicing, task management etc etc). This was custom written for us by about 7 years ago and was deployed on a Windows SBS 2000 system. It has worked well but recently the old system has proved increasingly troublesome, with lots of down time, so we need to urgently migrate to a better environment. We have a Terminal Services 2008 server which is partially configured with the software but there are some functionality issues that need to be resolved. I believe that the problems can be resolved by someone who can read the Delphi code and work out what is meant to be happening. There may be some compatibility issues with the newer version of Outlook for example. I have listed the current known issues at the end of this entry. The good news is that the overall operability of the new installation is there and I believe we are in the final stage of adjustments.
• The custom program, which we called “Repartee”, is a Delphi application that stores data in MS SQL databases, and it has its own user interface.
• It also has an add-in module for Outlook which changes the user experience of Outlook, and gives the user access to Repartee functions from a custom toolbar. The Outlook add-in also modifies the user’s view, giving a customized view of a Public Folder which is where all user messages are copied. It also uses a lot of custom forms (e.g. for emails, tasks etc. with customized fields)
• There is also a small heritage DOS application (written using “Paradox for DOS”) and some of the data is copied across by Repartee, when it changes, to the Paradox data files
• Exchange 2007 and the MS SQL databases are set up on a separate virtual Server 2008 server
• We have Office 2007
• The new system is being set up on a virtual Terminal Server 2008
• The great news is that the programmer who did the original work has left us with a good set of project documentation and the original Delphi code. I am not competent to use this resource and need assistance.
WORK DONE SO FAR BY MYSELF
• I have run the Repartee installer and it has installed Repartee and also the Outlook add-in
• I have also installed the Borland Database Engine – which is working fine (I think this is needed to pass data to the DOS Paradox tables
• Exchange and MS SQL databases are set up with recent data so we can test the system
• Office 2007 is installed
CURRENT ISSUES THAT NEED RESOLVING
NOTE: I expect there will be 2 to 3 times as many issues to resolve as shown below (that we have not yet discovered) - please make you offer based on what is below and the additional items can be added at similar rate
• Custom forms – these should have been loaded by the installer as organizational forms but have not been – I have loaded them manually for a single user but we need to have them as [company] organizational forms for all to use.
• Plus the present system (Server 2000) has 8 custom forms – the installer package only has 7
• Repartee stores messages (emails, tasks etc.) in an abbreviated record (for quick searching) in the an SQL database - double clicking should open the linked full message in the Exchange public folder (linked by the message’s unique ID)- instead it shows an error - it may be that the there is a problem with the link to Exchange or with permissions
• There is a Create Letter function within the custom Outlook toolbar – this is meant to open Word and using a custom interface has some degree of automation (pulls in standard phrases from pre-defined Repartee SQL database records – this does not open properly – message says “Could not open letters editor interface not supported”
• The Repartee add-in to Outlook should change the Icons on the left hand section to a custom version – this does not happen
• The custom Outlook bar has a “New Jotter” tab – this opens a form that can be converted into an Email, Fiel Note, SMS, or Task – at the moment it SOMETIMES just forces Outlook to close (and sometimes works)
• In Outlook we get a number of Internet Explorer script errors – I think this is because Repartee uses IE to display some of the custom views – errors such as “object variable not set” – with Yes or No option to continue – it seems to run ok after saying “Yes” but what is not working as a result?
• In the Outlook custom toolbar there is a tab that opens up a project screen – if this is clicked when Outlook is opened on its own it forces Outlook to close – if the Repartee window has been opened first then it is ok
• The Repartee add-in for Outlook should always open a custom email form with requirement to enter a valid job-code to the email – so that all messages are saved to a job-history – this does not always happen – sometimes it does use this form and other times it opens a standard Outlook form
• Using the Enter New Job function gives an error on saving – with some specific info about what the problem is – to do with database record and also a “closed data set”
• A postcode lookup should link to a web service but doesn’t