Davton have recently completed an Outlook plug-in for a Web-based legal practice management software company. The company had an existing Outlook add-in, but they came to Davton looking to create a new more robust plug-in with an enhanced feature set.
The goal for the new add-in was to create a set of contacts and calendar appointments in Outlook, which would stay synchronized with the on-line application. This entailed creating new folders within Outlook, and then populating them and keeping them synchronized.
Custom Fields added to Outlook for specific data
Communicate with web based API using JSON web service
One plug-in for all version of Outlook from OL2007 to OL2013, inc 32 and 64bit versions
One version for all Windows desktop operating systems from XP onwards.
Download and install directly from a web link.
Auto update notification when new versions are released
It took Davton around 6 weeks to develop beta ready software, with ongoing tests and support continuing during beta and after full launch.
Ribbon Toolbar with Images
New Ribbon Bars were created with relevant icons. Outlook 2007 uses the old Command Bar system whereas Outlook 2010/13 use Ribbon bars, so both options need to be created and managed within the one plug-in.
Custom Ribbon bar (Outlook 2010/13)
Custom Commandbar (Outlook 2007)
Simple Security Based on Web Logon Details
The user simply enters their online credentials to initiate the first synchronisation and download of the data
Additional Panel in Appointment and Contact form
The additional panel in the contact and appointment forms enable fields specific to the web application to be shown and edited. ln this case, this includes links from the appointment to court cases, and associated attorneys and clients.
It is not possible to fully synchronize an Outlook client as a background task – so a notification form is shown when the synchronization is utilizing the main Outlook thread.
Automatic Update Notification
The installation process enables the add-in to automatically check for more recent versions, and notify the user. The installation process is based on a standard windows installer, but is downloaded automatically from a web URL.