Microsoft Outlook interface¶
The Microsoft Outlook plugin enables you to carry out a series of OpenERP operations directly from the Outlook e-mail client:
- create a contact or partner from an e-mail,
- save an e-mail and its attachments in OpenERP,
- send any attachment to an OpenERP document (such as proposals, projects, and tasks).
This might be useful for sending documents about a customer project to the corresponding project in OpenERP, attaching documents to an order (such as proof of payment and order receipts), attaching documents to an employee file (such as a CV or annual appraisal).
The Microsoft Outlook plugin works with Microsoft Outlook 2003 and 2007 but not with Outlook Express
Installing the Outlook plugin¶
- Step 1: install the Outlook plugin in OpenERP
Use the OpenERP Configuration Wizard and install the Customer Relationship Management application. In the CRM Application Configuration dialog under Plug-In, select MS-Outlook. Then the Outlook Plug-In wizard appears. Next to the Outlook Plug-in field, click the Save As button to save the plugin to your desktop (or any other location on your computer).
You can also download the installation manual by clicking the green arrow next to Installation Manual.
Another way to use the Outlook plugin, is by installing the OpenERP module outlook. When you install this module, the same Configuration Wizard as explained before will be displayed. Follow the same instructions.
- Step 2: Prerequisites
Step 3: install the OpenERP extension in Outlook.
- Double-click the file ``OpenERP-Outlook-addin.exe``that you saved on your desktop. Confirm the default settings.
- Double-click the file ``Register plugin``in the OpenERP Outlook Addin folder (typically in C:Program Files).
- Start Outlook.
Configuring the Outlook plugin¶
When you have executed Installation Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3, the first thing to do is connect Outlook to OpenERP. A little configuration needs to be done.
If you want the OpenERP connection to be shown as a separate toolbar, go to the menu View ‣ Toolbars. Select OpenERP.
- Go to the menu Tools and select Configuration. If this raises an error, make sure to check the rights to that particular folder.
A configuration window appears enabling you to enter configuration data about your OpenERP server.
- On the Configuration Settings tab, under Connection Parameters click the Change button and type your server settings and xml-rpc port, e.g. http://127.0.0.1:8069,
- Select the database you want to connect to, and type the user and the password required to log in to the database,
- Click the Connect button,
- On the Configuration Settings tab, under Webserver Parameters click the Change button and type your web server settings, e.g. http://localhost:8080,
- Click the Open button to test the connection.
When your connection has succeeded, you would typically want to configure Outlook to fit your needs.
To define extra document types, go to the Document Settings tab. This is the place where you can add objects from OpenERP that you wish to link mails to. The default installation comes with a number of predefined documents, such as Partners, Leads and Sales Orders.
Here is an example of how to configure extra document types. Suppose you would like to link mails to a meeting.
- In the Title, type Meeting,
- In the Document, type the object from OpenERP, in this example crm.meeting,
- In the Image, select an icon you would like to use,
- Click the Add button to actually create the document type.
To find the object you need in OpenERP, go to the menu Administration ‣ Customization ‣ Database Structure ‣ Objects. OpenERP will only show objects for which the corresponding Business Applications / Modules have been installed. You can only add objects to Outlook that are available in the selected database.
Using the Outlook plugin¶
You can use the menu Tools for several things.
The Push option allows you to archive e-mails to OpenERP, either to new document types or to existing ones. It also allows you to create a new contact.
The Partner allows you to open the Partner in OpenERP according to the e-mail (i.e. contact e-mail address) selected.
With Document, you can open the document concerned in OpenERP. Make sure you are logged in to the web version to use this functionality.
- Link a mail to an existing document in OpenERP
To archive an e-mail in OpenERP from Outlook, select the e-mail and click the Push button. Alternatively you can open the menu Tools ‣ Push: the Push to OpenERP screen will open.
In the Link to an Existing Document section, select an object to which you like to add to your email and its attachments. You can select any object you defined in the Document Settings section and attach the selected mail to the selected record. The plugin also allows you to select several documents at once, simply by selecting a document and pressing the ctrl button when selecting the next document.
Do not forget to click the Search button to refresh the Documents list when you have selected a different document type.
- Create a New Document
This feature can be used to create any of the configured document types in the Document Settings tab. Suppose you would like to create a new lead from an e-mail. In the Create a New Document section, select CRM Lead, then click the Create button. A new lead will be created in OpenERP from the selected e-mail.
- Create a New Contact / Partner
If you cannot find a partner or contact for your e-mail in OpenERP, the Outlook plugin allows you to create one on the fly simply by using the information contained in the e-mail.
Select the e-mail from which you want to create a new contact, then click the Push button. In the Create a New Contact section, click the New Contact button. This option offers two possibilities: either you just create a contact (address), or you create a partner with the contact linked to it.
- When you just want to create a new contact, complete the address data in the dialog box and click the Save button. The contact will then be created in OpenERP.
- When you also want to create a new partner, complete the contact data. Then click the Create Partner button, add the partner’s name and click the Save button.
- You can also add a new contact to an existing partner. Click the Search button next to the Partner field and select the corresponding partner from the list. Then complete the contact data and click the Save button.
- Open the Document created in OpenERP
To access archived data from different documents in OpenERP you can use the menu Tools ‣ Document which allows you to access the document in OpenERP directly from your e-mail.
The Outlook plugin is compatible with OpenERP’s Knowledge (i.e. Document) Management. If you install the Knowledge application you will be able to:
- search through the content of your company’s documents (those that have the type .doc, .pdf, .sxw and .odt) and also in archived emails,
- have a shared file system that is connected to various OpenERP documents to share information and access it with your favorite browser,
- organize and structure your documents (such as projects, partners and users) in OpenERP’s system.
Testing the Outlook adapter
If you have installed the Outlook adapter as described, explore its functionality with the database as described in this section.