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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Question Unanswered: Checking if outlook contact already exists

    Hi,
    I have an access database which takes several fields: forename, surname and email address and when a button is clicked, adds these details to a new contact within outlook. What I wish to do is check to see if the contact is already present, and if it is, return a message to access. How can this be done?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    out on a limb
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    Provided Answers: 59
    tricky
    assuming you already know how to interface to outlook from Access VBA you then could do a search for the specified contact. the potential problem I can see is matching possible candidates.

    depending on what your source of information is it may be difficult to establish if the proposed new contact already exists

    there may be typos in the name
    Jamie Smith cf James Smith
    the name may be the same but an address may be different (or part of an address). Using something like Soundex or other suitable encoding system toi match possible alternatives

    I suspect what you may have to do is draw up a list of contenders (possible matches) and get human intervention. whether you do that on screen or through some off line reporting review
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    UK
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    Provided Answers: 10
    Healdem - what about simply searching to see if the specified e-mail address exists in Outlook - surely that's what we're checking for?
    George
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    yes
    providing they dont have multiple email address
    providing they don't change ther email address, or any other details

    there is not one column that you can neccesarily rely on as being unique and capable of doing a match on

    forenames may differ (James -> Jamie -> James F.)
    surnames may change eg when they marry
    there may be typos

    telephone numbers may change spacing
    ..ok you can cater for that by removing any non numeric characters, bu what happens if they quote the full international number eg +44 161 123 4567 whereas they may have quoted 0161-123-4567, or even 123-4567 previously they may have quoted the main switchboard previoulsy, next time the direct line

    email I'ds may change for the same reasons, the may move location (eg georgev@manchester.cef.com to georgev@Leicester.cef.com..

    you don't know.. if say 2..3 elements match then you may be able to make an assumption that its the same person..... but you are always going to be making such an assumption unless.

    if all match its almost certainly the same person (a fair bet in my books), but y'never knwo.

    if you are automatically importing data into contacts then you need to be carefull on your data integrity
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

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