HotDocs has for years had a connector to Microsoft Outlook. It is an effective tool for importing data. However, the data that comes in, often needs to be “cleaned up” before it can be used.
Working with Outlook
- State Field: The state can sometimes be entered as Abbreviated (e.g. NY) or as a Full State (“New York”) which causes problems on import if you importing into a Multiple Choice field
- Street Field: The “Address” in Outlook is different from the BusinessAddressStreet field. And that field can have multiple lines in it, affecting how that text appears in your template where you may have coded Street1 and Street2
Further, some of the mappings in the tool are confusing because of the terminology used by Outlook and that used by most HotDocs coders can be quite different.
- Which Address: In Outlook there is a MailingAddress, a HomeAddress and a BusinessAddress. If you are importing into a primary address, then you would choose MailingAddress. If it is a Business, with a Company, you should use Business Address.
- Salutation, Title and Job Title: These fields are confusing since Title is “Mr.” or “Mrs”, Saluation is non-existent, and JobTitle is the positon someone holds at a company.
Start with Mappings. Below is a set of recommended mappings. Note the use of CompanyName and FullName. Also note that use of JobTitle to map the persons position at a Company and the uses of the FirstName field to map for the Salutation. Further, I generally will map the Business information, including BusinessAddressStreet.
Converting MultiLine Street Address
You will want to convert the street address to 2 single line fields. The code may look complex. But, if you use consistent variable naming, you can pop it onto any dialog. It searches for the Line Feed (r”) to determine where to make the break.
Converting Full State to Abbreviation
Inconsistent entry of states can break a system that depends on using Merge Text for States to put in the Full name in some places, abbreviations elsewhere, and other places choosing State or Commonwealth. The solution is a cleanup script. Since the script is long and complex, I create a FUNCTION computation and pass a parameter to it.
Here is the function that is being called