There are many different configuration options to consider when designing a MS Access application, or migrating between setups. In this blog we will look at some of the most common configurations.Continue reading
These days’ laboratory testing forms an essential part of the brewing process; whether it is to drive for in-house quality, to ensure local/international drink standards, or to meet fair trade and regulatory compliance standards. With tests completed on everything from the raw material received, samples taken at various stages of the brewing process, finished batches, sensory tests and on returns/complaints.Continue reading
In the pharmaceutical industry, Quality Assurance (QA) is essential for ensuring that products are manufactured and delivered to a safe and consistent standard, adhering to all guidelines, standards and stringent regulatory requirements set upon them. A challenge for all Pharmaceuticals is then how to effectively manage the whole Quality Assurance process as smoothly as possible whilst operating across multiple teams and departments; with the end goal of releasing as many batches on time and right first time.Continue reading
BUILDING A BESPOKE MAIL MERGE SYSTEM?
One of the most common requests to our software development department is to deliver a system with bespoke advanced mail merge functionality. This might be to develop a brand new solution or to develop an extension to an existing tool!
WHAT IS A MAIL MERGE?
A mail merge is an automated process used to create a batch of documents/emails which are personalised for each record/recipient. A process that would otherwise take a huge volume of time to create manually can instead be completed rapidly at the click of a few buttons.
CAN I JUST USE MICROSOFT WORD’S INBUILT MAIL MERGE FUNCTIONS?
There are of course mail merge functions built into products such as MS Word that will suit for simple mail merge processes but when the requirements become a little bit more detailed or specific, you will find you need to start quickly looking elsewhere for solutions.
Typically, the systems we deliver have a focus on creating mail merge emails with a number of mail merge attached files added to them. These automated solutions are developed using either MS Access or MS Excel (with VBA Coding elements) as the central platform for the tool. MS Word is most often utilised for the creation of the source templates to be used by the tool (These templates may go on to become the body of the email, an attached MS Word doc or an attached pdf).
OVERVIEW OF COMMON FEATURES IN MAIL MERGE SYSTEMS
SAMPLE MAIL MERGE SYSTEM SCREENS
In the following sample system screen the user has selected a mail merge process that will first create the body of an email, before attaching two mail merge documents, a MS Excel file and MS Word Form. Also attached are two further static attachment files. The mail merge process will be addressed to the employee but their manager will also be cc’d in on it.
Upon clicking the ‘Start Mail Merge Process’ button, the process would cycle through each applicable record in the datasource, creating the emails and adding the attachments automatically.
Once a record is processed, details can then be recorded to a transaction history log.
On an Administration screen a list of all applicable basic Placeholder mail merge fields would be listed along with formatting instructions for those elements. More complicated mail merge features, such as embedding custom charts or tables of data in the document, would be handled separately to this method.
It is these Placeholder fields (encapsulated between the chevrons) that are then available for the user to use in the creation of the mail merge MS Word template files.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO ENQUIRE ABOUT HOW OLAS CAN DEVELOP A MAIL MERGE SOLUTION FOR YOU?
To learn how our development can help design and develop a mail merge system tailored to your exact needs, just send an email to email@example.com and we will be back in touch promptly to arrange a call.
To find out more about our Application Development teams services, click HERE
Author: Fergal O’Connor, Senior Training Consultant, Application Development Department.