[AccessD] Automating Outlook from Access

Jim Dettman jimdettman at verizon.net
Mon Aug 23 08:27:46 CDT 2021


<<I don't understand the fascination with Polling.  >>

   It's not a fascination with polling.  Polling anything is inefficient and should be avoided.  As you know, it's far better to have a push notification, which of course is what you are getting with the e-mail. 

   But getting those e-mails relies on a lot of additional layers and processes, where you could be going direct to the server. With e-mails, there's just a lot more opportunity for things to go wrong.   A simple example; your anti-virus updates and now your e-mails go to your junk folder.   

   I'd be very surprised if your web site doesn't have a database associated with it.  Almost any e-com site does these days.  If that is the case, why would I want to rely on all the additional things associated with sending/receiving e-mails and scrape the data, when I could go direct to the source and get the data strictly defined?  That's my point.

   As far as push vs poll, the way e-com sites handle that now is that you subscribe to a "feed", which gives you a push notification when data is available.  Then you jump out and get it.  So you are not stuck with polling.   But if your site doesn't have that functionality, then you'd be stuck with a poll situation.   I don't think that would be the end of the world though and well worth it rather than relying on an e-mail process.   With that level of ordering, a poll every five or ten minutes is certainly not going to kill a server.  Plus you get the added benefit of knowing the web site is up and reachable.

   With all that said, since you are in control of things, the e-mail approach will be workable.   But it's not the approach I'd be taking if I had a choice getting order data from a web site.


-----Original Message-----
From: AccessD On Behalf Of John Colby
Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2021 4:12 PM
To: Access Developers discussion and problem solving <accessd at databaseadvisors.com>
Subject: Re: [AccessD] Automating Outlook from Access

This is not an Amazon site selling 100K pieces of junk a week.  This is a
custom written app for a very specific market, with very specific
professionals buying it.  The app is very specific and solves regulatory
requirements for these professionals.

The total market size is under 100K.  I expect an upside down bathtub sales
curve.  Once a person buys one, it will auto renew, and / or emails
soliciting renewal.

I want the whole thing to be email driven.  All the professionals use
Microsoft Office, that is a known.  I expect to email an attached database
initially, with an email license extension key when they renew.  I expect
to automate Outlook on their end as well such that the key comes in, I
intercept it and process the key.

I will "poll" a server if I must but I don't see that as an attractive
design.  So far, Outlook automation has worked a treat.  Emails come in, an
event is raised by Outlook, it is hooked by Access, and everything relative
to that order just happens.  Within seconds of pressing buy on the sales
server an email is on the way.  Outlook collects it's mail periodically (is
that polling?)

I don't understand the fascination with Polling.  We (citizens) get dozens
or hundreds of emails every single day.  Email is a known, old, well oiled
technology.  Our company owns the sales server, I personally own (wrote)
the dedicated email receiver program processing the orders, we own the
dedicated email address, we own the custom app that is being sold.

If what I am doing works, then 98% of sales will be handled entirely
automatically, programmatically.  Shipping is by email attachment.  License
renewals is by email.  Sales is via the web site.

So tell me why Polling is superior?  So far every single person replying
has suggested polling.
There must be some reason it is the preferred strategy.  I'm baffled.🤔

On Sun, Aug 22, 2021 at 10:52 AM Jim Dettman via AccessD <
accessd at databaseadvisors.com> wrote:

> << Yep.  Until the web site goes down, the database corrupts, gets
> hacked,  or
> a million other problems that web sites have.>>
>  Well if any of that is true, you probably are not going to get an e-mail
> anyway.
>  I don't think I'd be relying on receiving an e-mail.   But that's me and
> as you say, there are a bunch of ways to do this.
> Jim.

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