VCARD Download

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johnshaw
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VCARD Download

Postby johnshaw » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:18 pm

Ward Unit Websites are great, the additional downloads of csv files and vcard files are wonderful, but the largest adopted email program in the world cannot import the vcard that is created by the unit websites Microsoft Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 do not support multiple contacts in one vcard. When can we see a zip file with an individual vcard for each family created so it can be useful to the large majority of people interested in it?

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:34 am

Or it may be faster (yet less elegant) for someone to write a little app that takes the vcard generated and splits it up into several vcard files for outlook to import. Who wants to do it?

Tom

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Postby grhart-p40 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:49 am

Unfortunately, even if there was one vCard per .vcf file, MS Outlook still doesn't import more than one .vcf file at a time. Pulling more than a few into your Outlook contacts list is still a nightmare. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it's because Outlook is stuck in the world of v2.1 vCards, and doesn't played nice with the v3.0 standard. I've been pointing people to plugins like Vcard4Outlook to alleviate the pain.

As someone who uses a vCard v3.0 compliant address book to manage and sync contacts, I prefer having all the vCards in one .vcf file. Maybe MS Outlook has some other standard it's friendlier to?

-Greg

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Postby pwhiting-p40 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:49 pm

Tom wrote: Or it may be faster (yet less elegant) for someone to write a little app that takes the vcard generated and splits it up into several vcard files for outlook to import. Who wants to do it?


Here is some perl code to do the task...

Code: Select all

#!/usr/bin/perl
use Archive::Zip qw(:ERROR_CODES :CONSTANTS );
my $zip = Archive::Zip->new();
$zip->addDirectory($dir="wardlist");
while(<>){
 $vcard.=$_;
 $name=$1 if /^UID:(.*)$/;
 if(/^END:VCARD/){
  $zip->addString($vcard,"$dir/$name.vcf");
  $vcard="";
 }
}
$zip->writeToFileHandle(STDOUT,0);
It reads a vcf file on standard input and writes a zip file to standard output. The filenames are a little ugly (the vcard UID), but they really shouldn't be exposed to the user so it is probably acceptable.

I don't have outlook readily available to test - if someone tries it and is able to import multiple vcards from this single zip please let me know.

Doing this in the TCL environment used for the local unit websites is a little more difficult - anyone have a good pointer for doing zips in TCL?

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:01 pm

Awesome Pete! I don't have Outlook either.

Does anyone know if Outlook allows you to drive it via automation? To solve the one vcard at a time problem, could someone write a program that instantiates an outlook address book instance and adds the items? It's been years since I have used outlook so I could be way off base here.

Tom

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Outlook can be automated

Postby Moroni-p40 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:15 pm

A plug-in for outlook could be developed. The plug-in could open the file and import the contact information.

It has been while since I have automated outlook, but I recall it being pretty simple.
Moroni Pickering
Software Developer/Engineer/Programmer

aaron.mosiah.curtis
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Importing vcards into Outlook

Postby aaron.mosiah.curtis » Sat Jan 20, 2007 7:49 pm

I'm not a professional programmer, but I've found this works for getting vcards from the ward website into outlook 2007.

1) Download the vcard from the website.
2) Open Outlook Express and inport the vcard file.
3) Open MS Outlook 2007. File -- Import and Export -- Import from another program or file -- Outlook Express 4.x .... -- follow the instructions.

Not very elegant, but it allowed me to get my ward directory into outlook.

Of course, I still need to find a way to get individual addresses rather than a single address per family. But that's another story.

Hope this is helpful to someone.

Aaron

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Postby pwhiting-p40 » Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:13 pm

Aaron wrote:Of course, I still need to find a way to get individual addresses rather than a single address per family.


What are the reasons you'd like the records ungrouped?

Ironically, grouping by family made the problem a little more difficult - emitting a vcard for every member would have been much easier. We assumed people would want records grouped by family to minimize the number of vcards. Since MLS only allows one address and one phone number per family the grouping didn't result in any loss of data.

It would be easy to add some more exports, but I worry we'll end up with a mess of custom formats. One option would be to convert the CSV to not be family aware (not sure if we'd break existing automation) and leave vcard as is.

Someone has asked that we delineate last names with a / / in the household members field. This is a great suggestion, but once again, I wonder what it would break.

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Postby jepeneter-p40 » Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:39 pm

When I was in a ward calling and only needed a relatively short list of names, I downloaded the directory in CSV. I then imported into Excel so that I could sort, filter, etc.

Once I had the subset that I wanted, I ran a VBScript macro that imported them as contacts.

Now that I have a stake calling that requires me to have every family's contact info, I do NOT want them in outlook. I am buying a Windows Mobile phone and buying WardTools.

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johnshaw
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Outlook Express vs Vista Windows Mail

Postby johnshaw » Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:22 am

Aaron wrote:I'm not a professional programmer, but I've found this works for getting vcards from the ward website into outlook 2007.

1) Download the vcard from the website.
2) Open Outlook Express and inport the vcard file.
3) Open MS Outlook 2007. File -- Import and Export -- Import from another program or file -- Outlook Express 4.x .... -- follow the instructions.

Not very elegant, but it allowed me to get my ward directory into outlook.

Of course, I still need to find a way to get individual addresses rather than a single address per family. But that's another story.

Hope this is helpful to someone.

Aaron



Aaron, After thinking a little about this, I stumbled on the same idea as you mention here, only my work laptop has been upgraded to Vista, so I was using Windows Mail. For whatever reason, which I haven't delved into much, the new Windows Mail program with Vista doesn't import these very well, no address or phone etc... So, I tried from the home XP computer with Outlook Express and it worked as you stated here. The only issue is that the City, State, Zip are all on one line in Outlook Express.

What I really like about the VCARD vs the CSV file (which is what I typically use) is the household members in the notes field. If that could be put into the CSV I'd choose to use it every time.

However, I must say that having the ability to do this on the website is a giant step in the right direction and I look forward to the future.


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