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On-demand Outlook signature application for users

On www.outlooksignatures.com, it is explained how to mass-deploy a corporate signature. If your Active Directory is not current with all information, it is not possible to push a signature automatically. Or your preference may be not to automatically overwrite users' signatures.

This page demonstrates how to build an exe file that users can start ad-hoc that pre-populates with Active Directory information, but lets users overwrite information before installing the signature.
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On-demand Outlook signature app

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On-demand signature installation

It is assumed that you have read the article on www.outlooksignatures.com, to get the basic understanding. Notice that building a custom exe file requires custom scripting, which requires the Professional, Enterprise or Platinum edition. Let us start by creating a template signature. Notice that we are now using variables (the FastTrack "Var" function) instead of pulling Active Directory attributes directly. This is because we will ask the user for information and put this information into variables, and in turn used in the signature:

Microsoft Outlook Signature Builder

Note how we are now using variables named "UserName", "Department", "Mobile" and "Email". Let's create a script that asks the users for this information and then creates the signature based on this information. You can insert this script in Automation Studio in Scripting Mode by selecting "Simple Signature App" in the "New Script" window.

Set UserName=[UserFullName]

MultiInput Create Outlook Signature,UserName|Your full name,Department,Mobile,EMail

If Not VarIsEmpty Mobile Then

  InstallSignature AcmeSig.docx,Acme Corporation

  SetNewEmailSignature Acme Corporation

  SetReplyEmailSignature Acme Corporation

  ShowMessage Signature installed

End If

So when we execute this script, the user name is pre-filled, but the rest of the information must be filled in.

Microsoft Outlook Signature User Input

Therefore, if my name was Jim Kerr and I am the working in the Music Department of Acme Corporation, my new signature would look like this, if I ran the script:

Microsoft Outlook Acme Signature

All we need to do now is to build the self-contained exe file. Go to the "Create Exe File" menu in the script editor and select "Advanced Exe File Compilation". Make sure you include the AcmeSig.docx, as shown below. You now have an exe file that your users can use.

Microsoft Outlook Signature Exe File





Advanced on-demand app version

Suppose we know that our Active Directory is populated with fairly rich user information, then we can prefill some of the fields and lock others, allowing the user to edit some information before installing it, instead of just installing a signature unattended in the logon script. Such an application could look like this:

Microsoft Outlook Signature Active Directory based form

Note how some information is locked, other is editable and the mobile phone number is optional. All information is prefilled based on our Active Directory information. The script is explained under the listing. You can insert this script in Automation Studio in Scripting Mode by selecting "Advanced Signature App" in the "New Script" window.

''==== COLLECT DEFAULT INFORMATION FROM THE ACTIVE DIRECTORY ====

SetCompanyName Acme Corporation

Progress 0, Collecting your information from the coporate database., Please wait...

Set UserName = [UserFullName]

Set Title = [UserTitle]

 

Progress 25

Set Company = [UserCompany]

Set Street = [UserStreet]

Set City = [UserCity]

 

Progress 50

Set State = [UserState]

Set ZipCode = [UserZip]

Set DirectNumber = [UserIPPhoneNo]

 

Progress 75

Set MobileNumber = [UserMobileNo]

Set FaxNumber = [UserFaxNo]

Set EmailAddress = [UserEMailAddress]

RemoveProgress

 

''==== CHECK FOR EMPTY ACTIVE DIRECTORY ATTRIBUTES ====

If VarIsEmpty Company Or VarIsEmpty Title Then

  ShowErrorMessage Information is missing in our central employee registry. Please contact the IT department.

  Exit

End If

 

''==== CONFIGURE FIELDS AND APPEARANCE ====

SetNextWindowSize 500, 500

SetMenuHeaderIcon Mouse

SetMultiInputOptional MobileNumber

SetMultiInputBackColor #ADFF2F, Street, City, State, ZipCode, DirectNumber, FaxNumber

SetMultiInputBackColor #F0E68C, MobileNumber

CreateMultiInputLabel UserName, Title, Company, EmailAddress

SetMultiInputCaption "Verify your data is correct, make any necessary changes.[Return]Green = Mandatory fields   Yellow = Optional fields"

 

''==== SHOW THE INPUT FORM ====

MultiInput Acme Outlook Signature Generator,UserName|Full Name,EmailAddress|E-mail,Title|Title,Company|Company,Street|Street,City|City,_

                  State|State,ZipCode|Zipcode,DirectNumber|Direct Number,MobileNumber|Mobile,FaxNumber|Fax Number

 

''==== CHECK CANCEL ====

If Not MultiInputCancelled Then

  ''==== GENERATE SIGNATURE - SWICTH BETWEEN TWO BASED ON WHETHER MOBILE NUMBER EXISTS ====

  SmallSplash Generating Outlook Signature

  If Not VarIsEmpty MobileNumber Then

    InstallSignature Signature-Mobile.docx,Acme Signature

  Else

    InstallSignature Signature.docx,Acme Signature

  End If

  SetNewEmailSignature Acme Signature

  RemoveSmallSplash

 

  ''==== PREVIEW THE SIGNATURE BY OFFERING TO OPEN AN EMPTY EMAIL ====

  If Ask "Your new signature has been created and set for you.", Outlook Signature Created, Mouse, Preview Signature, Exit Then

    Launch Outlook.exe /c ipm.note

  End If

End If

Let's walk through the script. The first thing that happens is that we need to get some information from the Active Directory. This normally takes a few seconds, but just in case of bandwidth or performance issues at the time of execution, we will show a progress bar as we go along (the Progress command):

Microsoft Outlook Signature Active Directory progress form

The next thing that happens is that we check that the company and title is set in the Active Directory. If it isn't, we do not allow the user to set the signature, as we don't want users to decide what their titles are. The next configuration section defines the header caption and the appearence and types of the fields in the MultiInput window. Once the user has filled in the information and clicks OK, we will show a small splash screen while the signature is installed, just in case it takes more than a couple of seconds.

Microsoft Outlook Signature Active Directory splash screen

Once the signature is installed, we will ask the user, if they want to preview it. If the user clicks "Preview Signature", we will just open a blank email.

Microsoft Outlook Signature Active Directory question

Microsoft Outlook Signature new email with signature

Notice that there were two Microsoft Word template signature files (.docx files) in the script. If the user has a mobile phone, we are using one Word file, if the user does not, we are using another. The one listed below is the Word file used, when the user does not have a mobile phone number. Notice how all the variables used in the MultiInput form are used in the Word file as variables.

Microsoft Outlook Signature new email with signature
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Rating: 5 out of 5

"Use this as a replacement for VBScript and PowerShell"

"It's easy to include attractive GUI elements in FastTrack scripts, beyond the basic dialog boxes and text input that VBScript offers ... Another powerful feature is the ability to distribute scripts as Windows Installer (.msi) or standard .exe files. Although interesting in its own right, this ability results in a much more intriguing capability: to repackage -- or wrap -- software installers as .msi files without using snapshots. If you've ever created an .msi installer file from before-and-after system snapshots, for use with a software distribution system such as Group Policy or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), then you know how hit-and-miss the results can be."

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Rating: 8 out of 10

"Faster than the rest"

"We found the FastTrack syntax to be more transparent and easier to learn than Microsoft's PowerShell – the editor in particular provided good support in this regard. Scripting mode offers a large number of options from the command set through to simple output of graphical elements, which cannot be achieved at all with PowerShell or other solutions or only with a significantly greater level of effort."

"Anyone wanting to tackle the many hurdles in everyday admin and especially anyone for whom logon scripts and client automation is a priority will benefit from the variety of functions offered by FastTrack."

Review in English      Review in German
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Kill your local admin accounts! Let users request access by request under full audit. Check this page for more info.