Microsoft Outlook Client Add-On for Automating Signature Update

Customer: Swiss branch office of a global provider of IT solutions for the travel industry

Business case: Does that sound familiar to you? The product and marketing team of your company often wants to change the email signature of their Microsoft Outlook clients with as little effort as possible. They might want to use it for marketing or advertising purposes, adding links, disclaimer text or banners.

If you don’t run an Exchange server with access to Active Directory, you need client-side signatures that can be centrally managed by an administrator. That was the issue, our customer was complaining about. The solution should be as inexpensive as possible. We had to get along without technical refinements but develop a technically mature and stable solution.

Solution: The email signatures are stored and managed with an Excel file and an HTML file on the network hard drive of the system.
The Excel file (.xlsx) is used to define the signature placeholders ($First Name,$ Last Name , $address, $Tel, $Mobile). The placeholder list is editable.
An editable HTML signature layout file is created for the layout design of the signatures of the client. You can arbitrarily attach graphics and customize.

Then Sitex developed an Outlook add-on, which regularly verifies data from the Excel and HTML files and updates user’s Outlook signature if the files on the network drive have been changed.

Tools and Technologies: C#.NET, Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO), OpenXML