Linking to Outlook .oft File

  Funktion 16:50 11 Aug 2008


I'm having a problem getting a link to work on a website of mine. I have an Outlook Message Template file (.oft) on the server and the following tag pointing to the correct location.

a href="pics/documents/HolApp.oft"> img border="0" src="pics/documents/holiday_icon.jpg" width="118" height="36"> /a>

Whenever I click on the icon, a page not found error appears. Since this is the first time I have tried embedding an Outlook message template on a site, is the href tag incorrect to open this type of file?

Would anybody be able to give me some pointers, please.


  Kemistri 17:23 11 Aug 2008

You have not embedded the file: you have simply provided a download link, which is all that it will be because browsers cannot display just any file-type that happens to exist.

It also begs the question (which I may regret asking): why do you want to display something as odd (from a website design perspective) as an Outlook message template?

  Funktion 20:12 11 Aug 2008

Kemistri - apologies for the incorrect use of 'embedding', I knew what I meant but forgot that use of improper terminology could cause confusion. My bad! Now onto the second part of your response - yes, you will regret asking...!

What I have been tasked with is to get together a website for our department to be incorporated on the (already existant) corporate intranet. It's been a while since I last put together any web content, and I would probably label myself as a competent amateur, but since I am the most tech-savvy in the department it has fallen on my shoulders.

Rather than just cobble together the same old corporate crap onto yet another stale-looking bunch of web pages I have decided to try to make our department's bits USEFUL for us on a day-to-day basis. With this in mind, I have pulled together various documents that are spread across the vast mess that is our network drives. Some of these documents are Outlook templates, such as the one above which is a holiday request form - a semi-populated form to be filled in by the user and emailed to their supervisor.

I have contemplated creating a form in html to send via email, but unfortunately the standard corporate forms cannot be deviated from or replaced.

So there, my good fellow, is the long and short of why I am trying to get an .oft file to open from a hyperlink.

On the plus side, at least all our computers are guaranteed to have Outlook... <sigh> ;-)

  Kemistri 22:09 11 Aug 2008

Right, well, there are two avenues for you if you don't want to, or cannot, provide a form that posts to the server. You can either leave the file as a download and provide instructions for how to download the file and use it. Or you could consider turning it into a PDF, also with instructions as needed. Either way, you're stuck with something that will not be displayed directly in a browser. Obviously, a PHP-driven form represents by far the best solution for dealing with any kind of user data or communication that you need to collect.

  Funktion 22:23 11 Aug 2008

So is there no way to script it so that clicking on a link will open the file in question? To be honest, I've not tried the right-click-'save target as' method (I'm at home at the moment so can't try it now), but unfortunately a web-form or pdf is out of the question. Saying that, I could have a word to try and sweet-talk the upper echelons into accepting a web-form (as it would be easier for everyone concerned once they've got their heads around the change. Fear the change).

I know that if I select a link to, say, an exe file by single-clicking, Windows will give me the option to save/open the file. Could this not be replicated for an oft?

The platform in question is Win2000 (moving to XP soon, hopefully) and as previously mentioned, all workstations have Outlook.

Thanks for your input so far. It's much appreciated, as always.

  Kemistri 00:00 12 Aug 2008

"So is there no way to script it so that clicking on a link will open the file in question?"

No, because that's a browser-dependent behaviour (and nothing to do with scripting) and the most common browser is also the least configurable with regard to passing files to their relevant applications. What you see as Windows giving you an open/save dialogue is actually produced by IE. In some better browsers, certain file types can be configured to open in their relevant apps.

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