Monday, October 23, 2006

xAP Switchboard

This is an app I'm playing with at the moment. You can get it from mi4.biz. Using the Outlook Plugin from mi4.biz, Switchboard imports your contacts from Microsoft Outlook 2003. When it receives caller ID info, it will do a lookup in your Outlook database to identify the caller. It can then send this info to OSD (on screen display) or TTS (text to speech) devices/apps.

I have Outlook 2002, but I just found out that the Switchboard database is MS Access format. So from Outlook, select File > Import and Export > Export a File > Microsoft Access > Contacts. Then select a file name & click Next to create the Access database of the Outlook contacts. Next, run Access, open TelDir.mdb in the Switchboard directory. Then select File > Get External Data > Import and select the file you created from Outlook. You'll get a popup call Import Objects. Select Contacts and click OK. Now in the TelDir: Database window, double click Contacts which opens up your Outlook database. Select the first column, right click and select Insert Column. Adding this blank column helps match the Outlook database with the Switchboard database for an easy copy & paste. Now just highlight all rows with the data you want, right click, select Copy, open the XAP_Contacts database, scroll to the bottom, select the very last row, right click and paste in your contacts. Close the Contacts window. Now you can delete the Contacts database from the TelDir: Database window. Exit and that's it. You should have your Outlook contacts available.

Unfortunately, this doesn't lend itself to updating frequently, but at least it's an easier way to get the info into Switchboard if you don't have a version of Outlook other than 2003.

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