Excel – Sending formatted Lotus Notes rich text email from Excel VBA


I have little Lotus Script or Notes/Domino knowledge but I have a procedure, copied from somewhere a long time ago, that allows me to email through Notes from VBA. I normally only use this for internal notifications where the formatting hasn't really mattered.

I now want to use this to send external emails to a client, and corporate types would rather the email complied with our style guide (a sans-serif typeface basically).

I was about to tell them that the code only works with plain text, but then I noticed that the routine does reference some sort of CREATERICHTEXTITEM object. Does this mean I could apply some sort of formatting to the body text string after it has been passed to the mail routine? As well as upholding our precious brand values, this would be quite handy to me for highlighting certain passages in the email.

I've had a dig about the 'net to see if this code could be adapted, but being unfamiliar with Notes' object model, and the fact that online Notes resources seem to mirror the application's own obtuseness, meant I didn't get very far.

The code:

Sub sendEmail(EmailSubject As String, EMailSendTo As String, EMailBody As String, MailServer as String)

    Dim objNotesSession As Object
    Dim objNotesMailFile As Object
    Dim objNotesDocument As Object
    Dim objNotesField As Object
    Dim sendmail As Boolean

    'added for integration into reporting tool
    Dim dbString As String

    dbString = "mail\" & Application.UserName & ".nsf"

On Error GoTo SendMailError
    'Establish Connection to Notes
    Set objNotesSession = CreateObject("Notes.NotesSession")
On Error Resume Next
    'Establish Connection to Mail File
    Set objNotesMailFile = objNotesSession.GETDATABASE(MailServer, dbString)
    'Open Mail
On Error GoTo 0

    'Create New Memo
    Set objNotesDocument = objNotesMailFile.createdocument

    Dim oWorkSpace As Object, oUIdoc As Object
    Set oWorkSpace = CreateObject("Notes.NotesUIWorkspace")
    Set oUIdoc = oWorkSpace.CurrentDocument

    'Create 'Subject Field'
    Set objNotesField = objNotesDocument.APPENDITEMVALUE("Subject", EmailSubject)

    'Create 'Send To' Field
    Set objNotesField = objNotesDocument.APPENDITEMVALUE("SendTo", EMailSendTo)

    'Create 'Copy To' Field
    Set objNotesField = objNotesDocument.APPENDITEMVALUE("CopyTo", EMailCCTo)

    'Create 'Blind Copy To' Field
    Set objNotesField = objNotesDocument.APPENDITEMVALUE("BlindCopyTo", EMailBCCTo)

    'Create 'Body' of memo
    Set objNotesField = objNotesDocument.CREATERICHTEXTITEM("Body")

    With objNotesField
        .APPENDTEXT emailBody
        .ADDNEWLINE 1
    End With

    'Send the e-mail

    Call objNotesDocument.Save(True, False, False)
    objNotesDocument.SaveMessageOnSend = True
    objNotesDocument.Send (0)

    'Release storage
    Set objNotesSession = Nothing
    Set objNotesMailFile = Nothing
    Set objNotesDocument = Nothing
    Set objNotesField = Nothing

    'Set return code
    sendmail = True

    Exit Sub

    Dim Msg
    Msg = "Error # " & Str(Err.Number) & " was generated by " _
                & Err.Source & Chr(13) & Err.Description
    MsgBox Msg, , "Error", Err.HelpFile, Err.HelpContext
    sendmail = False
End Sub

Best Solution

The short answer is Yes. The long answer is painful. There aren't any great classes exposed to manipulate rich text items in Notes. However a few that you can research are the NotesRichTextStyle, NotesRichTextParagraphStyle, and NotesRichTextTable to name a few. These classes help you define some rich text elements and add them programmatically to your rich text field.

Another approach, since you're sending email, is to use the NotesMIMEEntity classes and build the email using HTML (way way easier). Here's some sample code:

Set s = New NotesSession
Dim docMail As NotesDocument
Dim body As NotesMIMEEntity
Dim stream As NotesStream

Set db = s.CurrentDatabase
s.ConvertMIME = False ' Do not convert MIME to rich text

'Create email to be sent
Set docMail = db.CreateDocument

With docMail
        .SendTo = SEND TO ADDRESS
        .From = FROM ADDRESS
        .Principal = FROM ADDRESS
        .ReplyTo = REPLY TO ADDRESS
        .Subject = SUBJECT
        .Form = "Memo"
End With

  Set stream = s.CreateStream
Set body = docMail.CreateMIMEEntity
Call stream.WriteText ("YOUR HTML CODE GOES HERE")

'ENC_IDENTITY_8BIT used because of technote found on notes.net
Call body.SetContentFromText (stream, "text/html;charset=iso-8859-1",ENC_IDENTITY_8BIT) 

Call docMail.Send(False)
Set docMail = Nothing
Set body = Nothing
Set stream = Nothing

s.ConvertMIME = True ' Restore conversion   

Essentially you'll need to turn the ConvertMIME setting off in the NotesSession. Then create a new document, set the mail properties, etc. That part is already in your VBA code. Next, create the MIMEEntity and a stream to hold your HTML text. Finally call the SetContentFromText method on your MIMEEntity object. Then send your email. Note the last call is to turn the ConvertMIME feature back on for the NotesSession.

I'm not sure if this will all work via COM, but it does work well in LotusScript agents in Notes.

I hope this helps!

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