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SAP Intelligent RPA: Search for e-mails with different criteria

Introduction

This is a submission of the Enhance your bot building with templates blog post series.

In this post I will show you how to search for emails with certain criteria in Outlook using SAP Intelligent RPA. The emails that fit the searching criteria will be displayed in a table located in a popup. For this tutorial I will create the popup interface in UI Designer.

What you will learn in this tutorial:

  • How to use the Outlook Library;
  • How to create a popup in UI Designer;
  • How to search for certain emails in Outlook;
  • How to use try – catch mechanism;

Steps to follow:

1.Create and capture a popup in UI Designer;

2.Create a new workflow;

3.Import Outlook Library Scripts;

4.Add activities in your workflow;

5.Enrich the generated code by your workflow with your custom logic;

Prerequisites:

Microsoft Outlook

Desktop Studio 1.0.8.36

Instructions:

  1. Create and capture a popup in UI Designer

Create a new project and give it a name.

In order to create our interface, we need to go to the UI Designer perspective and right click on the ‘POPUPS’. We have two possible options to choose from: An Empty AppBar and An Empty Popup. Select the second one and give it a name. I named mine ‘outputTable’.

To be able to create the interface, make sure to select the ‘Design Mode’ – the second icon from left to right:

To create elements, right click in the square lined in red and choose what elements you want to add. To start, create a container. In the properties view you can see some properties you can customize. You can also use the settings.js file to customize your elements using code. If you are making changes in the setting.js file, make sure to save the file in order for the changes to appear also on your screen. If you add elements from your interface, you may need to close the setting.js file and reopen it, so the code it’s up to date.

After you created your container you can start adding other elements. For this exercise we will only need to add a table with the container as a parent (you can set it from properties or setting.js file). By default there is a dummy dataset and column structure. The structure can be altered and the dataset can be deleted from setting.js ( the “test” array above).

Our table will have 4 columns containing the details about each email: Date, Sender, Subject, Body. In order to create a column with 4 columns, right click in the container lined in red, choose “insert list/table” and then “table”.

You can choose any colors, icons and styles you prefer for your design and also you can modify the dimension of the columns from “column width”.

In the end, my table and popup looks like this:

This is the code generated by my popup:

// This file is regenerated by Desktop Studio : modify it carefully !

popup = POPUPS.outputTable = POPUPS.popup({ outputTable: {
	template: e.popup.template.NoButton,
	url: "outputTable\\popup.html",
	CX: 1000,
	CY: 700,
	X: e.popup.position.Center,
	Y: e.popup.position.Center
}});

GLOBAL.events.START.on(function (ev) {
	if (ctx.options.isDebug) {
		systray.addMenu("", "TestPopup", "Test popups");
		systray.addMenu("TestPopup", "outputTableOpen" , "Open outputTable", "", function(ev) {
			POPUPS.outputTable.open({ testMode: true });
		});
		systray.addMenu("TestPopup", "outputTableClose" , "Close outputTable", "", function(ev) {
			POPUPS.outputTable.close();
		});
	}
});

POPUPS.outputTable.onTest(function(popup) {	
	// TODO : add your tests here
});

popup.item({ container1: {
	type: e.item.type.container,
	auto: false,
	fluid: true
}});

popup.item({ finalTable: {
	type: e.item.type.table,
	showHeader: true,
	title: "Emails",
	tableHeight: 700,
	tableLength: 1000,
	parent: "container1",
	style: e.item.style.Cyan,
	auto: true,
	columns: [
		{
			value: "Date",
			style: e.item.style.Grey,
			icon: e.item.icon.none,
			iconStyle: e.item.style.None,
			badge: "",
			badgeStyle: e.item.style.None,
			colWidth: 3,
			alignment: e.item.alignment.None,
			textTransform: e.item.textTransform.None,
			myClass: "",
			myStyle: "",
			visible: true
		},
		{
			value: "From",
			style: e.item.style.Grey,
			icon: e.item.icon.none,
			iconStyle: e.item.style.None,
			badge: "",
			badgeStyle: e.item.style.None,
			colWidth: 4,
			alignment: e.item.alignment.None,
			textTransform: e.item.textTransform.None,
			myClass: "",
			myStyle: "",
			visible: true
		},
		{
			value: "Subject",
			style: e.item.style.Grey,
			icon: e.item.icon.none,
			iconStyle: e.item.style.None,
			badge: "",
			badgeStyle: e.item.style.None,
			colWidth: 4,
			alignment: e.item.alignment.None,
			textTransform: e.item.textTransform.None,
			myClass: "",
			myStyle: "",
			visible: true
		},
		{
			value: "Content",
			style: e.item.style.Grey,
			icon: e.item.icon.none,
			iconStyle: e.item.style.None,
			badge: "",
			badgeStyle: e.item.style.None,
			colWidth: 4,
			alignment: e.item.alignment.None,
			textTransform: e.item.textTransform.None,
			myClass: "",
			myStyle: "",
			visible: true
		}
	]
}});

If you want to use this popup in your workflow the next step is to capture it.

Important: Make sure your screen resolution is set to 100% so that the popup will be captured correctly. You can change it from display settings -> scale and layout. For the changes to be registered by Desktop Studio, you need to close it and open it again.

You can capture your popup using the last button and then press ‘Start Capture’:

After you captured your popup you should be able to see it in the Workflows perspective, under the “Pages” view:

2.Create a new workflow

Go to ‘Workflow’ perspective and create a new workflow. I named mine ‘searchEmail’.

3.Import Outlook Library Scripts

In the workspace of your new workflow you can use different functions for accessing and manipulating Microsoft Outlook files. In order for your project to compile and run without errors, you first have to enable the Outlook Library scripts in your project:

  • go to “Scripts” perspective;
  • select “Project” tab(bottom-left corner);
  • right click anywhere in the Panel;
  • select “Include library Script”: The “Add Library Script” window pops;
  • enable “Outlook integration”;
  • click on “Save”;

 

 

4.Add activities in your workflow

For this project you need to add a Custom activity in your workflow so you can use the functions in the Outlook library. You can give a name and a description for this activity, so you can distinguish better its purpose. I will name mine ‘Search for Email’. I named the corresponding step ‘SearchEmail’. Using suggestive names will allow you to better organize your code.

Your workflow should now look like this:

Important: Before you can continue with the rest of the functionalities you need to build your project. This way the script for the workflow will be generated and we can enhance it.

5.Enrich the generated code by your workflow with your custom logic

After you have built your project you can proceed to the Scripts perspective and open the script generated by your workflow (it will have the same name). Search for your activity and step by their name and you can add additional functionalities.

In this step we first need to initialize the outlook library, reset the email collection and declare some variables we will use later. I recommend using a mechanism of type “try – catch” in order to handle the possibility that the search returns an error.

In the “try” branch we first create the search function. In the filter property we can build our custom search criteria. My filter contains (in comments) multiple criteria that can be combined using logical operators (“AND”, “OR). The behavior I chose to implement in my bot is the return of the unread emails from last week, from the ‘fakemails@sap.com’ mailbox. Of course, you can choose your own requirement. In addition to the filter, we have additional properties, some of them also in comments. As already mentioned, you can specify which outlook email account you want to use for the search. Be careful, you need to have this account configured on your machine and be logged in. After the search is performed, I’m looping through each email and populate my array (dataset) with their details. I will use this array to set the emails in the table. Of course, at the end we need to show the table to the user, so we will open the popup.

In the “catch” branch we include the actions that need to trigger if an error has been encountered on the “try” branch. I chose to return the error in the console.

After the search is performed and popup opens to show the results, we release the outlook library and end the scenario.

Below is my code for the ‘Search_for_Email’ step:

// ----------------------------------------------------------------
//   Step: Search_for_Email
// ----------------------------------------------------------------
GLOBAL.step({ Search_for_Email: function(ev, sc, st) {
	var rootData = sc.data;
	ctx.workflow('searchEmail', 'b929fa7c-630c-409d-be4c-40360d78a760') ;
	// Search for e-mails with different criteria
	
	ctx.outlook.init();
	
	var mails =  []; // will contain mail information
	var i; // contor
	var dataset = []; // array of arrays in which we insert the mail information 
	
	// Resets the working mails list.
	ctx.outlook.mail.resetMailCollection();
	
	// Build the search function
	try {
	ctx.outlook.mail.search({
		filter : "%lastweek(" + "\"" +"DAV:getlastmodified" + "\"" + ")%" + " AND " + 
		//"urn:schemas:httpmail:subject like ''" + " AND " +
		//"urn:schemas:httpmail:fromemail like ''" + " AND " + 
		//"urn:schemas:httpmail:hasattachment = false" + " AND " +
		//"urn:schemas:httpmail:importance=1" + " AND " + 
		//"urn:schemas:httpmail:textdescription like ''" + " AND " + 
		//"urn:schemas:httpmail:sendername=''" + " AND " + 
		//"urn:schemas:httpmail:to like ''" + " AND " +
		"urn:schemas:httpmail:read=0", 
		maxRow : 5, 
		storeName : 'fakemail@sap.com',
		//storeId: '',
		//folderID: '',
		//folderName: '',
		//folderPath: '',
		//sort: '',
		//descending: true,
		dontThrowExceptionIfNoMailFound: true
	});
	
	// Get the list of mail information for the mails that fit the criteria.
	mails = ctx.outlook.mail.getFilteredTable();
	
	// Build the working mails list by retrieving each mail
	if(mails.length) {	
  for(i=0; i<mails.length; i++) {
    ctx.outlook.mail.retrieveMail({EntryID : mails[i]['EntryID'], StoreID : mails[i]['StoreID']});
  }
	
	// Display some info about each email that fit the criteria.
  ctx.log("---------------------------------------------------------");
  for(i=0; i<ctx.outlook.mail.getCollectionLength(); i++) {
    ctx.log("Mail no: " + i);       
    ctx.log("From: " + mails[i]['Sender']);
		ctx.log("Date: " + mails[i]['Date']); 
		// Covert the date to a string so it can be loaded into the table.
		var date = String(mails[i]['Date']);
		ctx.log("Aici"+String(mails[i]['Date']));
    ctx.log("Subject: " + ctx.outlook.mail.getSubject(i));            
		ctx.log("---------------------------------------------------------");
		
		// Load the details of the current email into the final array (dataset).
		dataset.push([date, mails[i]['Sender'], ctx.outlook.mail.getSubject(i), ctx.outlook.mail.getBody(i)]);
	}
	
	// Provide the final array of details as datasource for the table.
	POPUPS.outputTable.finalTable.set(dataset);
	
	// Open the popup to display the table.
	POPUPS.outputTable.open();
	}
	} catch (err) {
    ctx.log("Fail (" + err.description + ").");
    return e.error.KO;
  }
	
	ctx.outlook.end();
	sc.endStep(); // end Scenario
	return;
}});

Conclusion

This blog post should help you to understand the use of the ‘Outlook Library’, how to create a popup and how to search for an email using custom filtering from ‘Outlook Library’. At the end, you should be able to understand these functionalities and use them in your scenarios.

3 Comments
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  • Hi Diana,

    Thanks for this informative post.

    But when I tried with your example, I am facing an issue with the store, like below:

    Mail%20Store%20Error

    Mail Store Error

    My code snippet for searchEmail is as follows:

    Mail%20Code

    Mail Code

     

    I am passing receiver’s email address as in line# 64, storeName.

    I tried the same with sender’s email address in that place, but it is giving the same error.

     

    Could you please help me how to get this error pass through?

     

    Thank you.

  • Hi Diana,

    I figured it out; we have to include the “String” utilities,a s well as “ctx Desktop” utilities from “Script” perspective.

    I added those, and it is working now.

    I would earnestly request you to please add those steps as well in the blog, as those are not included by default, and one has to select those libraries from “Scripts” perspective.

     

    Thank You.

  • Hello Diana Matache ,
    Thank you for this interesting blog – Please how can i get the “TO” field (recipient) from the email as u did for the other information like:
    • for the from field:
      ctx.log("From: " + mails[i]['Sender']);​
    • for the subject field:
      ctx.log("Subject: " + ctx.outlook.mail.getSubject(i));​

    can I use the syntax ” urn:schemas:httpmail:to”  or “mails[i][‘Recipient’]” to get the recipient email ??

     

    Thank you,

    Mariam