Outlook Sync Agent

Created by Martin Parkinson, Modified on Wed, 15 May 2024 at 09:52 AM by Lottie Coley

The MS Outlook Sync agent is a system feature that can automatically scan a mailbox and sync the emails from the chosen mailbox(es) into Influence as Journals.

In many cases it is not necessary, and it is better to manually sync any required emails in batches, by dragging/dropping selected batches of emails into the system as this gives far greater control over which emails are chosen to be stored.


Warning: Use of this tool can greatly increase the amount of disc space used by the system due to the storage of these emails. If you are on a hosted system this may occur additional charges if your storage needs exceed your allowed quota. 


Important: -Please do NOT activate or turn-on this feature without reference to the Influence support team. You will need a license to use the feature, and also there are some technical details of your mail provider that should be checked before starting this process.


Note: Turning on the Sync Agent will turn off the Alert Manager which usually runs to alert users of tasks, since this is now handled as part of the Sync Agent.



If you decide you wish to use the sync agent rather than benefit from manual control over what gets synchronised (i.e. Drag/Drop relevant emails manually) then the article below explains the setup process. 


Contents (Click an item to jump to that section)

TABLE OF CONTENTS


System Setup

Before you start to use the sync agent, you will need to contact Influence in order to obtain an updated licence which allows use of the Sync Agent Tool. The new PCG_Lic.txt file containing the licence will need to be loaded into the system to allow use of the feature.

Parameters

WORKBENCH, Flag(10)Tick this to turn on the feature
(It only works if you also have the license)
JOURNALS, Integer(17)
 Outlook Auto Sync Days to scan back
14
We recommend setting this to 14 (possibly 21, or 28)
Do not use excessively high numbers such as 50 or 100 !


Parameters can be set from Maintenance > Setup > Parametersthen choose File > Open and select the relevant parameter set.


Note: Turning on the Sync Agent will turn off the Alert Manager which usually runs to alert users of tasks, since this is now handled as part of the Sync Agent.



Once the Sync Agent has been turned on, each user must login to Influence and setup the agent for their own Profile.  Go to the [HOME] Page and click the 'House' icon in the toolbar to open the My Profile page

Set the [Username]this needs to be set to be the same as your Username in Outlook.


Tip: Your MS Outlook username can be found in the Outlook options.   (For example in MS Office 2019, choose File > Options, and then use [General] to see the User Name.)    See below





Step 1: Select the Folders to Sync


NOTE : Before starting the scan for the first time, please manually sync any of the specified folders by using the Toolbox option in Influence. If you start the agent without having performed this initial manual sync, then you will cause yourself severe delays and server performance will be drastically reduced
See the section in this article labelled How to Manually Sync Mailbox Folders (prior to first run)


Click the 'House' icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen to open your Profile page.

At the bottom left of the My Profile page is a button labelled Setup


Click Setup to select MS Outlook folders to be monitored/scanned by the Sync Agent. Select the required folders and then use [Add] to add them.  

(See below)

IMPORTANTYou must set the Go Back to more than 7 days, e.g. 14  (and not Zero [0] days.)


NOTE : Before starting the scan for the first time, please manually sync any of the specified folders by using the Toolbox option in Influence. If you start the agent without having performed this initial manual sync, then you will cause yourself severe delays and server performance will be drastically reduced






Step 2: Turn off [Active Search]

Make sure that the Active Search option is set to Off


You can also untick Notifications.
You must not have this ticked for Active Search.
We recommend it is not ticked for Incoming emails, Expiring Tasks or Incoming SMS.
It is optional if you want this ticked for Inbox/Sent items or not.






Step 3: Start the agent running

To start the agent running, Tick the  Active [   ] tick box at the bottom of the screen, next to the ◀️▶️ arrows.


After the agent has started, it will take a few seconds to begin processing. We recommend that you turn OFF the 'Active Search' option, as this is known to cause issues.  See below


Remember: It is strongly recommended to untick the Active search and make sure it is turned off, does not have notifications and doesn't scan, as this can cause severe performance degradation.



NOTES/Clarifications

- When the sync agent is running it is normal for received emails to take a while to appear in the database and will not be 'instant'. This can range from 30sec  up to 4-5Mins, and is designed to minimise the load on the server.


- If an email contains an attachment, the attachment will not be stored as part of the Journal - You will need to go back to the original email (in Outlook) to see the attached file.


- If a contact at a client is also a candidate and both records share the same email address, then any synced emails will be visible on the Candidate record and the contact Record via the [Journals] tab, but not on the Client Record [Journals Tab]

This is because essentially the email is treated as being relevant to the candidate, and this is shown on the person (candidate/contact) but not at their employer (Client)



IMPORTANT

If you are using influence on one of our hosted servers, then emails synced using the MS Outlook sync will not save attachments as part of the Journal. They will show an indication that there is an attachment, but when clicked the system will tell you that the attachments is NOT stored in the database, and that you will need to go back to the original email (in MS outlook) to see/open the attachment itself.

This is for 2 reasons;

- (i) If you are referring back for evidence, then you should always use the originating email, which is legally admissible.

- (ii) Users have an allocated storage quota on hosted systems, and storing attachments within the database itself can quickly eat through this, incurring additional storage charges (When there is no need, since the file will be stored in your email system)







How to Manually Sync Mailbox Folders (
prior to first run)

As mentioned above prior to starting the Auto Sync it is strongly recommended to manually sync any folders that you will be auto-syncing. Failure to do this before starting the auto-sync can cause severe degradation in server performance and make your system massively slower.


Step 1:  Select and scan the Folder you wish to Sync

Choose the [Toolbox] option at the left hand side, and expand the Outlook Mailbox to choose the folder you wish to scan.
Having chosen the folder, click the [Refresh]  button at the bottom right, and then click [OK] on the scan option.





Step 2:  Sync the scanned folder

After the scan has completed choose the [Click to Sync] option to actually sync/import mails from the chosen folder.


WAIT.

......

Depending on the size of the folder this option can take some time. Please be patient.





How to Turn Off the Mail Sync

From time-to-time you will want to turn off the Mail sync, perhaps due to problems, or other issues with your PC. Turning off the mail sync is very easy.



At the bottom left of the Influence screen will be an OUTLOOK Icon, indicating if the emails are in Sync (or not)

Click the Outlook Icon

This will open the Sync Agent details panel.

Untick the Active [  ] box


NOTE: It will take a few seconds (or more) before the sync finally stops - but this will de-activate the Sync Agent.


To re-start the Sync Agent is the reverse. i.e. Just click the Outlook icon, and re-tick Active [   ]







TROUBLESHOOTING

If things don't work as expected, or you experience problems, here are a few things to try.


Check for a License.

Before checking anything else, make sure the License is installed. Go to [HELP] and then chose [License]


Stop/Start the Sync Agent.

Try stopping and re-starting the Sync agent and see if that helps.
Try the same thing with MS Outlook (Log Out, then back in again) - sometimes that can be enough to sort things out.


Reselect the folders.

If a simple stop/start didn't work you might want to try stopping the agent, then removing the folders and re-selecting them, one at a time.  This is especially true if you have just recently moved PC, or if you have had to re-install MS Outlook.

This is because the folders have a unique identifier in the background, and if this has got changed, it might look as if you have selected the correct folders, but the system may not actually be able to find them.




Restart your PC/Remote Desktop.

After trying the above solutions the classic "Turn it all off / Turn it all on again" is a good ploy. If it is a desktop/laptop, then simply shut everything down and turn it off.
IF you are using a 'Remote Desktop' then make sure that you properly "Log Off" from the desktop rather than simply 'disconnect' which will leave all the old processes (and problems) running in the background.




Check the Install of KClient/K7Connector (Admin rights).

If the K7Connector software used to link to the Influence database was not installed by a user with Administrator privileges and setup for "All Users" then the software is unable to open multiple windows. This causes problems with the Outlook Sync tool.
You will need to re-install the K7Connector software and ensure to tick the 'All Users' option when prompted.


The latest version of the K7Connector should be downloaded and installed from

www.influence-it.co.uk/downloads


Multiple KCLIENT Sessions Popping Up.

If you are getting lots of  KCLIENT login screens popping up after you have logged into influence, this could be because you have not cached your password. (saved password to computer memory.)


These will Pop-up if you have your outlook mail sync turned on and you haven't cached your server password. 

What happens is it will try to sync your outlook emails to influence and it will try to open the syncing session needed in influence, but will fail to do so and pop-up the login screen. It will then keep trying to sync your emails and open the syncing session, but can't login to the session.


To resolve the issue you will need to close influence, right click on your icon and select properties.



This will open a pop-up window where you can need to change your 'Login type' to 'Cache Passwords' 

Changing this to be 'Cache Password' will mean that when you double click on the icon it will automatically log you into the KCML (Server) login page.





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