by Sean Doherty – Law Technology News
It’s no secret that a large number of legal professionals use Microsoft Outlook to receive, send, and manage their email. If you are among the majority of LTN readers that receive the LTN Daily Alert or the E-Discovery & Compliance Alert in Outlook, you may need some help managing your messages, as well as Outlook tasks, contacts, calendars, and RSS feeds.
Third-party add-ins from the likes of RPost, Caelo, and others continue to help manage Outlook content. In fact, there’s even a new “TechnoLawyer Buyer’s Guide to Outlook Add-Ons for Law Firms.” But make sure you need Outlook add-ins before you start adding them to Outlook. Otherwise, you will need an add-in to manage add-ins that you are not using.
ADD OR PLUG IT
You will find third-party software tools that work with Outlook advertised as add-ins, add-ons, and plug-ins, with our without the hyphen. Generally speaking, software that plugs or adds into or onto Outlook is a Dynamic Link Library file, i.e., DLL file, which can be loosely defined as software that contains code and data that can be simultaneously used by more than one program. For example, multiple applications running on the Windows operating system, can call one DLL (Comdlg32.dll) to open a dialog box. In effect, DLLs promote code reuse and good memory use, which are not qualities limited to Microsoft’s DLLs.
When RPost updated its DLL add-in for Outlook to use Microsoft’s .NET Framework 4, the company opened its DLL for use by partners and developers to implement their own code with RPost, says Zafar Khan, RPost CEO. And the fruits of the first such partnership, with Esquire Innovations’ iScrub metadata management application (read: cleaner) for Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF files, was released last Monday. The new Outlook add-in combines RPost’s Registered Email services with Esquire Innovations’ iScrub document metadata management. The RPost and iScrub combination aim to manage metadata removal from outgoing mail and provide further message processing capabilities via RPost: email proof of delivery, encryption, and electronic signature services.
The new RMail add-in with iScrub is available from RPost’s Apps Marketplace, which was unveiled in November of last year, says Khan. Although attachment metadata scrubbing is part of RPost’s messaage services, Khan says that Esquire Innovations “provides a more robust and automatic metadata scrubbing on the desktop.” With the combination of iScrub and RPost, continues Khan, corporate counsel, small, and large firms now have the facility to automatically remove metadata on the desktop and then, if necessary, invoke the registered email services of RPost, all in the same workflow.
After you attach an Office or PDF document to a mail message and click send, iScrub can automatically clean the metadata according to a configured profile.
Once metadata has been cleaned, the message and attachments are transmitted to RPost’s cloud processing platform to encrypt the message, obtain an email proof of delivery, or attach an electronic signature.
RPost is betting that other developers will follow Esquire Innovations example and use their DLL for Outlook. If so, legal professionals will benefit with feature-rich Outlook workflows. And it might be a good bet too, considering the number of Outlook add-ins on the market.