How to insert individual vCard links into email signatures

Problem:

You would like to insert individual vCard links into email signatures so that each email sent by a user in your organization contains a link to this person's electronic business card.

Solution:

The CodeTwo Exchange Rules family of products enables you to use dynamic fields from Active Directory in signature templates. These fields are added as placeholders and automatically filled with AD data. You can use this feature to enhance your signatures by including URLs to individual vCard (VCF) files on your WWW server. This article explains how to accomplish this.

First, your vCard file names need to be personalized using the Active Directory fields such as First name, Last name, Email, etc. so that each vCard's URL looks as shown below or similar:

Example 1: http://www.company.com/vcard/john.doe.vcf
Example 2: http://www.company.com/vcard/johndoe.vcf.

In email signatures created with CodeTwo software, references (links) to the vCard files need to be created by using the corresponding AD placeholders. For the examples above, these references in the signature template should look like: {First name}.{Last name}.vcf or {First name}{Last name}.vcf. Preparation of the vCard links in the signature editor depends on your version of the software:

Tip

If your users' vCard name format is different, you might need to use the extra AD fields named Exchattr that are explained in a separate KB article. Then, the reference to your file will be translated into {Exchattr1}.vcf, while the Exchattr field will contain, for example, the user login name.

Current versions of CodeTwo programs

In the current versions of CodeTwo products (excluding CodeTwo Email Signatures for Email Clients) placeholders such as First name can be typed in directly in URLs. For example, if individual vCard files in your organization are stored on your server in the following way:

http://www.company.com/vcard/<first name>.<last name>.vcf

then your vCard hyperlinks in the HTML source code of your signature should look like this:

<a href="http://www.company.com/vcard/{First Name}.{Last Name}.vcf">Download vCard</a>

Learn how to insert URLs to signatures

CodeTwo Email Signatures for Email Clients and older versions of CodeTwo programs

To include a whole vCard URL in a signature template, you need to use the {Rotating Text} placeholder to replace the static (unchanging) parts of the vCard's URL. The rotating text placeholders are used to work around the fact that old versions of the Editor do not let you insert AD placeholders (e.g. {First name} or {exchattr}) directly into the signature's source code.

Example
Individual vCard files in your company are stored on your server in the following way:

http://www.company.com/vcard/<first name>.<last name>.vcf

To add a vCard link (that dynamically changes depending on the sender) to your signature template, you need to:

  1. Open (edit) this signature in your CodeTwo software.
  2. Use the AD attributes button (Fig. 1.) to add the following syntax to the signature:

    {Rotating Text}{Rotating Text}{First Name}.{Last Name}{Rotating Text}
    

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Fig. 1. Adding a dynamic vCard URL via placeholders in the signature editor.

  1. Create a separate folder for each {Rotating Text} placeholder used in the signature. In this example, you need to create 3 folders. Name these folders in a way that allows easy identification, for example: RT1, RT2, RT3. The location of these folders depends on the CodeTwo software:
  • Exchange Rules (Pro): if the software is installed on multiple Exchange servers, you need to create these folders in the same location (path) on each Exchange server;
  • Email Signatures for Email Clients: you need to create these folders on a network drive that can be accessed by Client Apps on every machine where Client Apps are installed (allow all users to access these folders). If it's impossible to use a network drive, create these folders on each client's PC. Remember to use the same location path on all machines.
  1. Each folder should contain a single file to which each {Rotating Text} placeholder will refer. Create the files as shown below and name them accordingly (e.g. RT1, RT2, RT3):
    1. The first file, in the HTM or HTML format, contains: <a href="
    2. The second file, in the HTM or HTML format, contains: http://www.company.com/vcard/
    3. The third file, in the HTM or HTML format, contains: .vcf">Download vCard</a>
  2. Back in the signature editor, modify the properties of each {Rotating Text} placeholder (by right-clicking it and choosing Placeholder properties) to create references to the created files. Use the FolderPath field (Fig. 2.) to specify the folders where the files are located.
    1. The first {Rotating Text} placeholder should refer to the HTM file containing: <a href="
    2. The second {Rotating Text} placeholder should refer to the TXT file containing http://www.company.com/vcard/
    3. The third {Rotating Text} placeholder should refer to the HTM file containing: .vcf">Download vCard</a>

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Fig. 2. You need to specify a path to the folder with the HTM/HTML file.

The {First Name}.{Last Name} placeholder does not need to be edited; it is responsible for inserting the <first name>.<last name> value from Active Directory.

  1. To preview how the vCard link looks like in an email, click the Preview button on the Editor's toolbar and select a user (Fig. 3.). You can see that the Download vCard link leads to this user's vCard file.

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Fig. 3. A preview of the signature with an individual vCard link.

If you want to change the font or size of the Download vCard link, you can do it directly in the signature editor by selecting the whole

{Rotating Text 1}{Rotating Text 2}{First Name}.{Last Name}{Rotating Text 3}

syntax and using the font style options available on the ribbon.