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Scheduled Tasks do not email when Outlook is open


Issue:

When Microsoft Outlook is already open, scheduled tasks will run (and a report will be created) but the report will not be emailed.

If a log file is created, the following message appears in it...

An unexpected exception has occurred while running the file 'c:\reports\test_report.xlsx' with the following message: 'Unable to create or connect to Microsoft Outlook'

 

Description:

As of the writing of this article, recent updates released by Microsoft (for the Windows Task Scheduler in Windows versions XP and above) require that - in order for a task to be scheduled with the Windows Task Scheduler, the user must launch the Task Scheduler with elevated (i.e., "Administrator") privileges.

Since the Jet Scheduler within Jet Essentials is a Jet-specific interface to the Windows Task Scheduler, the changes introduced by Microsoft required that Jet Essentials be modified to also launch the Jet Scheduler with elevated privileges so that the Jet Scheduler could communicate with the Windows Task Scheduler and allow Jet Essentials users to schedule their reports.

The issue now is that, since the Windows Task Scheduler runs with elevated privileges, it is not able to communicate directly with Microsoft Outlook (when Outlook is *not* running with elevated privileges).  Thus, an attempt is made to start a new (elevated) instance of Outlook so that the two process can communicate.  However, only one instance of Outlook is permitted to be active and the result is the error "Unable to create or connect to Microsoft Outlook".

 

Workarounds:

There are a handful of options available that may help you work around this issue.

1. Launch Outlook with elevated privileges.

This is accomplished by locating OUTLOOK.EXE in the Microsoft Office installation folder, right-clicking the file, and selecting "Run as administrator".



If Outlook is run in this way, the Windows Task Scheduler will be able to communicate with it when the Task Scheduler runs your scheduled report.

 

2. Make sure Outlook is closed before your reports are scheduled to run.

If Outlook is not already open, it will be possible for it to be opened with elevated privileges when the Windows Task Scheduler runs your report.

 

3. Use SMTP for sending emails of your scheduled reports

Jet Essentials also includes the option to use SMTP for scheduled reports. SMTP stands for "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol"

 

Most email systems (including Microsoft Exchange) include SMTP capabilities.  You can configure your SMTP settings in Jet Essentials' "Application Settings"...

(you may need some info from your IT department)

 

and modify your scheduled reports to use SMTP instead of Outlook...

 

4. Assign full administrator rights to the user

A system administrator can modify the Jet user's Windows account - granting that user full administrator rights.

 

 
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