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I have been asked a number of times recently about Forecaster 7's support for email, with many folks thinking the only supported email client is Microsoft's Outlook.

The reality is that Forecaster 7 can utilize any MAPI-compliant email client.  There are many MAPI-compliant email systems out there, but the ones I have used with Forecaster include:

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Outlook Express
  • Microsoft Windows Live Mail
  • Lotus Notes
  • Eudora
  • Pegasus Mail
  • Thunderbird
  • (old) Netscape Messenger
  • MSN Hotmail


Forecaster 7 only supports MAPI-compliant email clients and only supports client-based email, although it has worked with web-enabled, MAPI-compliant email systems (such as Hotmail) in the past. 

GMail is not MAPI-compliant and therefore is not compatible with Forecaster.

In order for Forecaster to utilize the email client installed on users' workstations, the mail client must be configured as the default mailto: handler - in other words, it must be configured within Windows as the default application to handle mail requests.  This can be managed via the internet browser (at least from Internet Explorer or Firefox). 

The exact steps vary based on the operating system.  Users can go to their browser and go to the Tools | Options menu item.  There should be a tab called "Applications" or "Programs".  In Internet Explorer, there will be a subsection on this tab that says "Internet Programs."

The following information may be more accurate for Internet Explorer:

In the Internet Programs area is where the differences are.  On Windows XP, there will be 6 individual drop-down boxes.  The box for "Email:" needs to reflect your default email client.  Set this option and also ensure that a default browser is selected (in the Default web browser section), then click OK.

In Windows 7, the "Internet programs" item is a single button (Set Programs) which opens up a Windows dialog.    Click on the Set Associations link and it will display a list of extensions and protocols.  Scroll down to the
.url (Internet Shortcut) option and make sure the current default specifies "Internet Browser".  This means it will use the default browser.  Next, scrop to the MAILTO protocol and make sure the default email client is selected.  You may also need to set a value for the "mailto" protocol, but only do this if setting the .url and MAILTO options don't work to make Forecaster work with your email client.

You need to at least close all instances of Forecaster and restart them after making the above changes.  You may need to restart your email client and internet browser and/or reboot the computer for the changes to take effect. 

As I said, Forecaster 7 utilizes the email CLIENT in order to send email.  This design decision was made to allow for a "paper trail" for workflow emails (for example).  Prior versions of Forecaster utilized server-based email which did not allow for any tracking of what was sent to whom and made troubleshooting much more difficult.

As always, MSX Group is here to assist with your Forecaster installation, configuration and usage questions. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

Rob Diaz
MSX Group
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