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Recipe 8. Mail Merge > End User Recipe: Search Users

End User Recipe: Search Users

Perhaps the most time-consuming—and error-prone—aspect of sending email to a group of people is entering the email addresses. The Search Users page of the Mail Merge application provides an easy way to collect and apply the required addresses. Typically in a workgroup, email is either sent to individuals whose email address is known or to a specific set of people tasked with a particular job, such as managers, whose email address might not be known by the sender. The Search Users page is structured to accommodate either scenario.

You’ll find that this search page is different from others in this book in several ways. First, there are two different search forms on the page: one that looks for individuals and another that concentrates on groups. Both forms have their own form buttons, but each button activates the same code—and that’s the second major difference. Instead of the form just passing parameters to another page to handle the actual search, the Search Users page first places all the selected search criteria into session variables, which can be referenced throughout the application. This process has the added benefit of ensuring that the currently selected criteria will be present if the user returns to this page either through the Back button or a link. After the variables are stored, the user is redirected to the results page.


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