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IE browser embedded in outlook vs refresh

I have a custom web app that has an 'Inbox' that refreshes every 30 seconds.

One user uses Outlook to host the web page.

Using IE, the refresh works fine. If the user is working in another window,
web page quietly refreshes in the background.
Hosted in Outlook, the refresh causes Outlook to come to the front on
every refresh. Or in XP, causes the toolbar icon to flash.
Either way, it is very irritating.

We can refresh *images* using JavaScript, a timer, and SRC=url.jpg
without grabbing focus, but not the IFrame page.

Is there another way to refresh that doesn't cause Outlook to grab focus?

There are two pages involved:
1) The "parent" page contains various controls and an IFrame.

2) The "child" pages are loaded into that IFrame.
One child page, the 'Inbox', needs to refresh every 30 seconds, so we've got
a META tag to take care of this inside the child page:
<META HTTP-EQUIV='Refresh' CONTENT='30; URL=CallList.aspx?filter=inbox'>
We've also tested a snippet of javascript that sets the src attribute of the
IFrame tag to its own location. Both ways (and also doing a refresh of the
parent page itself) result in the following behavior:
In XP, whenever the page (which is being viewed from inside Outlook's
embedded IE browser) is refreshed, Outlook's icon in the taskbar flashes for
a moment and stays highlighted. On the analysts' machines, it assumes focus
altogether. In testing, I set the timeout to every 5s, and I did notice
Outlook get impatient and grab my current window's focus once or twice.

To see this in action, go to Outlook and:
1) right-click on Mailbox, Add a New Folder, give it a name, OK.
2) right-click on the new folder, Properties, Home Page
3) Check 'Show home page', and enter http://www.superbowl.com/scores for the
4) Click on the new folder to make the page active

Alternately, check View|Toolbars|Web to make sure that the address box is
Enter http://www.superbowl.com/scores for the address and hit return.

5) Put another window in front of Outlook
6) Wait about 1 minute for the page to refresh.
When it does, Outlook should pop to the front. Hope you weren't trying to
respond to this post, or get any work done. 8:-)

Nov 19 '05 #1
0 1475

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