Faxing from Microsoft Access to Winfax Pro

Page updated 09/27/2010

The routine mentioned in these web pages is obsolete. It was built in Access 2.0 days when this was the only approach.

Instead use Ole automation, which works with Winfax Pro 8 and later. Symantec's Winfax Pro Software Development Kit has the sample code required.

Winfax Pro Software Development Kit
FaxDB.zip and Fax2K.zip used with WinFax Pro this can be incorporated into an Access 97 or Access 2000 app.
Access Archon Columns from Woody's Office Watch See 112. Faxing from Access using WinFax with DDE

The following subroutine is my version of faxing reports via Winfax. However the following mentioned book, in addition to having lots of sample code has much better Winfax routines. (In my defense let me state that the following code was likely my very first venture into batch programming in Access Basic!)

MS Access 2.0 How-To CD, by Getz, Feddema, et al, pub Waite Group, ISBN 1-878739-93-x. Among many other practical tips it has ten pages and sample MDB on the CD explaining everything you need to interface via DDE to Winfax Pro.

The concept is that you tell Winfax Pro the phone number and other information via DDE commands. The next report sent to the Winfax Pro printer will then be sent with that previously DDE'd info.

It has been pointed out (unfortunately I misplaced the email otherwise I'd credit the individual who spent several frustrating hours) that if you are using Access 2.0 you can't send DDE commands to Winfax 7.0 and vice versa. In other words 16 bit and 32 bit versions of software can't communicate via DDE. The error message is roughly "DDE conversation ended data change."

However Ron L Stanley rons@netcomuk.co.uk disagrees. He states "faxing from V2 in w95 to WinFax Pro V7 using DDE does work! I have one of my clients with 3 telesales staff using it daily. As you mention the basics also work with WinFax LITE."

Trevor Best, one of the comp.database.ms-access newsgroup's past resident expert, (where does he get the time to be so helpful and when will his boss purchase him a better system?) has indicated that all the versions of Winfax Lite he has encountered do have the DDE logic built in even though the manuals ignore it. However your mileage may vary.

Dim error_code As Integer
    ' This subroutine
    ' cycles through each contact;
    '   Reading the Organization and Fax Number;
    '   DDE's the Organization and Fax Number to Winfax Pro
    '   Run's the customized report for that contact
    '     which is then scheduled for faxing to that contact.
    ' The customized report can be any combination of League Stats.
    ' All problems, and A Specific Team's problems

    Dim MyDB As Database
    Dim FaxContacts As Recordset
    Dim LeagueID As Recordset
    Dim Chan As Variant
    Dim MsgBoxOut As String

    Dim I

    MsgBoxOut = "Click OK only if you have just exited and re-entered Windows.  If you do not, you run the risk of terminating your fax run abnormally as you may run out of Windows resources!"
    If (MsgBox(MsgBoxOut, 305) = 2) Then Exit Sub

    Set MyDB = DBEngine.Workspaces(0).Databases(0)
    Set LeagueID = MyDB.OpenRecordset("League ID")

    ' Startup WinFax Pro
    On Error Resume Next
    'Establish Fax Link if WinFax Pro already running
    Chan = DDEInitiate("faxmng", "Transmit")

    ' If error occurs, Winfax isn't running.
    If Err Then
' If error occurs then Winfax Pro not found
        On Error GoTo WinFaxNotFound
        '    So start WinFax Pro
        I = Shell(LeagueID.[li Win Fax Pro Path] & "FAXMNG.EXE", 6)
        On Error GoTo 0

        Chan = DDEInitiate("faxmng", "Transmit")   ' Establish Fax link.
End If

    ' * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Set FaxContacts = MyDB.OpenRecordset("Fax - All except Team Stats")

    ' Read the first Team Faxing Record

    Do Until FaxContacts.EOF
'  Tell Winfax who this fax is going to
        DDEPoke Chan, "Fax Number", FaxContacts.[c Contact Fax Number]
        DDEPoke Chan, "Receiver", FaxContacts.[c Organization]

        DoCmd OpenReport "Fax - 0 Master", , , "[c Contact ID] = " & FaxContacts.[c Contact ID]


    ' * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    DDETerminateAll     ' Terminate all links.
    MsgBox ("The faxes have been generated and sent to WinFax Pro for transmission.  View the WinFax Pro Send log to moniter and confirm their status.")

    DoCmd Close

    Exit Sub

    MsgBox "WinFax Pro not found.  Please correct the drive and path in the League ID
information and retry.", 16
    Exit Sub

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