July 2017 Update: new "Extra" fields and more

It's that time of the month again where we look back in the mirror and share the latest improvements we've made to our email parser in July 2017. There has again been quite a bit of work done this month, the biggest of all being what we call the "extra" fields.

July 2017 Update

Let's dive in about what's new this month.

Automatically add "Extra" fields to each parsed emails

The main purpose of our email parser is to let our users extract specific data from their emails by creating custom fields. But on top of those fields, many of you also requested to be able to capture additional general data about the email.

Last month, we introduced the "Received" field that added the date and time at which we received your email. "Received" was the first extra field.

We heard a good deal of positive feedback about it and decided to go one step further and allow you to get a whole set of extra fields. You can now choose to add the following extra fields by going in your parser's settings page:

  • Received: the date and time your email was received (selected by default when you create a new parser)
  • ReceivedDate: the date only your email was received
  • ReceivedTime: the time only your email was received
  • Recipient: the email address it was sent to (the *@in.parseur.com email address)
  • Sender: the email address it was sent from
  • Subject: the subject (or title) of your email
  • HtmlDocument: the full content of your email (including the HTML formatting)
  • TextDocument: the full content of your email (text only)
  • Template: the name of the Parseur template used to process the email
Go to your parser's settings page to select the extra fields you need

Go to your parser's settings page to select the extra fields you need.

Read more about Parseur Extra Fields feature.

Extract text from email subject

The extra fields described above allows you to extract the whole subject fields in one click. However, sometimes, you may want to extract a specific piece of text from the subject, like you do with the email content.

We have added the subject in the template editor. So you can now extract any piece of text from the subject, in the exact same way as you do it for any field.

You now have the subject in the template editor. You can create a field just by selecting the piece of text you want to capture

You now have the subject in the template editor. Create a field just by selecting the piece of text you want to capture

Customize date formats and set timezone

Previously, the "Received" date field was formatted using the somewhat barbaric ISO 8601 format. ISO 8601 is the ISO standard date format and it is great when you need to feed a date to another computer system. Less so when you want to display it to your users.

So we added some Date and Time preferences in your profile settings. Modify those preferences to format the timezone, date/time, date and time format to your liking.

Adjust your Date and Time preferences in your Profile

Adjust your Date and Time preferences in your Profile

How to better understand why an email wasn't processed

In most cases, Parseur is smart enough when creating templates. You can just point and click to capture your fields without thinking twice and everything works smoothly. Sometimes, an email is not parsed and it is not always obvious why as the email looks like the template you just created. Usually, creating a new template solves the problem. In some rare cases, Parseur will keep asking you to create a template and you need to understand why.

We initially developed an internal tool to easily check why a template couldn't parse an email. This tool proved useful to support our customers when they reached out to us for help. So useful in fact that we decided to have that tool available to everybody!

When an email cannot be processed and you get a "New template needed" error, you can now click on the document and then the "why?" link right of Template:

Click on the "why?" link to understand why your document couldn't be parsed

Click on the "why?" link to understand why your document couldn't be parsed

This will bring you to the template troubleshooting page where you can match the document against each template and see which fields matched and which fields did not.

Here, there seem to be a problem with the Price 2 field

Here, there seem to be a problem with the Price 2 field

This template troubleshooting page will show you the document parts that were matched in green and the parts that weren't in red. You can move your mouse over the fields to see the text that was captured.

This tool can still look a bit intimidating. Reach out to us on the chat if you have any question about parsing issues!

Display processed data results in a pretty table

We now display the parsed data in the app using a nicely formatted table versus the scary JSON data we were showing before.

Parsed result displayed as JSON

Parsed result displayed as JSON

This is the new format. Better, right?

This is the new format. Better, right?

Other improvements and fixes

A few others things we've been working on include:

  • Added a FAQ on our plan subscription and payment page answering some recurring questions
  • Fixed a bug preventing you from clicking some links in your documents when viewing it in our app
  • Improved the notifications in the app when you exceed your quota

In parallel of all this, we're working on some big exciting features. But we'll only talk more about them when they'll be ready. Stay tuned!

Thanks for those reading that far. As usual, don't hesitate to contact us on the chat for any question, issue or feedback. We love talking to you :-)

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