[How-To] Configuring the HS ROC Outlook plugin


Staff member
How to set up and configure the ROC Outlook Interface for Homeseer
by Steve Rauco

This is a quick how-to on setting up the ROC Outlook Interface an overview of the plug-in's functions.

The Homeseer Outlook Interface (OI) allows Homeseer to access Outlook appointments and tasks as well as integrating Outlook e-mail capabilities into your Homeseer system.

With OI, you can:
  • Announce appointments listed in Outlook
  • Trigger Homeseer events
  • Run Homeseer scripts
  • Print a listing of today’s appointments
  • Print a list of Outlook tasks
  • Write scripts directly in your Outlook appointment
  • View appointments, tasks and contacts from the web
  • Ability to add appointments to and from networked computers
  • Syncronize Outlook contacts with the Homeseer Phone phone book
  • View edit and add Outlook contacts and tasks from the web
OI can be run as either a triggered or scripted event directly from Homeseer

Installing OI

One you download and install OI from the HS Updater you need to add it in the interfaces tab of HS's Options screen.


After restarting Homeseer, you may return to the Interfaces tab of the Options screen and change the default Outlook folders that OI will access. You can adjust these settings by selecting the Setup button. This will let you use Netfolders (for network connections in Outlook 2000) as well as enabling and disabling of contacts on your HS web webpage.

Adding Categories

The final step of setup requires four categories to be added to Outlook appointments. By creating a new appointment in Outlook, the Outlook form shown below will be created. Click on the categories button.


These are the four categories that need to be created in Outlook to communicate with OI:
  • HS Announce - Used for appointments to be announced
  • HS Event - Used to trigger Homeseer events
  • HS Execute - Used to execute lines of code directly from Outlook
  • HS Script - Used to run Homeseer scripts
To add these categories, use the Master Category List button.


Once these four categories are entered in Outlook's master category list, they will always be available to all Outlook appointments. Keep in mind that OI can only work with one of these four categories per appointment, and if networking, the categories must be added to all networked copies of Outlook.

Gathering Appointments

Appointments scheduled in Outlook, that have one of these four categories will be imported as events into HS once a Gather is done from OI. A gather is simply telling OI to collect today's appointments from Outlook. Gathering can be done manually, as a device action or via scripting.

For scripting an Outlook gather use this format: hs.SetDeviceValue code, 2 and set code to the device code of your ROC Outlook device. This can be done as often as you require throughout the day.

The Way Things Work

For the most part, after gathering, OI creates an event in HS for each of the day's appointments in Outlook. Each of these events will delete themselves after triggering so there's no crowding of your event list.

Recurring Appointments

One of the more powerful features of OI is the ability to easily add recurring appointments to HS. A good example for using this feature would be a daily announcement of the time to take the kids to school and another to pick them up. Most schools have days off, delayed openings, and early dismissals. OI will allow you to enter these easily in Outlook without having to code your school's schedule into Homeseer. I'll go into this more in another How-To.
Roc OI was one of the first plugins I bought when I started using HomeSeer in July 2003. It's been working great for me.

Living where HSTV can't be used, I've been using Roc OI in its place to control TV-show announce/record events. We also use it for little reminders (which could be done with regular HS event, I guess). Having the events laid-out in Outlook gives you a much more visual way of organizing them than creating events in HS does, though.