Contacts Fields (Erroneously) Using Hard Validation

The app syncs with Mac/iOS Contacts. So far so good, and in general wonderful. However, there is a significant problem:

On the Mac, and on iOS, it is possible to enter data into a field and give that field a custom label. I have used such labels to store things such as membership numbers and so on.

These labels do not show up in em Client, rather em Client interprets them as email addresses and names them E-mail 2, E-mail 3, and so on.

Because they are identified as email addresses, em Client insists that they be validated. That would normally be exactly what one wants – if it were in fact email addresses that we are looking at.

Note that because of the impossibility of these fields passing any validation, it is also impossible to change the content of any other field. A message something like this appears: Value [xyz] is not a valid email address. Please review the address the associated display name.

Related to this problem is that the custom labels from Mac/iOS do not come over / sync properly.

Ideas for solutions:

a. When originally importing the original Contacts data from the cloud, do a plausibility check to see if such data is an email address. Otherwise, display that data in a Tab called Custom Fields.

b. Provide a check box that says “Valid Email?” Not checking this (which would be the default) would allow any entry.

c. Upon saving a contact, and failing validation, ask the user "Validation on Email field{s} [x, y, z …] faild. Save anyway? [Yes, Save Anyway, | No, let me fix this.].

In all of the above, retain the custom labels and ensure that they sync correctly to the iOS Contacts.

Hi Cliff, if by labels you mean labeling emails as work/home etc. you’re right these won’t be synchronized, simply not supported at the moment due to differences between how eM client represents them and how iOS/OS X represents them (basically every mail service uses it’s own format, although very similar).

But I need a bit more information on the “is not a valid email address.” issue. If you label an email in iOS for example and mark the email as work, home, etc. you’re not able to use any of these labeled emails in eM Client after synchronization? Are you able to replicate this issue? Can you make a screenshot of the issue?
What version of eM Client are you currently using?

Thank you and sorry about this,
Paul.

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your reply. I am using 6.0.20498.0. No need to apologize, I appreciate your help.

Please see the following screenshot:

What you are seeing in the above screenshot are custom fields. They are used in Mac Contacts for non-validated data.

When the Contacts from the Mac via the iCloud service come into em Client, they appear like this:

So the first problem is that the labels do not come over.

The second problem is that em Client thinks that the data is an email address address and applies hard validation to the entire card based on that assumption, disallowing any change to the card.

Make sense?

Thanks, -Cliff

Hi again Cliff,
so if I understand this correctly you’re using custom emails on iCloud for other information… such as Passport number etc.?

This is unfortunately true, we don’t support the custom labels as this is different for every mail service, we might support this in the future as it is a considered feature, but currently is not handled as an issue.
If you show the contact as a vcard you could see something like this:

X-ABLABEL;ITEM1:Passport
EMAIL:2134243234324324

This is an email labeled as Passport, this is how iCloud saves the contact and that’s why it’s handled as an email in eM client.

Although I still don’t understand one thing, when does the “is not a valid address” error message/popup appear? I was unable to replicate this error.

Thank you for understanding,
Paul.

Thanks Paul

The error occurs when you sync with Mac Contacts and when there is a non-email-conformant data in a email field, which however, was labeled with a custom label. Then when you try to change _other_ field, i.e. not an email field, you cannot save it. That is when you get the error.

As to a pragmatic solution, I would like your advice: Now i know that I should not use [email] fields for custom content in Mac Contacts, as they will prevent editing of that card in em Client. Are there fields in Mac Contacts that I should be using for this purpose instead? Or to put it another way, where in em Client would I put custom content, such as membership ids, SSN, and so on?

-Cliff

Hi again Cliff, finally found the error.

I’ll try to consult this issue with the developers if there’s something that can be done about this, but I believe since email addresses need to contain the @ sign and some letters, it’s not the best field for numbered items.

I believe using custom labels for phone number items, might be a working solution for this issue, as there really should be no limits for numbers only items.
Or you can use the “notes” field for syncing basically any more information.

Hope this helps,
Paul.

Thanks Paul,

I’ll try your suggestion and report back here if it works.

Cheers, Cliff