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Creating department calendars

We have created department calendars within Exchange 2003.  I just created an e-mail account for them and have shared out the calendar so people can send appointments and the department secretary's monitor the mailboxes and calendars.  Sounds simple enough but here are the problems we are running into:

1.  The  calendars are setup to auto accept appointments but not to allow double booking.  They accept appointments sometimes and then turn around and will tell the sender they are doublebooked or the resource has been doublebooked.  This forces the sender to think the appointment was not accept but in reality it was.

2.  We have conference room calendars setup the same way with similar probems but there is a huge permissions issue that I have not figured out yet.  I need to create a group that I can put into a calendar for permissions, right now I am dealing with adding everyone individually for permission, that gets old fast.  I have tried creating an all employee global group, but the calendar keeps rejecting the group from a permissions standpoint.  I have tried it as a distribution group and the same thing occurs.

3.  There is also a debate here on how to schedule conference rooms, is the correct way to add them into the appointment as an attendee or to set them up as a resource?

No one is scheduling directly into the calendars, they are sending things as appointments but the only consistant thing I am seeing is inconsistancy.  All of the department calendars and conference rooms are setup the same way and they all behave oddly with the same rules setup.   I also went as far as downloading and installing the MS auto accept agent and that did not make a difference with the problems we were having.

So, there are two main questions; how do I fix the problems or how do I set these up the correct way.  I am running SP2 and we do database maintenance monthly by dismounting the store etc.  That has fixed errors in the database but has not helped at all with scheduling issues.

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1 Solution
Setting them as a resources is the correct way.
The best way to setup a conference room or a department calendar is to setup it as a resource mailbox. You need not to give any special permission on these calendars or mailboxes to any one or a group of persons via any security group or any distribution group. these are individual mailboxes and are configured to accept or reject meeting invitations depending on their availability. You can check the availablity of these resources using Free/Busy information like anyother user's availability (you dont need any permission to check someone's free/busy information in Exchange)

Only thing, you need to make sure is that when a user sends an invitation, or try to book these resources, he/she need to select these resources in the resources section while inviting them to a meeting.

Amit Aggarwal.

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