We recently upgraded to Exchange 2007 with Outlook 2007 clients. In the past, using exchange/outlook 2003, we used shared public calendars for each of our meeting spaces and allowed staff to view these calendars and be able to reserve rooms for their own meetings.
In the new version of Exchange 2007, I used the Exchange Management Console and used the wizard to create a room (as a shared resource). By default, the account is disabled. However, staff are still able to create a meeting and successfully add the room as a resource (it uses the free/busy information for staff and the resources to find the soonest "free" time.
However, we also want staff to have permissions to be able to view the resource calendar and reserve a room themselves directly without having to schedule a meeting. It seems like they are only able to access the room (resource) calendar (using File > Open > Other User's Folder > and then typing in the name of the room) when I enable the resource account and also give a user explicit permissions (like editor). They are then able to access the calendar.
Is there a better, more secure, easier to manage way to accomplish my goal?
Do I have to enable the resource accounts (I'd like to leave them disabled if possible) for staff to view the calendar?
Is there a way to grant permissions to a group to make managing permissions on these resources easier?
What changes need to be made to make this work?