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Need to create "training" calendar with special requirememts

Hello,
      I'm the IT Services Manager at a CPA firm.  As a part of keep up their CPA status, they have to do a certain amount of CPE (Certified Professional Education) hours during the year.

      So management tasked me for a calendar for scheduling this training.  I'd normally create a calendar in publif folders but their requirements are what bring me to ask for assistance.

      They want to have meetings so that they can invite people and use that list to track attendees (for CPE tracking), but they also want people to be able to invite themselves WITHOUT generating acceptance emails to the organizer - typically the person conducting the training.  This is because we have 86 people and so there's a potential of up to 86 acceptance replies to the meeting.

      I've tested creating a public folder calendar, creating an apppointment, then having antother user add themselves as an attendee - essentially changing it into a meeting.  This added them as an attendee into the meeting, they could add it to theirs with the "add to my calendar" button, but this generated an acceptance email to the organizer.

      I don't know if any meeting can be created that add attendees to the meeting without all the acceptance emails in my environment - Outlook 2010 with Exchange 2003 server.

      I know that Exchange 2010 has resource calendars as a new feature but I don't know how flexible they are.

      The other alternative would be to create a "training" mailbox and have it monitored by the receptionist to add meetings and handle attendee replies.  It would remove the ability for everybody to add themselves but it would also mean all those emails would go to the trianing mailbox.

      Is what management is asking for even possible?  Is there another product outside of Outlook/Exchange that could do this better? Would Exchange 2010 handle this better?

Thanks in advance for your input,
Kevin Murphy
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kmurphy
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kmurphy
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1 Solution
 
CharlWiehahnCommented:
If the only problem with your current solution is that the organizer is receiving a lot of meeting acceptance replies then would it not be best not create an outlook rule on the organizer's client to delete these messages when they come in?
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kmurphyAuthor Commented:
That could be done, but not practical when multiplied by 86 people
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nap0leonCommented:
CharlWiehah's suggestion is to add an Outlook rule to the Meeting Organizer's rules.
You would only need to set this up once on that person's account.
Yes, 86 "acceptance" notes would arrive, but they would all be automatically deleted or filed into a subfolder (or whatever you decide to do with them).
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kmurphyAuthor Commented:
Yes, I understand that.

However, any one of these 86 people can create the meeting, so there's a potential of having to train/show how to do those rules for each of them.

I personally thing that management's requirements are a little "over engineered" in that they think they can have it both ways:  collaboration without communication.  And of course this is counter to what we have this stuff for in the 1st place.

But I said I'd try.  I didn't know if there was some other solution (different software altogether?) or that maybe Exchange 2010 would possibly do this.  I could then at least say we'll have it "some day".
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nap0leonCommented:
Ahh - so all 86 people are essentially scheduling their own training and could themselves be "meeting organizers". (?)

Sorry, I'm not aware of any way to disable "Send Acceptance" notifications... but I do't play around with public calendars much either.

Good luck.
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CharlWiehahnCommented:
Sorry kmurohy

I seem to have misunderstood your question. My company uses a system that allows people to create their own bookings over a web interface. I have not personally setup the system but use it daily and it works quite well.

Not sure if you are interested in using anything other than exchange, but if you are have a look at.
http://mrbs.sourceforge.net/

Best part ... its free.
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kmurphyAuthor Commented:
This is a very interesting application.

I don't know if it's so much better than to just use Google Calendar, given the installation efforts but I like it.

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