Need to create "training" calendar with special requirememts
Posted on 2011-10-19
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,