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Exchange Calendar Sharing - Resource Scheduling 'Greyed Out'

Posted on 2012-09-18
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Last Modified: 2012-10-01
WHAT I AM TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH
I have a bunch of users for whom I want to create a common group calendar.

I want them to be able to create a meeting request for the group calendar, that gets automatically accepted and added to the group calendar when they send it.

I want the accepted meeting to show up on the calendar of the person who sent it

I want the the automatically accepted meeting request email to reply back to the person who created the request.

I want the meeting to show up on the calendar of the maeoffice user's calendar which is the account from which I am sharing the user's calendar.


OVERVIEW
Have Exchange 2010 Server running on Server 2008 R2 in an Server 2008 Domain/Forest
Users are running Win 7 Pro
Have user called maeOffice
Trying to share the user's calendar as a group calendar
Can log in as user, open Outlook 2010 go to options:
  Mail > Tracking > Enable automatic processing is checked.
  Calendar > Resource scheduling - When I open all choices are 'Greyed Out'

I DON'T WANT TO USE PUBLIC FOLDERS SINCE THEY ARE GETTING PHASED OUT.

Any instruction would be welcomed.
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Comment
Question by:tech911
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15 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Matt_D_Green
ID: 38410787
If you want the calendar to be a resource calendar, you have to change the account to a resource account (e.g. Conference Room, Equipment, Resource Mailbox).  If you just want to share it out with all users, you can do that from the calendar properties via Outlook, OWA or through Delegates settings.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:tech911
ID: 38410838
Matt -

It is a regular user account.
I did share out the calendar giving all other users publishing editor rights.

I can send meeting requests from the office account to users and they can accept, it goes on the shared calendar and on their personal calendar.

If they send a meeting request to the shared calendar,  it sits there until I manually accept it.  

This is the problem, since the user account is not monitored, the requests will sit there until they are accepted.  I want the meeting requests to be automatically accepted.

Hope that helps.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Matt_D_Green
ID: 38410867
Can you create a rule in Outlook that auto-accepts the meeting requests?  The Resource Scheduling is only for resource accounts.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:tech911
ID: 38410934
How/Where do I create the rule?

Outlook 2010
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Expert Comment

by:Matt_D_Green
ID: 38410951
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Author Comment

by:tech911
ID: 38410993
So just so that I am not confused, are we in agreement that there is no way to process a meeting request automatically using rules, because I didn't see a way to do it that was obvious?

Regarding the link, I saw those posts too prior to creating this request for help.  The issue is that all 3 of the top check boxes are greyed out and cannot be selected.

With regards to a "resource" mailbox, according to Exchange it is used for rooms or equipment but not for groups.

I await your insights.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Matt_D_Green
ID: 38411035
Outlook rules do not allow for that - my apologies for the terminology confusion.  My Outlook does not have those boxes greyed out.  Do you have a GPO preventing that configuration, by chance?
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:tech911
ID: 38411070
Not that I have setup, and this is a fresh install domain and exchange server. I am going to look at some other users and will let you know if theirs is blocked too?
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:tech911
ID: 38411076
Its the same on all my users throughout the domain, and I checked on multiple computers.

Thoughts...
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Matt_D_Green
ID: 38411103
Are any of the choices in resource scheduling available?  Selecting the first option should "un-grey" the other options
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:tech911
ID: 38411181
Nope - all are grey... Like I said, I saw that post too.
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:apache09
ID: 38411513
I understand what you are trying to acomplish
In fact we have the exact same requirement here

This may or may not work for your enviroment, but this is what we have done

All  of our resources: Meeting Rooms, Bookable Laptops, Projectors, Vehicles ect ect

We have made an actual AD User Account with an Exchange Mailbox.
So they are basically users on the domain

We also create a User called Bookings System
Setup the same way


We then open each of our Resources as a user by logging onto any PC as the resource
We then setup the user in an OUtlook Profile

We add ALL STAFF As a Reviewer Only of the Calendar
We add Bookings System as a delegate on the calendar
We give bookings Editor Permisisons on the Calendar
We have all meeting related messages sent to the Delegate (Bookings System)
We go into Calendar Options>Resource Scheduling
We turn on Auto Accecpt and Decline Meetings
*If required we turn on auto decline recurring appointments



We then log onto Terminal Server as the Delegate Booking System
We configure the outlook account
We setup resource Scheduling to Auto Accept and Decline Meeting appointments

We Minimize the Outlook Session, and Close the Terminal Server Window leaving the session in TS Active



Now what this does:

Allows users to review any of the resources calendars and view any free busy info
User can make appointments in their own calendars
Users Invite the resource
The meeting invitations get accepted if available and users are notified
If the is a conflicting meeting they get a msg sent back to them notifying them their meeitng has been decline. Users are then aware they need to review their meeting and change time if required

The appointments show up in both the resource and the user calendars



Now depending on your enviroment.

The only down side here is you have to have a PC or Terminal Server Session always logged on as the bookings system, with Outlook  Open and running

If you have an old spare PC this could work
If you have a VM you could setup, this could work
If you have Terminal Server, this could work
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:tech911
ID: 38411654
That's one hell of a work around...nice job.

I don't think that is the answer here, but thanks for the input.

Anybody else?
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Accepted Solution

by:
tech911 earned 0 total points
ID: 38436931
Here is the answer....

You can't share a user calendar as a "group" calendar and allow it to automatically accept meeting requests.

You must create a resource mailbox for this purpose (Equipment or Room) either one will work.
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LVL 3

Author Closing Comment

by:tech911
ID: 38450088
No one else had an answer that would address and solve the objective.
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