Best way to share calendars with Office 364


We are a small business of around 35 users with 4 different offices. We just decided to migrate from Google to Office 365 for our email system. We would like to create a shared calendar for each of our offices. I did this at first by creating shared calendars in the public folders. But with research I have come to find out that you cannot open calendars in the public folders using OWA. Some of our users only use OWA and not Outlook. The next best solution I was told to look into was doing Sharepoint calendars. With SP calendars though, you cannot do meeting invites and a few other small limitations. You also have to go to a separate website if you are only going to use online versions and not desktop software.

So my question is if there is another way to do shared calendars where users can view them in both Outlook and OWA and have as close to full functionality as possible?

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Juan OcasioApplication DeveloperCommented:
What we've done in our office is create a room resource mailbox.  They you add the users with full access you want to have access to it.  It will then show up in Outlook as a calendar.
Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
You can use PF Calendars with OWA, you just have to add them to Favorites via Outlook first. So yes, it might not be that useful for you. Use a room/shared mailbox as advised above. Another solution is to create a Group mailbox and use the calendar there, however Group mailboxes are not yet accessible via Outlook.
TechFlyer86Author Commented:
Thanks for your comments so far.

So when I try adding "shared mailboxes" I was able to have a calendar from them that worked in both OWA and the Outlook client. On the Mac Outlook, everything worked pretty smoothly. On the PC side, it added a mailbox every time I added a calendar. If I could add the calendar without the mailbox that would be a reasonable solution. So attached it what it looked like. While its not a deal breaker, I think some employees would be confused to have all this additional stuff listed.

When trying to add resource mailboxes, I was easily able to add them in OWA but every time I tried to add them in Outlook, I got a permission denied error. I think the resource mailbox would be the way to go but do you know how to fix the permission issue when adding it into Outlook? I made sure I was the owner in the exchange admin portal.

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Juan OcasioApplication DeveloperCommented:
The room resource is definitely the way to go. In order for it to work, you have to give them full access rights on the resource.  Once you create the Room Resource, search for it under Recipients Configuration -> Mailboxes.  Right-click on the room resource and select Manage Full Access Permissions...  Then add everyone who should have access to it

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TechFlyer86Author Commented:
Sorry to beat a dead horse it feels like, but creating the resource mailbox automatically adds the mailbox to the users outlook when you add the calendar. So I am back to just like what my screen shot showed, which would have every user having 8 mailboxes because of shared calendars. It seems like a waste and would just confuse the people more than help.

Any other suggestions for trying to get shared calendars in OWA and Outlook? I feel this is something that was just overlooked by Microsoft or they felt most users would just be using the desktop software.
Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
It shows up like that because you have granted them full access permissions with Automapping. You do not need Full access permissions, you can simply adjust the permissions on the Calendar folder. Or, if you do need the full access permissions for some reason, just add them without Automapping:

Add-MailboxPermission roommailbox -User -AccessRights FullAccess -AutoMapping $false

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TechFlyer86Author Commented:
Thank you very much for the help over the past couple days. I think these two comments put together will give me exactly what I am looking for.
Juan OcasioApplication DeveloperCommented:
Another way of giving permissions to users without the mailbox is by explicitly setting the permissions on the calendar.  Two ways to accomplish this:

1) Right click on the calendar and select properties.  Click on the permissions tab.  There you can add the users and permissions needed.

2) use the following powershell cmdlet: Add-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity\Calendar -User -AccessRights Editor

 You can substitute Editor with Owner, Author, etc

If you need a script to do multiple users you can do something like the following:

Import-Csv Import-Csv "c:\path\to\users.csv |
For-Each{Add-MailboxFolderPermission -Identity\Calendar -User $_.user -AccessRights Editor }

make sure your csv file has a column called user and the that column should be your user's upn, or the they use to log into O365.
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