SharePoint Exchange Integrated Calendaring Solution
We have developed a SharePoint calendaring solution that integrates fully with Exchange, to replace public folder calendaring in Exchange. Users are able to confirm conference room and staff availability, with events scheduled in Exchange with enhanced capabilities for Calendar Administrators.
Conference Rooms and Department Calendars
Conference rooms and department calendars exist separately; meetings can be booked in either a conference room directly, or in a department calendar with the option to have the meeting occur in a conference room. If a meeting is opened in a department calendar that includes a conference room, an entry is created in the conference room calendar with a link back to the department calendar.
Department meetings appear in Conference Rooms, but without meeting details, but with a link in the conference room event back to the original department meeting. This preserves privacy within departments, while enabling calendar administrators to easily navigate to the original meeting request.
Time Frame Blocking
Meetings can be prevented from being scheduled off-hours.
Department calendars can optionally have a conference room selected. If selected, a parallel conference room event is created, with a link back to the department calendar event.
- If a department calendar event is moved, the corresponding conference room calendar is moved.
- If a department calendar event is deleted, the corresponding conference room calendar is deleted.
- If a department calendar event is moved to a different conference room, the previous conference room event is deleted and the new and linked conference room event is created.
Double-booking of staff or conference rooms is blocked for end-users, but enabled for Calendar administrators. If a calendar event save is attempted and it would result in a double-book, a pop-up appears with the attendee and calendar availability. A “Check Availability” button is available. On “Save”, if there is a disallowed scheduling conflict, a clear dialog box is presented showing attendee and conference room availability, including whether a given event is Tentative or Confirmed.
Blocking of Tentative Double-Booking
An attempt to create an overlapping meeting request with a tentative meeting request can be blocked or allowed. Tentative double-booking would be shown in attendee availability.
A checkbox is available for requesting meals and or technology support assistance, such as video conferencing or laptop. If selected, a text box is available for details. Technology team is notified, and invited to the meeting as an ICS email request. For Meals, a separate set of Meals admins are notified.
Attendee Check Availability
A check availability button will show availability of attendees and any selected calendar. Attendee and calendar availability is shown for each, both the day before, the day of, and the day after, the current scheduling.
Rescheduling can be restricted to calendar admins. Attempts to reschedule would be blocked, with a clear error describing that only calendar admins can reschedule, and listing the calendar admins.
Author Can Move or Delete Meeting
Optionally, the meeting creator can edit or delete the original meeting, but others cannot.
Recurring Meetings and All Day Meetings
Support includes recurring meeting requests and all day meetings.
Email notifications would be in rich text/HTML. Requests would include meeting details, as well as a link back to the original meeting request and a link for requesting a meeting rescheduling. Emails also are triggered in ICS format for an integrated calendaring experience in Outlook.
On deletion, notification would be triggered, in particular to the original calendar entry creator.
Calendar invites would be triggered via email, with a ReplyTo of the original calendar event creator, for seamless tracking.
A link in the meeting invite would allow a request for meeting rescheduling. The user following the link would be prompted for reason/rescheduling guidance. The form would generate an email to the calendar admin(s) and cc the submitter.
Below, the conference room is double-booked, while the user is booked tentatively for the suggested timeframe:
Below the attendee has a tentative meeting overlap, but tentative double-booking scheduling is allowed, so the user is viewed as available. If the double-booking was a confirmed meeting, it would be blocked, unless a Calendar admin is creating the calendar event; as calendar admins can override and allow double-bookings (such as if an exec will make an appearance at both meetings):
In short, this is the solution SharePoint and Exchange enterprise users have always wanted and expected.