It is now finally possible to check the availability of Exchange rooms and equipment when scheduling meetings and to reserve them directly in SharePoint.
This makes the process of scheduling events much easier, faster and more efficient. You don’t have to switch between SharePoint and your Outlook calendar just to check if a certain room is available, everything is done automatically and you can check the availability of rooms and equipment with the click of one button.
As an administrator you can configure whether all rooms or only certain rooms can be booked from SharePoint.
The add-on requires either the Calendar E-Mail Extension, Employee Training Management or Event Management to be installed, however it will also work with normal SharePoint calendars.
If you want to use it in Office 365, please check the following:
Please note that the add-in is already included in the Calendar Email Extension, Event Management and Employee Training Management setup since 12/15/2015. If you have the latest version installed, ignore the steps below and continue with the configuration.
To install the add-on, extract the files to a new folder. There are folders containing setup files for SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016.
Then run the setup as an administrator and follow the instructions on the screen.
Once the setup has completed, the add-on will now be available for all calendars on your site.
To display the Exchange Room and Equipment Selector when creating an event, you must first create a column for it (the add-on is actually a custom field type). Click on the List Settings for the respective calendar and then click on Create column.
Now when the form appears you can see the Exchange Room and Equipment Selector option in the column type area.
When you select this, more detailed options for the selector appear below.
The first option is where you should enter the URL of your Exchange Web Service.
You can click on Find to search for an Exchange Server address associated with the user currently logged in. If this doesn’t return a result it is also possible to simply manually enter the URL. Then select the Exchange Version from the dropdown below.
If you use Office 365, the URL will most probably be https://outlook.office365.com/ews/Exchange.asmx
The next settings concern the user credentials for the Exchange Room and Equipment Selector to communicate with Exchange.
Get credentials from secure store:
You can configure the user credentials in the Secure Store Service Application.
Learn more: how to create and configure a Target Application in the Secure Store.
Simply enter the Secure Store Target Application ID you have configured in the respective field.
Save credentials in clear text:
Enter user name and password directly using the domain\username format. Please note that the credentials will be saved in clear text.
Use the configured user to book resources:
In this case the configured user account will be used to book the Exchange resources. The user account needs a valid mailbox.
Add events directly to resource calendars:
With this option the SharePoint calendar will communicate directly with the Exchange Room or Equipment. If you use this option, you need to make sure that the configured user has either Full Access for all resources or application impersonation is configured for this account.
There are two options for choosing your data source. You can either get rooms from Microsoft Exchange room lists, or you can get all rooms and equipment from the Active Directory.
Learn more: how to create a room list.
It is also possible to allow multiple values and caching. By default the timeout is set to 86,400 seconds (24 hours). This means if you create a new room in Exchange, it can take up to 24 hours for the room to become available in SharePoint. If you wish to use the room straight away, you just have to edit the column and save it. This will clear the cache.
The final section allows you to automatically update the Location column with the selected room and set the e-mail body sent when booking a room or piece of equipment for an event.
Clicking on OK will create the new column allowing you to book Exchange rooms and equipment directly from the SharePoint Calendar.
Now when you create an event, you will see the following option in the form. If ‘Allow multiple values’ is configured, you will see multi-selection control (similar to a multi-lookup column).
You can then select the room where the event will take place from the dropdown.
Once you have selected the room, you can click on Check Availability to see if the room is available.
You can then click on Save as usual to create the event.
If the resource is not available, you can still save the event. In this case the room will not be booked.
In the display form you can view the status of the room. To check the current status you can click on the Refresh symbol.
We hope you find these new features useful. If you have problems installing the new updates or any other questions, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or post a comment.