UPDATE (09/01/2015) – The Calendar E-Mail Extension for Office 365 add-in has been released! Click here to find out more. You can now download the add-in from the Office Store.
The long-awaited Calendar E-Mail Extension for Office 365 add-in is finally here! A preview is now available for SharePoint Online/Office 365. We expect the full version to be available in the SharePoint app store in the next few weeks. We have released a fully functional preview so that we can receive your feedback to make the add-in even better. In this post we will explain a few details about the new add-in and provide a feature overview explaining how to install and configure it.
Download the Calendar Events & Invites Add-In (sapiens.at.sharepoint.cee.zip) and read the installation and configuration instructions below.
The Calendar E-Mail Extension for Office 365 add-in gives your SharePoint Online calendar the flexibility you always wanted . It enables you to:
You can send invites to attendees directly from the app, whilst it is also possible to invite guests from a contact list or via an e-mail address. The app automatically sends out the e-mail invitations and attendees can then reply to them from their e-mail client.
The app provides a user-friendly interface for viewing responses to the meeting invitations. This then allows you to react to the specific needs and demands of your particular meeting and thus organize it as efficiently as possible.
Checking the availability of attendees and Exchange resources has never been easier with our new add-in. Its intuitive usability means you can see who is available and what resources you can book with just one click to make sure your meeting runs as smoothly as possible.
Exchange resources can also be booked directly from SharePoint Online/Office 365. This makes scheduling events and meetings quicker and easier. The app takes care of all the work for you, so all you need to do is select the relevant resources and book them.
We are currently deploying the underlying services to multiple locations around the globe to make sure you experience the best possible performance. Current service locations include North America and Europe. Australia/New Zealand, Asia and Africa will follow soon. You can of course use the add-in even when you are somewhere else, but you will not experience the best performance.
Download the Calendar Events & Invites Add-In (sapiens.at.sharepoint.cee.zip) and extract the app-file from the zip.
For Developers and those who are used to working with developer sites in SharePoint Online: The quickest way to install and trial the add-in is to create a developer site in the Office 365 SharePoint Administration and upload the previously downloaded app to the Apps for Testing library.
The following approach is for all other users.
Login to your Office 365 administrator account and select SharePoint from the ADMIN menu.
Then click on Apps.
Select App Catalog.
Then click on Apps for SharePoint on the left.
Then click on Upload and select the installation file you just downloaded.
Now you can add the app to your SharePoint site.
First, you need to go to the Site Contents page, then click on Add an app. Choose the option From Your Organization on the left hand side and there you will be able to select the Calendar Events & Invites app.
The Calendar Events & Invites app can be configured in two different ways:
The first way is the quicker and safer way and is recommended when using the add-in for the first time. On the add-in’s start page click on the Configure link for the calendar you want to configure, or in the calendar list’s ribbon click on the CALENDAR tab and then on E-mail Settings in the Settings section.
From the three options for Calendar Events & Invites (1 – Disabled; 2 – Send invitations; 3 – Send invitations, check availability and book resources) select the second one Send invitations. Once you have clicked on Save, the calendar list is ready to send invites and receive status replies from attendees.
Of course you can continue configuring details such as the e-mail alias and display name, contact lists for guests and so on.
For this option you need an Exchange Online shared mailbox and a service account configured in Office 365. I recommend that you try the simple configuration above first, before you proceed with these steps.
A service account and a shared mailbox are required. Your users will not be asked to authorize the add-in and they will not have to consent to whatever the add-in does. All this can be done by you as the administrator, but it requires a service account and a shared mailbox.
Follow the instructions in How to: Configure a service account in Office 365.
Follow the instructions in How to: Configure a shared mailbox in Exchange Online.
Then follow the 3 steps on the configuration page to authorize the service account and consent users’ access to Exchange resources.
You can now send invites, receive status replies and book resources using Exchange online. You can also check resource availability, but you can improve the user experience by adding more functionality to the ‘Check Resources’ Action in the new and edit forms. By adding a script to these forms you can check the availability of attendees and resources entered at the time entered with a single click. Follow this post to add this great feature to your calendar events and check attendee and resource availability in calendar events on SharePoint Online Office 365
All other configuration options should be self-explanatory or the short explanation on the configuration page should be sufficient. If not, please let us know and send us an e-mail.
After configuring the calendar, you can begin to schedule events and invite attendees.
To schedule an event, double click on the day in the calendar on which you wish to hold the event.
Fill in the required information and enter the people you wish to invite in the attendees field. You can also add guests and book Exchange rooms and equipment.
Clicking on the Check Resource Availability button will open up a calendar displaying the availability of Exchange resources.
Click save to schedule the event. It will then be visible in your calendar, the invites will be sent out to attendees and guests and the room and/or equipment you have selected will be booked.
You can view the attendees’ responses and whether the rooms have been booked by clicking on Tracking.
We hope you like our new SharePoint Online/Office 365 add-in. We will of course keep you updated with information and tips via our blog, which can be found here. If you have any problems or questions, please send an e-mail to email@example.com or post a comment.