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Resource Booking Facility

How do I set up resources to be booked?
Posted: 8 Jul 01

Configuring the Resource Booking System
Create the resource recipients “Meeting Room 1” and “Meeting Room 2” using Exchange Administrator. These are created as standard mailboxes not custom recipients. If there is no matching Windows account to go with each of these mailboxes, then Exchange will create them automatically.

You may wish to assign a password to these users, as their account will be created without one if Exchange creates it automatically. Also, remember to disable each of these users ability to change their password and set the password to Never Expires.

If necessary, create a Distribution List for these resources and add each resource recipient to it. Check that the free/busy functionality has been installed as part of Exchange. Select the Recipients folder. Go to the View Menu and select Hidden Recipients. Select the “Schedule+ Free Busy” recipient and select properties.

If you are happy that the Free/Busy service is running and you have created mailboxes and assigned appropriate passwords to the Windows accounts then you can start the mailbox for the Resource Recipient to test it.

To do this, logon using the Windows domain userid of the resource and start Outlook.

To avoid repeated logging on and off during testing, you can configure the Administrator account to open the resource recipient’s mailbox. This same technique can be used to view any users mailbox if you have the permissions set correctly to do so. This section is optional, if you prefer to logon as the resource then skip to the section called “Creating the Auto-answer Rules”.

Logon to the Exchange server as Administrator and go to Start Menu, Settings, Control Panel, Mail. Click the “Show Profiles…” button. You have two choices either:

·    Create a new profile to alternate back and force between your mailbox and the new one (recommended to allow you to create rules for the user)
·    Modify the existing profile to allow you to open multiple mailboxes concurrently (however you cannot create rules in the rules wizard for the user in this mode).

Create a New Mail Profile
Create a new profile that points to the Exchange server and Resource Recipient mailbox by clicking Add…
Click Microsoft Exchange Server service and click Next
Type the new profile name and click Next
Type the Exchange server name and mailbox name and click Next
The profile wizard tells you that you have installed two services, click Finish
Go to Choosing a Profile
Modify Existing Mail Profile
Click the Properties button of the profile you want to modify then.
Click the Properties button of the Microsoft Exchange Server service.
Click the Advanced tab.
Click Add…
Type in the name of the additional mailbox you want to view. You will not be able to check the spelling here. If you do not know the exact mailbox name, use the Create New Profile technique instead as this allows you to select the mailbox name from the Global Address Book.
Go to Choosing a Profile

Choosing a Mail Profile
Before you exit from the Mail applet, select the drop-down box called “When start Microsoft Outlook, use this profile:” and select the name of the profile for the “resource mailbox” you created above.
Click the Close button.
Creating the Auto-answer Rules
Start Microsoft Outlook 2000. It should automatically open the mailbox of the resource recipient because you have selected it in the profile step above. If not, go to the steps before this one and review.

To make this mailbox function as a resource we need to do at least one of two things:

1.    Set the Calendar options of this mailbox to respond automatically to meeting requests,
2.    Automatically respond with a custom message to inform the originator of action taken.

Note: This second step is optional
1. Set Calendar Options (not optional)
Click Tools, Options, Calendar Options, Resource Scheduling.
Click “Automatically accept meeting requests and process cancellations”.
Click “Automatically decline conflicting meeting requests”.

Click “Set Permissions” if you want to customise the set of rights allocated to users of this resource, however, this is not necessary since default rights will be allocated later in this sequence. Click OK.

Click “Add Holidays”, deselect Unites States and Select New Zealand. This will add Waitangi Day etc to the list of days that this resource is unavailable.

Click “Free/Busy Options”. This is to inform the Exchange server how much information to publish for this resource. This is also required to tell the server what URL to publish at for web-enabled email clients.

Lastly set the calendar work week options at the top of the current form to your preferences and click OK.

2. Automatically respond with Custom Message (optional)
To get this recipient to email an originator of a meeting or appointment automatically you can set up rules that govern the behaviour of the resource recipient. This is optional but can provide additional feedback to users booking resources.

To do this, start the Rules Wizard. Make sure you have selected the Inbox first then click on the Tools menu, Rules Wizard…then click the “New…” button.

At this point you are presented with a list of rule options. Click the first one called “Check messages when they arrive” and click Next.

You are presented with a list of conditions. Choose “uses the form name form”. Choose Application Forms from the drop-box and select “Meeting Request” form. Click Close. Click Next.

The “What do you want to do with this message” options are presented.
Choose “have server reply using a specific message”. In the Rule Description box, click on the underlined words a specific message. When the dialog box appears, fill out the form as you would like the reply to appear, in other words as a template for the reply message. However, do not specify the To… option since an empty field here means “send the request back to the originator”.
Fill out the rest of the form. Before you finish click the View menu and select Options. Deselect “Save Sent Message To…” Click OK. Click Save and Exit.

To save this meeting request in the Meeting Room 1 calendar, choose the “move it to the specified folder” option and select the Calendar as the destination folder.

To make sure that this recipients’ mailbox does not grow too big, click another option called “delete it”. This ensures that the mailbox does not fill up with meeting requests until it stops! Click Next. Note: you cannot specify the “permanently delete it” option as this will rule only run when the user has the mailbox open. Which for this mailbox is never! Click Next.

A list of exceptions is presented next. Do not choose any exceptions at this time. Click Next.

Give the rule a unique name and click the Finish button. You will be returned to the Rules Wizard menu, click OK.

You may like to configure the Rule to reject any other type of email altogether as you do not want to manage the resource recipient mailbox manually. Configure a rule to reply to users that accidentally send the resource recipient normal email. Include a reply that “this mailbox is for resource booking only”.

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