Monday, March 2, 2009

Use a resource account in Outlook for booking things like conference rooms

First, I'm going to assume that the resource has been set up correctly to automatically accept and reject meeting requests. If you don't know how to do this, I just created a walkthrough for it here.

When creating your appointment/meeting, make sure to book a resource AS A resource. This is something that tends to get overlooked, and adding it to your appointment any other way will defeat the purpose. In order to do this, add your required and optional attendees, and then just like the way you added them, add the resource's account to your meeting in the third box labeled Resources. That is the only way it will perform as an actual resource. Save the meeting and send the invite to the invitees. You should receive one of two messages at this point. The resource will either prompt you and say that it was successfully book, and then you can continue on as normal. Or you will get a message that the appointment was rejected because it conflicts with something else booked with the resource. Either way, this is a nice way to try to avoid conflicting meeting times in a conference room. I'm currently setting one up to accept everything, and it will be used as a time-off calendar for everyone to view. However you use it is up to you, but it's definitely useful to know how to utilize them.

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