Using Resource Mailboxes in Exchange 2007 Continued…



When I started the first article I never really intended this to be a post of “dreaded continuity”, but it has happened.

When we last spoke, we had set up a couple of Conference Room mailbox’s (Conference Room 20th Floor), and set a user (Paul Ponzeka) as the delegate.  We also set the conference room to Auto Accept meetings if the room was available.  Well that’s great right?  But what if we don’t want that?  What if we want the delegate to determine if that person can have the room?  You can do that as well!

What if you need to have all meeting requests forwarded to the delegate so they can approve?  We can do that very easily.  I have created a new Room Mailbox called “Conference Room 21st Floor”.  I have already assigned the user Paul Ponzeka as the delegate for it.  Now I need to set the mailbox to forward all the requests to it’s respective delegates.  To do this I run the following command in Exchange Management Shell:

Set-MailboxCalendarSettings <NameOfResourceMailbox> –AutomateProcessing AutoAccept –AllRequestInPolicy:$True –AllBookInPolicy:$False

Here is the command in action:

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The command was successful.  In the above command the Automate Processing Auto Accept string tells the mailbox to automatically book resources, the AllRequestInPolicy allows every user to send a request that has to be approved by a delegate.  AllBookInPolicy is set to false because this policy controls if the resource mailbox will automatically accept the invite the user sends if the resource is available.  This has to be false otherwise it overrides AllRequestIn. 

That’s the command line way, the other way is to access the mailbox through OWA 2007’s Exchange Impersonation feature.  Log into a mailbox that has access to the resource mailbox through OWA.  Click on the user name in the upper right hand tab and type in the name of the resource mailbox.

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Select the mailbox and hit open.  A new OWA page will open that is the Resource Mailbox’s.  Go to Options->Resource Settings

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Here you can set a multitude of settings.

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“These Users can schedule automatically if the resource is available”

This option means that you can specify AD groups or users that are able to schedule the room, and the mailbox will auto accept if it’s available.  You can use this to allow the Executives group to schedule this way.  The powershell equivalent to this would be:

Set-MailboxCalendarSettings ConferenceRoom21stFloor –AutomateProcessing AutoAccept –AllRequestInPolicy:$True –AllBookInPolicy:$False –BookInPolicy rraju

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This command states that the user who’s alias is “rraju” can book the Conference Room 21st Floor Mailbox without the delegate having to accept it.

The next option is “These Users Can Submit a Request for Manual Approval if the Resource is Available”.

This is the AllRequestInPolicy that we specified earlier.  If you want to change it to certain users, you would use the command RequestInPolicy <username> in the same syntax of the BookInPolicy as above.

The last option here is “These Users Can Schedule Automatically if the Resource is Available and Can Submit a Request for Manual Approval if the Resource is Unavailable”

To set this in the shell you must have both the BookInPolicy option and the RequestOutOfPolicy option set with the same users or groups.

The last real item of any significance is the Response Message.  Here you can specify a message to be sent to users when the request is processed:

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The only other option that I really like is –EnableResponseDetails:$true  option in the command shell.  This will provide a reason to the user for why their meeting was accepted or declined.  This way they know if the meeting was declined, it was because the room was booked and not that no one likes them!

See what happens when we try to book the room for a time that isn’t available!

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