How to book a room mailbox with GALsynced contacts?

12 Feb

How to book a room mailbox with GALsynced contacts?

Room Mailboxes are fundamentally the same as regular User Mailboxes (a user account in Active Directory and an associated mailbox in Exchange Server). A Room Mailbox is a special type of mailbox:

  • The user account password is generated automatically, and the account is disabled by default (preventing interactive logons).
  • The Room Mailbox object has special attributes that are used for automated processing of bookings etc. 

With GALsync you synchronize a room mailbox from the source forest to the target forest like you synchronize a mailbox-enabled user. In the target the room mailbox it is created as a mail-enabled contact. A user in the target environment performs a meeting request by picking the galsynced contact (representing the source room mailbox) from the GAL and adding it as a resource to the request.

on-premise implementations

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Booking

Can people in the target forest book a meeting?

Yes, by inviting the contact which represents the room mailbox from the source forest.

People in target forest can pick the contact (which represents the source room mailbox) and place it as "resource" into an invitation.

The room mailbox in the source forest replies to the conference/meeting originator (in the target forest) with a message (i.e. if the room is available at the required period).

Note: By default the room mailbox does not reply. So you may configure Exchange and the mailbox as described below.

 

Booking reply

We assume that booking of the room mailbox works in the originating forest. You validated that automatic or manual reply works and attendees and organizer are visible.

By default Exchange does not reply to external meeting requests. So, if a user in the target forest performs a meeting request to the galsynced contact the following conditions must be met:

  • In the source forest the parameter Allow automatic replies needs to be configured for the remote domain default or a specified domain.

 

Exchange 2007

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Exchange 2010

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Exchange 2013

Get-RemoteDomain Default | fl
Set-RemoteDomain Default -AutoReplyEnabled $true

 

  • The parameter AutomateProcessingAutoAccept must be configured for the room mailbox in the source forest

Exchange 2007

Set-MailboxCalendarSettings -Identity "Room 1" -AutomateProcessing ct

 

 

Exchange 2010/2013

Set-CalendarProcessing " Room 1" -AutomateProcessing AutoAccept

 

 

  • The parameter ProcessExternalMeetingMessages must be configured for the room mailbox in the source forest

 

Exchange 2007

Set-MailboxCalendarSettings -Identity "Room 1" -ProcessExternalMeetingMessages $True

 

 

Exchange 2010/2013

Set-CalendarProcessing -Identity "Room 1" -ProcessExternalMeetingMessages $true

 

 

Free/Busy / Attendees

Can people in the target forest see Free/Busy or attendee information?

  • Assumed you installed GALsync 5 (working with Exchange Web services in Exchange 2007 and higher), the F/B information can only be seen by contacting the room mailbox in the source forest. No F/B information is physically stored in the target within the galsynced contact object. This can be implemented through the configuration with cross-forest availability or federation mechanisms.
    See our Whitepaper Cross-Forest Free/Busy Delegation
     
  • Assumed you installed GALsync 4 (working with MAPI protocol and System Public Folders in Exchange 2003 – 2010), the Free/Busy information can be synchronized and attached to the target contact. 

 

Office365 implementations

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Booking

In Exchange Online you only add in the Exchange admin centerorganizationOrganization Sharing the opposite Office365 organization to the list. Because federation trust is already implemented by default nothing is to be configured additionally.

Note: The room mailbox must not be licensed.

 

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Booking reply

Note: By default the room mailbox in Office 365 does not reply to an external sender. So you may configure Exchange-Online and the mailbox as described below.

// logon to Office365 with Remote Powershell

$LiveCred = Get-Credential

$Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri

https://ps.outlook.com/powershell/ -Credential $LiveCred -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection

Import-PSSession $Session

// configure  the room mailbox

Set-CalendarProcessing -Identity „Raum Alias“ -ProcessExternalMeetingMessages $true

// or do it for all room mailboxes

get-mailbox | Where {$_.RecipientTypeDetails –eq “RoomMailbox”} |

set-CalendarProcessing -ProcessExternalMeetingMessages $true

 

Free/Busy / Attendees

You have to configure sharing calendar federation between both environments.

 

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