How to create a resource (room) in Exchange so it can be viewed like a calendar using iCal/Calendar


We use Exchange 2010 and a mix of Macs and Windows PCs. However we are 75% or more Mac users. Most using Macs use iCal/Calendar and not Outlook.

We can create a resource/room that shows up in the location option when creating a new event. That works just fine. However we would like to be able to view this as a daily/weekly/monthly view using iCal (10.7) or Calendar (10.8).

Is it possible to see all the booked times for a given period (daily, weekly, monthly view like in a personal calendar)? Right now we have to create an event, add the room as the location, add an invitee and then look at the 'show availability' option to see times. It only shows one day at a time and requires you scroll through day after day to see a particular day.

Reason we would like this is we use the room for meetings, but visitors use it for internet, reading, etc. We would like our admin to be able to quickly look up the rooms availability for the day to let them know if/when it is open.

Best Answer

There is no way to directly view Availability (free/busy) information in either Apple iCal/Calendar (Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion) or Microsoft Outlook 2011 (through SP2, at least) for an Exchange 2007/2010 room or equipment resource.

However, you can grant shared access for your account(s) to the Exchange resource calendar through Exchange management tools. Once that is done, you can add it the client for review of its schedule, as if it were another person's calendar for which you have sharing/delegation rights.

Apple iCal/Calendar: Preferences > Accounts > Select your Exchange account > Delegation tab. Click the "+" to add the resource calendar for which you have access.

Microsoft Outlook 2011: File > Open > Other User's Folder. Enter the resource calendar's information as the User and choose "Calendar" as the Type.

As long as your account has shared access to the resource calendar, you will be able to see it listed as another calendar in either application's sidebar. This sidebar entry will persist until you remove it.