Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Using Outlook 2010 at work, but having a problem auto-reserving/booking a meeting room or resource? Here's something that might help...

At work we recently moved our conference room reservations to Exchange. Whereas they are now Resources in Exchange that we can add to our meetings, see when they are open, book, clear, etc. all from without Outlook.

Sounds cool, simple and smart, right?

Well mostly.

In our environment for those using Outlook 2007, everything worked just as advertised. It was smooth, streamlined, hands off, worked well and hands off, conference rooms were easily booked, etc.

Outlook 2010 users? Not so much.

Those of us using Outlook 2010, the reserving of a resource, i.e. a conference room, just didn't work right. The rooms were not auto-booked, they only seemed to book if the Room's mailbox admin actually visiting that Room's inbox and processed all the messages there. To say it was frustrating for Outlook 2010 users is an understatement.

The "fix" we were given was "use the officially supported version, Outlook 2007." (sigh)

That just didn't fly for me (being the IT rebel I seem to be sometimes...lol). Finally today I got fed up and resolved to do something. I had to be able to reliably, quickly and seamlessly reserve conference rooms, so worse case, I'd do an XP Mode VM with Outlook 2007 on it.

But first, I thought I'd Bing the issue to see if there was something I could do to make Outlook 2010 work.

Here's the first (TG for the internet! :)

Direct Booking does not successfully book a resource in Outlook 2010

SYMPTOMS

When you send a meeting request in Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 to a mailbox that is configured for direct booking, the meeting is not successfully booked. You do not receive an error message in this scenario. If you open the mailbox that is configured for direct booking, the meeting request is in the Inbox folder.

Note When earlier versions of Outlook successfully book a meeting together with a mailbox that is configured for direct booking, a meeting request is never sent to the resource mailbox. Therefore, a meeting request in the Inbox of the resource mailbox indicates that the meeting was not successfully booked.

CAUSE

By default, Outlook 2010 does not implement the direct booking code that is used...

By default, Outlook 2010 does not implement the direct booking code that is used in earlier versions of Outlook. Instead, a meeting request is sent to the resource mailbox in the same manner in which a meeting request is sent to regular meeting attendees.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, use one of the following methods to configure registry...

To resolve this problem, use one of the following methods to configure registry data to enable Outlook direct booking:

  • Modify the registry manually
  • Configure the registry by using Group Policy
  • Deploy the registry data by using the Office Customization Tool

...

So after a very quick reg tweak and Outlook restart I can now auto-reserve (i.e. direct book) our meeting rooms!  :)

2 comments:

John Regal said...

here is another possible solution. Add a DWORD to your registry:


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Options\Calendar]
"EnableDirectBooking"=dword:00000001

Greg Duncan said...

@John Yep, if you click through to the KB article, that's what they suggest (via the Manual" method)