For a number of years people have been creating mailboxes to schedule conference room, equipment, etc.. in previous versions of Exchange a user could user Direct Booking a feature of Outlook and later Auto Attendant event sink to allow the functionality users needed.

Now Exchange 2007 has made drastic improvements and made managing resource quite easy.

As you can see if we attempt to create a new user we now have native options to create 2 types of mailboxes that we can use to resource scheduling 1. Room Mailbox and 2. Equipment Mailbox

Lets walk through the creation of each type of mailbox


Room Mailbox
Open EMC
Select Recipient Configuration
Click New Mailbox
Select Room Mailbox ->next

click New User –> Next

Fill in the logon information, remember this creates a disabled account

Select the location of the Room Mailbox database


Click New

Finish

If we open Active Directory Users and computers we will see our newly created disable account

Lets open EMC and see the additional properties we have on a Room Mailbox

You can see we have an additional Tab called Resource Information that allows us to specify room capacity and add custom properties

You can see on Jessica Steele’s mailbox that tab does not exist

How do we manage this resource?
Delegate someone Full Access to the mailbox so the mailbox can be open by that user account

this can be done via EMC or EMS with the add-mailboxpermission command
Add-mailboxpermission “Conferene Room 1″ -user Brian.Tirh -accessrights fullaccess

Now I can use my Brian account to open the mailbox in OWA, there we will see some additional tabs.

Once we open the conference room mailbox and select options we can see an additional option called Resource Settings


Under Resource Setting we have 4 areas
1. Resource Scheduling options
2. Resource Scheduling Permission
3. Resource Privacy Options
4. Response Message

Resource Scheduling options
The following options are listed:
Automatically process meeting requests and cancellations
Disable Reminders
Maximum number of days:
Always decline if end date is beyond this limit
Limit meeting duration Maximum allowed minutes:
Allow scheduling only during working hours
Allow conflicts
Allow recurring meetings
Allow up to this number of individual conflicts:
Allow up to this percentage of individual conflicts:

Resource Scheduling Permission

Specify users and groups which have permissions to schedule this resource by sending a meeting request
These users can schedule automatically if the resource is available: Everyone
Select Users and Groups:
These users can submit a request for manual approval if the resource is available:
Everyone
Select Users and Groups:
These users can schedule automatically if the resource is available and can submit a request for manual approval if the resource is unavailable:
Everyone
Select Users and Groups:
For requests requiring approval:
Always forward to delegates
Always tentatively accept these requests

Resource Privacy Options
Always add the organizer name to the meeting subject
Always remove the private flag on an accepted meeting
When declining meeting requests due to a conflicting meeting:
Include detailed information about conflicting meetings in response
Include organizer’s name in conflict information
Always delete the following when sent to this resource:
E-mail messages
Attachments from meeting requests
Comments from meeting requests
Subject of meeting requests

Response Message

Allows you to configure an automatic response to users

I am going to configure all the Resource Permissions so that only Jodie Bartos and Jessica Steele can use the automatic processing.

Now that I have scoped down the permission on who can submit a calendar invite I am going to attempt to send an invite using this resource room from my Brian Tirch account

We can see this request was declined automatically since I do not have permissions.
Now I will send a message from Jodies account to attempt to use this resource
This invite was automatically processed and accepted.
Within most organization there is a priority level of who can use resources and bump other user from a location. We can setup a delegate on this resource so that only certain users can automatically process meetings and the rest must be approved by our delegate.
Open EMS
set-mailboxcalendarsettings “conference room 1″ -resourcedelegate booth.scates
Now that Booth is our delegate lets change the permissions so that Everyone (we can scope this down as well) can submit message but they will need to be processed by the delegate.
Now Let try from my Brian Tirch account to submit a request for this resource
We can see that we have been tentatively scheduled for this resource
If we look at our Delegates mailbox we can see the delegate received a message from the conference room stating a users has submitted a request that is out of scope and must be approved.

Note the message at the top the screen — so far I have been doing all my testing from OWA however currently the delegate cannot accept the tentative meeting from OWA and the full client must be used
You can see that I have opened Outlook and now have an accept/decline button on the message

Once the delegate has accepted the message my Brian account receives notification that the meeting has been accepted

Now that we have configured permissions for our Room Mailbox lets look at attributes that we can configure.
1. Capacity
2. Custom Properties
We can set the capacity via EMC or EMC however we can only create custom properties via EMS and can assign them via EMC
We can use the Get-ResourceConfig command to see what definitions we currently have (by default none)

Lets create 2 custom resources 1. WhiteBoard and 2. Projector
Open EMS
Set-ResourceConfig -ResourcePropertySchem (“Room/Projector”, “Room/WhiteBoard”)

Now lets Open EMC and we can see that we have the option to add Projector and WhiteBoard to our room mailbox.

Note: OWA will show the capacity but not the custom properties, Outlook 2003 will not show either capacity nor room properties, only Outlook 2007 will show all the properties of the room

We can see from Outlook 2007 that our room capacity is 15 and we have our whiteboard and projector.

Equipment Room
The creation of an Equipment Room is the same as already outlined above so I will skip those steps and just show some of the features.

I created a new Equipment Room called Ford_Mustang, which is common for people to have vechicle checked out.

Lets run a Get-Mailbox command to see the mailbox details

[PS] C:\>Get-Mailbox ford_mustang fl *resource*,recipienttypedetails
IsResource : True
ResourceCapacity :
ResourceCustom : {}
ResourceType : Equipment
RecipientTypeDetails : EquipmentMailbox

We can see that our mailbox is of type equipment….

We get the same resource information tab on equipment mailboxes as room mailboxes

If you noticed before when we created the resource config I only created items for room mailboxes. Lets add some features for our cars
**note the Set-ResourceConfig command will overwrite the entire entry so you must list everything you want**

Set-ResourceConfig -ResourcePropertySchem (“Room/Projector”, “Room/WhiteBoard”, “equipment/2Door”,”equipment/cherryred”,”equipment/siriusradio”,”equipment/convertable”

Now we can add this custom properties to our Mustang

 

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