Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ultimate procedures to configure "Calendar E-mail Extension for Office 365" apps for SharePoint online

Calendar E-mail Extension for Office 365 sends invitations, handles responses and allows Exchange resources to be booked from a SharePoint calendar, making organizing your calendar as simple and efficient as possible. Here is the summary of the features.

  • Send meeting requests from SharePoint calendars. Now it's possible to invite attendees directly from a SharePoint Online calendar.
  • Book Exchange rooms and equipment. You can book rooms and equipment in Exchange directly from a SharePoint Online calendar.
  • View status replies and attendance status. The SharePoint Online Calendar displays every attendee’s invite status, including their acceptance status, tentative acceptances or any new time suggested.
  • Check availability of attendees and resources. You can check resources' and attendees' availability when scheduling an event directly from a SharePoint Online calendar.

One of the key feature we are looking for is to check the availability of the Exchange rooms and equipment. There are few tricks to make this work in SharePoint online. Here are the details to configured this correctly.

1. The first step is to add "Calendar E-mail Extension for Office 365" to SharePoint online site collection.

You could "Add an app" from the SharePoint online site collection. Here is the app you should add.

2. The second step is to enable the conflict checking scripting on the site collection. This has to be done before you configure the calendar! Otherwise you have to update each existing calendar and save it to pick up the conflict checking script! 

The two steps are:
a. Enable the custom scripts on the site. The SharePoint Online Management  Powershell script is like this below.

# Change this URL to match your admin site
Connect-SPOService -Url https://<yourdomain>
# Enter username and password
# Change this URL to match your SharePoint site
Set-SPOSite -Identity https://<yourdomain> -DenyAddAndCustomizePages $false

b. Update Calendar E-mail Extension for Office 365 app permission. 

  • Open the SharePoint online site where the add-in is installed and navigate to http://<SharePointWebsite>/_layouts/15/AppInv.aspx.
  • Enter the following App Id (d4f43231-f66d-4f82-93b1-bd5a9d9945c1) and click on Lookup.
  • In the Permission Request XML box, enter the following xml:

      <AppPermissionRequests AllowAppOnlyPolicy="true" >
        <AppPermissionRequest Scope="http://sharepoint/content/sitecollection/web"       
         Right="FullControl" />

  • Click on Trust it.
  • Click on the Calendar E-Mail Extension for Office 365 add-in in the site contents page
  • Click on Configure on each calendar list where the add-in is configured and save the settings again.

The details is listed in vendor's documentation here.

3. The third step is to add calendar and configure the resources.
Click Settings->Site contents->"Calendar E-mail Extension for Office 365", this will bring to configuration page like below.

After add a new calendar, click "Configuration" of the calendar. Enter the account or the shared mailbox account. The enter password to verify.

The you could configure the "Attendees" and "Resources". Please note you might need to add additional room and equipment mailbox for your application as in the below screenshot. Please select "Check Availability".

Then you would need to click save.

4. The forth step is to hide some fields users may not need to simplify the forms.

You could change the room to one of the following three options. This depends on your business requirement
  • Drop-Down Menu
  • Radio Buttons
  • Checkboxes (allow multiple selection)

The procedure is to click "List Settings"->Click "Event (with email extension) Content Types->"Exchange Rooms and Equipment"-> Click "Edit column". Then select one of the three options.

If you need to hide some files from users, please refer to my previous blog for details.

5. The fifth step you might need to do is to disable users to save booking when there is a conflict.

The default behavior after you configure to check availability of the resource, when you try to save the booking, it will prompt the dialog box when there is a conflict.

You will noticed that there are two buttons "Don't save" and "Save Anyway" that do not make sense to allow users to save if there is conflict. 

Well, there is a way to remove these two buttons and here are the details. There are three places you need to make the change. The URLs are listed below for list named "PCP Booking 2".

Go to "Settings" -> "Edit the page" and find the "SharePoint|sapiens Calendar E-Mail Extension Client Script" webpart->Click "EDIT SNIPPET".

Then append the following script to hide two buttons. Click "Insert" and save the page.

      <style type="text/css">
      input[value='Save Anyway'] { display: none; }
      input[value="Don't save"]  { display: none; }
      input[value="Don't save"] + input[value='Save'] { display: none; }


5. The sixth optional step you might want to do prevent users to create past event.You could configure this in the lsit Validation setting.

Click the list settings->Validation settings. Enter the following formula to prevent past event to be created.

=[End Time]>Created

You could use another formula to prevent the past event to be modified.

=[End Time]>Now() 

5. The seventh optional step you might want to allow user to edit their events created by themselves.

You can go into the List SettingsAdvanced Settings, and you should be able to set Read and Edit access to items that the user has created.

Now the  "Calendar E-mail Extension for Office 365" apps is ready on the SharePoint online site.

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