UD Central Exchange: Resource and Equipment Mailboxes

Resource mailboxes are used to schedule and track events held in a single location or to allocate equipment such as portable projectors and loaner laptops to personnel. Regular email items are not kept in this type of mailbox.

A resource mailbox has no single "owner," but it can have delegates with various levels of control over the resource. These delegates manage meeting requests.

You can choose what types of meeting requests require a delegate’s approval, and you can even set the mailbox to require different levels of approvals for different user groups. For example, a department chair can schedule a meeting at any time without approval, while an instructor’s request will first be routed to a delegate for approval.


Scheduling a meeting room in Outlook

In the following example, an organizer would schedule a meeting room following these steps:

  1. Create a new meeting request from the Outlook Calendar.
  2. Add the meeting participants to the To field.
  3. Select the room:
    1. Click the Rooms button at the end of the location drop-down list (circled in red in the following graphic). This action will open a new window that shows all meeting rooms within Exchange as shown in the following graphic. Choose the meeting room from the list.

    Exchange resource mailbox screen

  4. Click OK. The meeting room is added to the list of participants in the To field. (The meeting mailbox is receiving the meeting request.)
  5. Click the Scheduling Assistant button on the ribbon to see the schedule assistant view to verify that the meeting room is available at the proposed time (circled in red in the following graphic).

    Exchange resource mailbox window

  6. Choose recurrence options and other meeting options as required.
  7. Click Send.

At this point, all meeting participants will see the meeting request. If the Room Resource Mailbox’s delegate(s) receive the request, the delegate must accept or reject it on behalf of the room. Until the delegate has accepted, the meeting is considered tentative. Accepting the meeting in this way prevents double booking.


Scheduling a meeting room in Outlook Web Access (OWA)

In the following example, an organizer would schedule a meeting room following these steps:

  1. Create a new Meeting Request from Outlook or OWA calendar.
  2. Add the meeting participants to the To field.
  3. Type the name of the meeting room in the Resources field. The Location will auto-populate.
  4. Click the Scheduling Assistant tab to see the schedule assistant view to verify that the meeting room is available at the proposed time.
  5. Choose recurrence options and other meeting options as necessary.
  6. Click Send.

At this point, all meeting participants will see the meeting request. If the Room Resource Mailbox's delegate(s) receive the request, the delegate must accept or reject it on behalf of the room. Until the delegate has accepted, the meeting is considered tentative. Accepting the meeting in this way prevents double booking.


Requesting resource mailboxes

To request a resource mailbox, send email to consult@udel.edu. When you request a resource mailbox, you must specify the following:

  • Type (room or equipment).
  • The short name of the mailbox. The name should be descriptive and use the 2-4 character prefix you wish to use in the WIN domain (e.g., NSS-Room 230). Keep in mind that the resource name will be seen by people outside your department. (See the UD Active Directory documentation for further information about prefixes.)
  • The long name of the mailbox (e.g., the mailbox above could be NSS-230 Conference Room).
  • The administrator of the mailbox (i.e., a CITA or other IT Professional).
  • The UDelNet ID of one or more delegates who will process requests for the mailbox. The resource mailbox administrator cannot add delegates--an Exchange Administrator must do it via a Help Request to the IT Support Center.
  • You should also consider that users other than the mailbox administrator(s) and delegate(s) will only see free/busy information for the resource mailbox. If you want people to be able to view the contents of the calendar (like they could with public folder “reviewer” access), you should specify users who should have this view-only level of access.

Configuring resource mailboxes

(Can only be done in Outlook Web Access in the UD/Win Exchange environment.)

  1. After your resource mailbox has been created, you must configure it.
  2. Your resource mailbox can be accessed in one of two ways:
    1. From within Outlook Web Access (http://owa.win.udel.edu)
      1. Click the arrow next to your name in the upper-right corner of the page. You will see the Open Other Mailbox window.
      2. Type the alias of your mailbox in the text field and click Open.
    2. Alternatively, you can go directly to the resource mailbox by entering (and bookmarking) http://owa.win.udel.edu/owa/{resourcemailbox}@udel.edu
    3. For example, if the resource mailbox is Smith-999, the URL would be http://owa.win.udel.edu/owa/Smith-999@udel.edu
  3. After the room resource mailbox opens, click the Options button found toward the upper-right of the screen.
  4. Click Settings from the menu on the left, and then click on the Resource icon in the ribbon.

Resource scheduling options

All resource scheduling options are dependent upon the first check box, Automatically process meeting requests and cancellations. If you do not check this box, none of the settings below it will take effect.

  • Disable Reminders – Lets you turn off reminders for the resource mailbox. This option is probably a good idea, unless someone will be logging into the resource mailbox often to clear the reminders.
  • Maximum number of days – Sets the number of days the resource can be booked in advance.
    • Always decline if end date is beyond limit – If checked, requests trying to book the resource outside the maximum number of days setting (above) will be automatically denied.
  • Limit Meeting Duration – Lets you turn on or off the Maximum allowed minutes setting.
    • Maximum allowed minutes – Type in the maximum time (in minutes) that a resource can be booked for.
  • Allow scheduling only during working hours – Allows or disallows booking the resource during working hours defined in the Calendar Work Week section of the Calendar Options for the resource mailbox.
  • Allow conflicts – Allows the resource to be used by more than one person or event during the same time period.
  • Allow repeating meetings – If checked, allows users to schedule recurring meetings for the resource.
  • Allow conflicts
    • Allow up to this number of individual conflicts Lets you specify the maximum number of schedule conflicts allowed for a meeting with this resource. If the specified number of attendees or fewer have conflicts with the proposed meeting time, the request will be accepted by the resource. If more attendees than the number specified have conflicts with the proposed meeting time, the resource will decline the request. Conflicts occur when the proposed meeting time is already marked as Busy or Tentative on an attendee's schedule.
    • Allow up to this percentage of individual conflicts – The number in this box is the maximum percentage of schedule conflicts allowed for a meeting with this resource. If the specified percentage of attendees or fewer have conflicts with the proposed meeting time, the meeting will be accepted by the resource. If more attendees than the percentage specified have conflicts with the proposed meeting time, the resource will decline the meeting. Conflicts occur when the proposed meeting time is already marked as Busy or Tentative on an attendee's schedule.

Resource scheduling permissions

These settings let you control which users can schedule a resource in various situations.

  • Users who can schedule automatically if the resource is available.
    To specify that all users can automatically schedule the resource if it is available, click Everyone (all Exchange users). 
    • To specify individual users or groups of people who can automatically schedule the resource if it is available, click Select Users and Groups and then enter the appropriate UDelNet IDs in the text box. For individuals, enter their UDelNet ID. You may also request a group (see below).
    • If you have more than 12 individual users, email consult@udel.edu to request a new group.
    • If you don’t want anyone to be able to schedule the resource automatically, click Select Users and Groups, and leave the text box empty.

  • Users who can submit a request for manual approval if the resource is available.
    When a request is submitted for approval, the request must be accepted by a Resource Delegate instead of being automatically accepted.
    • To specify that all users must submit a request for manual approval to scheduling the resource if it is available, click Everyone (all Exchange users).
    • To specify individual users or groups of people who must submit a request for manual approval to schedule this resource if it is available, click Select Users and Groups and then enter the appropriate UDelNet IDs in the text box. For individuals, enter their UDelNet ID. You can also request a group (see below).

  • Users who can schedule automatically if the resource is available and submit a request for manual approval if the resource is unavailable.
    • To specify that all users can automatically schedule the resource if it is available, or submit a manual request to schedule the resource if it is unavailable, click Everyone (all Exchange users).
    • To specify individual users or groups of people who must submit a request for manual approval to schedule this resource if it is available, click Select Users and Groups and then enter the appropriate UDelNet IDs in the text box. For individuals, enter their UDelNet ID. You can also request a group (see below).
  • Requesting and managing groups.
    You may request a group if the membership is large or likely to change. IT Professionals can manage these groups in their OU directly in the WIN AD.

Resource privacy options

Resource privacy options control what information is included in requests and cancellations sent to the resource mailbox. These options affect only the items in the resource calendar, not in the calendars of other attendees.

  • Always add organizer name to meeting subject Check to include meeting organizer's name in the meeting subject.

  • Always remove the private flag on an accepted meeting Check to mark private meeting requests as public so that the resource schedule can be viewed by other people.

  • Include detailed information about conflicting meetings in response Check so that when meeting requests are declined, details about the conflicting appointment will be sent to the organizer.

  • Include organizer's name in conflict information Check so that when meeting requests are declined, the name of the conflicting appointment’s organizer will be sent to the organizer along with details about the conflicting appointment. This check box is available only if Include detailed information about conflicting meetings in response (above) is checked.

  • Always delete the following when sent to this resource Check boxes next to items you want to delete if sent to the resource mailbox. Resource mailboxes should only handle resource requests not other types of items, such as: 
    • Email messages
    • Attachments from meeting requests
    • Comments from meeting requests
    • Subject of meeting requests

Response message

You can include a message along with automated responses sent from a resource mailbox. Place a check in the box labeled Add additional text that will be included in responses to meeting requests, then type and format your message in the blank field.

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