A short while ago, we posted an article on how to Use Exchange Web Services and PowerShell to Discover and Remove Direct Booking Settings. We received a lot of constructive feedback with some noting that users can experience an issue when enabling the Resource Booking Attendant on mailboxes that were cleansed of their direct booking settings via the sample script we provided. Specifically, the following error can be encountered when the organizer is scheduling a regular non-recurring meeting against the resource mailbox:
“…declined your meeting because it is recurring. You must book each meeting separately with this resource.”
We have updated the script to account for this scenario to prevent and correct this from occurring and we have also updated the article to reflect the changes as well.
In a nutshell, the issue is encountered when we have a divergence of what settings are enabled/disabled between the Schedule+ Free/Busy System (Public) Folder item representing the user’s mailbox and the user’s local mailbox free/busy item. Outlook’s Direct Booking process actually queries the Schedule+ item’s Direct Booking settings when attempting to perform Direct Booking functionality. The Schedule+ folder tree normally contains an item that contains a synced set of Direct Booking settings of that which is stored in the user’s localfreebusy mailbox item. The issue is encountered when the settings between the Schedule+ item and the local mailbox item do not match.
Normally, Outlook triggers a sync of the local mailbox item to the Schedule+ item via deliberate native MAPI code. However, in our case we are using EWS in the sample script, and that syncing trigger does not natively exist. We therefore updated the script to find the Schedule+ item and ensure its settings are congruent with the local item’s settings. The logic for this is actually a bit complicated for two main reasons:
With these guidelines in mind, we approached the script update to maximize the congruency potential between the local mailbox item and the public folder item. We only disable the direct booking settings in the local mailbox item if one of the following criteria is met regarding the Schedule+ item:
It should be noted that we will always take action to disable the Direct Booking settings from the Schedule+ item even if the local mailbox item does not have its Direct Booking settings enabled – this keeps us true to our “congruency” logic.
In closing, please remember that the script is a sample and does not cover every possible scenario out there – we made this update because the aforementioned issue reported is central to having the script produce the desired outcome of fully disabling Direct Booking. We are thankful for and welcome your continued feedback!
Dan Smith & Seth Brandes
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