Friday, March 24, 2006

Missing Calendar Appointments in Outlook: UPDATE

While dealing with the disappearing calendar appointment issue we've learned a lot from the Microsoft Developer websites. Mainly, Outlook and Exchange handle calendar appointments differently now, and it is imperative that you DO NOT DELETE Accept/Decline e-mail messages unless you want the relative calendar appointment to vanish from the calendar. Here is a short summary of the current situation:

  1. That things are different now, since Outlook 2003 Service Pack 2 and Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2. The entire meeting request process is handled differently, and helps account for the behaviour. Different does not mean wrong - something we may have to get used to.
  2. TrialWorks can automatically resolve this issue. In Admin > Edit Global Settings > Global Defaults > E-mail Tab > Invite as Resource checkbox.
    If you choose to use this option, every Outlook appointment generated through TrialWorks will be sent to people in a different format, bypassing the ACCEPT / DECLINE error message. This setting is global, so you would have to first alert all users of the changes.
  3. In order to have Outlook invite users as Resources you must go through these steps:
    - Create New Appointment
    - Hit the TO box
    - Change to Scheduling Tab
    - Click Add Others button
    - Choose Add from Address List option
    - Select the name(s) you want.
    - Click the Resources button
  4. If you delete the messages in your inbox without Accepting / Declining you will loose the calendar from your appointment. We're still looking for a possible work around, but for the time being users have take caution.
  5. This is especially critical for BlackBerry users that can easily delete their calendar appointments. BlackBerry offers this information: Click here for a BlackBerry article

This article helps explain a lot: but its more technical.

- Karl

Missing Calendar Appointments in Outlook

I have recently discovered an anomaly in Microsoft Outlook 2003 in which Calendar Appointments disappear from personal calendars. At this point I suspect a vast number of users that may experience this issue. Although we are researching this further to find the root cause, I've so far learned of similar problems fixed by a hot-fix for Microsoft Exchange 2003.

This is what you can do to see the problem.
  1. Go to your personal calendar in Outlook 2003.
  2. Create a new appointment, and invite someone else in the office.
  3. Make sure that the other person has Auto Accept enabled. Also, for test purposes, choose a time that will not conflict with anything on the invitees calendar.
  4. Send the appointment.
  5. At this point the other user will see the appointment on their calendar, but will also have an ACCEPT notice in their inbox.
  6. If you DELETE the inbox message, you will also delete this appointment.

This is especially critical when UPDATES are being sent to appointments, which they often are when Docket Entries are changed in TrialWorks.

I've learned of a Microsoft Exchange Hotfix that we are currently testing to see if it resolves the issue. Keep reading my blog for more details, I'll post them as they come about.

Related KB Articles:

- Karl J