Calendaring issues RRS feed

  • Question

  • We currently have MOSS 2007, Exchange 2007 and Outlook 2007 and between the "de-emphasis" of public folders and some of the features available in Sharepoint; we have been trying to move our central calendaring into Sharepoint.  We're open to making some changes in how we operate; however, being used to the ease of working with public folders in Outlook, my users are a bit sensitive to disruptive changes.  For example, managing the calendars via the web interface is a non-starter, it's far to cumbersome to work with. 

    That said, here is a rough idea of what we are trying to accomplish:
    We are part of a school which offers a one year program.  Our students move through the program as a group, such that all students in a group will take all of their classes together as they progress through the program.  At any one time we have two groups moving through the program with a six month offset.  Such that one group finishes when the next is half way through their program.

    Each term the faculty and administration put together a master schedule of classes, this is then published to a master calendar and sent to the individual students as well.  As a note here, all of our students exist as users within our Active Directory domain as mail enabled users. 

    The idea is that there is a central master calendar with all the classes for both groups, plus any items which affect all of the students; and, each student's personal calendar has all of the items which effect them.  The master calendar is also presented in a number of different views using filters against the item names, which follow a naming standard so that the filters work.

    At the moment, all occurs in the following fashion:
    1. The program coordinator has a personal (Outlook based) calendar in which she adds all of the classes as recurring appointments.
    2. That calendar is shared such that the faculty and administration can make modifications until a final schedule is agreed upon
    3. The coordinator then deletes individual occurrences for any weeks where the school is closed (spring break or the like)
    4. The coordinator then goes to each class item in the calendar and uses the invite attendees button to convert the appointment into a meeting.  Included in the invitation list is the email address for the master calendar, which is a mail enabled Sharepoint based calendar.
    5. The master calendar is set to auto-accept meeting requests from the coordinator, and is therefore automatically populated with the items.
    6. The students are expected to accept the meeting request, which will add it to their calendar
    This is where we begin to see problems.
    1. The "End By" date of recurring items is ignored.  It would appear that the "End After X Occurances" setting works; however, this is impractical in the coordinator would need to calculate this for each and every class.
    2. Any individual occurrences, which had been removed previously, show up.  This is not so bad, as we can simply shift when they are deleted to happen after the move, it's just an annoyance.
    3. When deleting an individual occurrence after the classes have been published to the master calendar, we occasionally get an error that the message has been changed and that the item cannot be deleted.  I apologize that the text may not be exact but I have not been able to pin this one down well enough to reproduce it at will.
    4. In testing alternatives it would also appear that drag and drop functionality in Outlook is a bit lacking.  If you drag and drop a recurring meeting from one calendar to another (Either Sharepoint calendar to Sharepoint calendar, or Outlook Calendar to Sharepoint Calendar) that the item loses its recurrence and gets converted to an appointment. 

    I could use any suggestions on how I can fix and/or work around these issues.  I don't need the drag and drop functionality, but it would have been a nice.  As it is, you can't even do this between Outlook Calendars, so it's a wash.  The first issue is the big one, and in searching the only other thread I've seen on it stated that it was a known issue and was not likely to be addressed in this release of MOSS. 
    I'm also open to changes in how things get done; however, it needs to be a fairly simple process which a non-technical person can follow with written instructions and little other intervention.
    Also, while third party solutions and customization is interesting, I'm not likely to want to implement anything. Our MOSS 2007 deployment is working quite well as a document and knowledge management portal at the moment and that is its primary purpose.  I would rather go outside MOSS for the calendaring than futz with it too much.  Additionally, when we moved from SPS 2003 to MOSS 2007, we ran into no end of troubles due to customizations we had made. We now work as much out of the box as possible.
    Wednesday, February 4, 2009 12:47 AM

All replies

  • Do you have a shorter, snappier form of the above that just presents your main questions?

    Most people reading forum posts don't have the time to wade through pieces of this length and try to dissect them.
    WSS FAQ sites: WSS 2.0: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007: http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language titles) http://wss.asaris.de/sites/walsh/Lists/WSSv3 FAQ/V Books.aspx
    Wednesday, February 4, 2009 5:38 AM
  • Sorry, I was trying to thorough.  The bullet point version would be:
    - Is there a way to reliably have recurring events show up on a MOSS 2007 calendar list, with respect to the "End By" date?
    - Is there a way to copy a recurring meeting from an Outlook calendar to a sharepoint calendar, and have it stay as a recurring meeting?
    - Given the scenario outlined, is there a better way in which we should be doing what we are trying to do?
    Saturday, February 7, 2009 12:25 AM