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We run Exchange 2003, but have a mix of Outlook 2003/2007/2010 in the environment. We have three rooms that need to be configured as resources. Some observations we've made with resource scheduling/booking are:

  • Outlook 2010 users have trouble with the native Exchange 2003 resource scheduling method and require direct booking to be configured via registry
  • Outlook 2007 users are unable to use direct booking (is this accurate?)
  • Outlook 2003 users can only use the native Exchange 2003 resource scheduling method (is this accurate?)
  • Direct booking cannot be combined with the auto-accept agent

What is the correct way to setup resource scheduling in a mixed environment like this?

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I have just recently set up this exact scenario in my environment. Here is what I can confirm as working: On Exchange Server 2003, create 3 new users/mailboxes. Sign into each of them with Outlook (Any version) and configure:

  • Tools > Options > Calendar Options > Resource Scheduling > "Automatically accept meeting requests and process cancellations" and "Automatically decline conflicting meeting requests".

Exchange 2003 supports only Direct Booking, which Outlook 2010 doesn't have enabled by default. Outlook 2003 and 2007 do have it enabled. You'll need to follow this to enable it for Outlook 2010 (preferably by GPO).

The last step required when making an actual booking, is to ensure that the room is added as a resource in the appointment. If this doesn't occur, it won't auto-accept the request properly. That procedure looks like this:

With that, you should have resource scheduling working properly!

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