I have a 'request' from one of the 'big guys' that has me scratching my head a bit. He is one of our Executives that also is a board member of several other organistations, so he floats around between 4 different unrelated companies, each with their own domains, Exchange setup etc. He has domain accounts in each organisation. He has an iPad with multiple Exchange accounts so he can see all his calendars which works Ok for him - Apple calendaring bugs/flaws aside.

What he wants is the ability for 'reception staff' at each organisation to 'see' all his calendars as they are booking things for him in their respective organisations calendars without it conflicting with bookings made in his calendars by other organisations......you with me??

So for example: Company A books a meeting into his Comapny A calendar at 9am Monday and Company B books him a meeting in his Company B Calendar at 9:15am Monday on the other side of town and of course Company C has him booked in all day Monday on their Company C calendar. He gets all those on his iPad but he would like either a 'global' calendar all can see and book into or the ability for receptionists at Company's A,B and C to see all the Calendars to avoid these kind of conflicts.

I told him to 'go away' straight off the bat, I don't control anything to do with the other companies or know their infrastructure. And quite frankly I don't want any part of it...but he's whining and he's high enough up the food chain that I can't ignore him forever.

I'm open to suggestions. Is there any third party software/services that can facilitiate this kind of setup? I really don't want to be creating users in my AD structure to people not ion our organisation so they can get access to his calendar and I am sure there sysadmins feel the same.

As usual - any advice is greatly appreciated ;)

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    He could use the outlook feature to publish free-busy information to a URL somewhere. support.microsoft.com/kb/291621 It does require that he start Outlook when he wants the information to get updated. – Zoredache Dec 4 '12 at 1:36
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    why would he do that when he can screw my day for me?? ;) – vlannoob Dec 5 '12 at 1:37

You can share free/busy data across Exchange organizations using Active Directory Federation Services. This will require ADFS endpoints at all organizations, but it will do what you want. Of course, whether or not you can convince three other organizations to buy into this is probably not going to happen :)

  • Yeah - my thoughts exactly.....I did think of that but I knew it was pretty much unfeasible. Cheers for the answer though – vlannoob Dec 4 '12 at 2:07

I think mfinni's comment about a single human assistant to keep it straight would make the most sense...

Is there one of the 4 companies that he works for "the most?" i.e. which one pays him the most? He could have an assistant there who maintains his master calendar and who either polls his other calendars for conflicts or who is the only one who can officially book him and people at the other company have to coordinate with that assistant.

Another possibility would be OWA. Exactly how to set it up depends on what the workflow is going to be, how many people would be able to book appointments for him... You could have a single master calendar that a few people (one in each of the 4 orgs) can access to check his availability. Or you could have one calendar in each org and people are required to check all the others before booking him in their local system.

Or VPN connections from each of the "other" companies to his master calendar... the possibilities are endless and horrifying!

  • More horrifying than anything else. All the solutions I can come up with involve a fair few people from each organisation all working with stop gap solutions. I'm still leaning towards - bad luck, its not feasible. – vlannoob Dec 5 '12 at 1:40

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