vege - Fotolia

How can I share Outlook calendars from the EMC?

Is there a way to gain access to multiple users' calendars from the Exchange Management Console in Exchange 2010?

By design, the Exchange Management Console for Exchange Server 2010 does not expose the full range of mailbox folder permissions required to share only calendar folders. But there is a way to achieve your goal.

In general, Microsoft's Exchange Management Console (EMC) cannot do everything the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) can. However, you can delegate full access to a user on one or more mailboxes through the EMC, which includes access to the Outlook calendar folder.

For full access, follow these five steps:

  1. Expand Recipient Configuration and Mailbox;
  2. Select the mailbox you want to set permissions;
  3. In the Actions pane, select Manage Full Access Permissions;
  4. In the Manage Full Access Permission page, click Add; and
  5. Select a user to grant full access permission, click OK, Manage and Finish.

Full Access may be overkill just to share Outlook calendars, and could also be a security concern as it would give others full control of the entire mailbox. The good news is you can specifically share Outlook calendars from an administrative tool.

Let's explore some alternatives, which require Exchange Server 2010 SP1 or later deployed.

Administrators can use the EMS, specifically the Add-MailboxFolderPermission cmdlet, to change permissions for the Calendar folder for mailboxes. For example if you wanted to share everyone's Outlook calendars in the IT department with a particular user, run a PowerShell script like this:

Get-Mailbox –OrganizationalUnit "IT" | ForEach-Object {Add-MailboxFolderPermission –Identity ($_.UserPrincipalName + ":\Calendar") –User [email protected]  –AccessRights Owner

The corresponding Set-MailboxFolderPermission cmdlet allows you to modify existing permissions. For more details, see Add-MailboxFolderPermission and Set-MailboxFolderPermission reference articles.

You could also configure Outlook Web App to allow users to send invitations to their calendars. This can be helpful if the users with whom you want to share Outlook calendars are outside of your organization.

To enable Internet Calendar Sharing, perform the following steps:

  1. Configure the InternetWebProxy parameter on your Exchange Server's properties if you have a Web Proxy.
  2. Set the CalendarEnabled attribute to $True on your Client Access Server (CAS) OWA Virtual Directory. In Exchange Server 2010 also set the CalendarPublishingEnabled to $True.
  3. Enable Internet calendar publishing in the default or in a customized sharing policy.

The EMS option will likely be your best alternative to share calendars. While the OWA feature may not be exactly what you are looking to do, it is another option to consider.

Next Steps

Fixing corrupt Outlook calendar entries

Dig Deeper on Microsoft identity and access management

Cloud Computing
Enterprise Desktop
Virtual Desktop