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Synchronizing meetings with CodeTwo Exchange Sync

Problem:

You want to use CodeTwo Exchange Sync to synchronize meetings (appointments that have attendees i.e. you sent meeting requests to other people when creating such event in a calendar).

Solution:

Prior to version 2.6 CodeTwo Exchange Sync would automatically add "Meeting Status equals Not Meeting" filter when configuring a new one-way synchronization rule involving calendars. Starting version 2.6 of the program, the software has implemented a different approach. In folder-ring kind of tasks synchronizing meetings is still not possible but in one-way synchronization tasks the software is automatically adding a modificator "Convert meeting to event". Thanks to this from version 2.6 CodeTwo Exchange Sync synchronizes meetings in such tasks, yet converted to standard events.

Both solutions briefly described above are necessary due to the complications involved in synchronizing Meeting invitations. To find out more please see the example below that explains why such solutions were implemented. The scenario below features screenshots from older version of the software (2.4.x).

If a user invites other users to a meeting, a new item is created in the host's calendar. In addition, the invitees are sent email invitations while their personal calendars receive entries related to the meeting. By accepting or declining a meeting invite by any of the invitees, the host's calendar is updated. If the host modifies the existing invitation and sends the update to the invitees, the calendar entries of invitees are also updated.

Let us analyze the following scenario:

A One-to-One task is configured in CodeTwo Exchange Sync to synchronize Tom's personal calendar to Adam's personal calendar.

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Fig. 1. Creating a synchronization task.

The Administrator sends a meeting invitation to Tom.

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Fig. 2. Sending a meeting request
.

Tom's and Adam's calendar gets an entry about the Administrator's invitation (Adam's calendar is written even though he was not invited to a meeting but CodeTwo Exchange Sync synced the item from Tom's calendar). Both Tom and Adam can accept or decline the invitation, which however may have a detrimental effect on the meeting arrangement and lead to misunderstandings.

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Fig. 3. Comparing calendars.

An issue will also occur with this type of a synchronization task if Adam invites Tom to a meeting.

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Fig. 4.
Sending a meeting request.

Tom will receive an invitation and a new entry will appear in his calendar. CodeTwo Exchange Sync will replicate the entry  to Adam's personal calendar. Consequently, Adam's calendar will contain two entries (including one that can be accepted or declined).    

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Fig. 5.
Comparing calendars.

Another issue discovered while synchronizing invitations to meetings is periodical duplication of these items if the calendar that is included in the synchronization task in Exchange Sync is opened using Outlook. In order to avoid problems when synchronizing meeting requests, CodeTwo Exchange Sync will automatically add a filter (versions prior to 2.6) or modifier (versions starting 2.6) to each One-to-One synchronization task that will prevent these items from replicating. Remove them only if you are sure the above will not affect your workflow. In Two-Way synchronization it is not possible to apply filters nor modifiers by the user, hence meetings synchronization have been removed from this type of synchronization task by default.

See also:

  • Applies to: CodeTwo Exchange Sync
  • Categories: How-To
  • Last modified: 2015-12-11
  • Created: 2011-03-11
  • ID: 173
  • Keywords: synchronization, meeting requests, meeting, request, invite, invitee, invitation, invitations
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