Thursday, June 28, 2012

As the meeting organizer, you do not need to respond to the meeting

We have an event booking system which will send out confirmation email with an iCalendar attachment to attendees and organizer.

Now the problem is when the organizer received the confirmation email in his/her Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 and opened the iCalendar (e.g. event.ics), the appointment does not appear in his/her Outlook calendar.  There is no option for the organizer to save or accept the iCalendar appointment.  What the organizer sees is “As the meeting organizer, you do not need to respond to the meeting.”.

As the meeting organizer you do not need to respond to the meeting

This is actually an known issue as depicted in the following two Microsoft KBA.

By adding the ExtractOrganizedMeetings DWORD Value and giving it a Data value of 1 does solve the problem.  With the registry change, when the organizer open up the iCalendar attachment, the appointment will be added into the Outlook calendar.  However, the registry change has the following side effects as depicted in Outlook Issues that occur when you use the ExtractOrganizedMeetings registry value.

  • When you use direct booking to schedule a resource, the meeting is not automatically declined when your meeting time conflicts with another meeting already on the calendar of the resource mailbox.
  • Meetings that delegates create for their manager appear on the delegate’s calendar even though the delegate was not invited to the meeting.
  • Updates to single occurrences of a recurring meeting on a manager's calendar where the delegate is also invited do not get reflected on the delegate’s calendar.

We have hold back rolling out the registry change to everyone due to the potential side effects until we are sure that the side effects will not affect users.

There is another workaround which requires the organizer to open the iCalendar attachment and forward it to himself/herself.  This will make the organizer becomes an attendees as well and he/she can save the appointment into his/her Outlook calendar.

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