iCal/Exchange Integration in Snow Leopard – Booking Shared Resources

So I’ve been using Snow Leopard for a few weeks now. Not too many changes on the surface. The integration of Exposé into the Dock is probably one of the more visible changes. But being in an organisation where Microsoft Exchange is the chosen communication and, dare I say it, collaboration platform, the Exchange support in Mail, iCal and Address Book is really useful.

However, there was one thing I couldn’t figure out how to do: booking a shared resource, such as a meeting room or a car park. Today, we figured out how to do it, and, in hindsight, it should have been obvious.

To book a shared resource, create a calendar event in iCal as you normally would, making sure the event is created in your Exchange calendar as opposed to your personal (local) one. Then, in the invitees field, add the resource you wish to book. Start typing the name of the resource, and if your Exchange integration is working correctly (and your IT people have set up the resources in Exchange correctly), it should find the resource just as if you were adding a person as an invitee. Once you’ve added the resource, you should see a link that says “Available meeting times…”. Click it. This will show you when the resource is available and when it’s booked, as well as the availability of any other people you’ve added to the invitees field. Once you’ve done that, you’re good to go! Microsoft Outlook users will see that the resource has been booked (if they’ve added the resource as a Shared Calendar to their Outlook console).