In/Out board replacement.
December 19, 2006 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Where I work we use a web-based "in/out" board to track where employees are, but people are already entering their info into Outlook/Exchange. Is there an easier way to do this?

We're currently paying for this website to keep track of where our employees are. Its a pain to update the site, manage your personal calendar, and also add stuff to your department calendar. Is there some kind of solution that can use Exchange (2003) to generate reports on where everyone is? Essentially, the receptionist, office manager, and CEO need a simple daily report saying "Hey Im out today, going to be at this client, bback at this time and date" for all of our 100+ employees.

Ive found some neat applications but none of them integrate with exchange. Is this something we would hire a developer for? If so how much would this cost, ballpark of course?

Any suggestions? How does you company handle this? Thanks!
posted by damn dirty ape to Work & Money (6 answers total)
I am a delegate on several people's calendars at my job. When I go to the Calendars pane, I can view their full schedule (except items they entered as private.) They are displayed side-by-side with mine. Those permissions are set up in Options > Calendar > Delegates (or something like that).

But if you're dealing with 100 people, I don't even know if Outlook could handle that. Plus all those calendars are staying connected to the Exchange server to keep info up-to-date. I don't know how that affects server load.

There has to be a way...
posted by loiseau at 3:57 PM on December 19, 2006

Best answer: Provided they are marking tneir appointments as "out of office" then this script will generate an HTML in/out board for a specific distribution list.
posted by mr_silver at 4:37 PM on December 19, 2006

Making someone a delegate in Outlook also allows them to send mail and appointments on your behalf. It sounds like you just want people to share calendars without granting delegate privileges. This is pretty easy to set up with Outlook/Exchange 2003. Go to your calendar in Outlook and look on the left pane. Midway down the screen there should be a clickable text label that says "Share My Calendar". Click that and it takes you to a dialog that lets you specify who gets to see your calendar. Note that you can still designate certain appointments as private and those will not be shared.

Once someone has shared their calendar with you, you can see it by starting to schedule a meeting with them. Now when you hover over the blocked times in their calendar you will see what is scheduled during a particular time.

I don't believe that having shared calendars adds much additional load to the Exchange server. The server already knows all of the appointments people have in their calendars. This just changes who is allowed to see which appointments.
posted by rhiannon at 12:11 AM on December 20, 2006

Best answer: You might have found this, but it is a simple in/out board in Outlook you build and put in a public folder to be opened by the employees. This is still something they would touch when coming and going rather than the calendar aggregator approach you are looking for. It will bring your in/out board into exchange and it is free, so it may be useful to you.

If you do try it, watch out in Outlook 2007 because "item.close (0)" will cause it to crash. You'll need to use "Item.GetInspector.Close 0" instead.
posted by mblandi at 10:45 AM on December 20, 2006

oops, this is a simple in/out board in Outlook
posted by mblandi at 10:46 AM on December 20, 2006

rhiannon: "Making someone a delegate in Outlook also allows them to send mail and appointments on your behalf."

Nah. You can set varying permission levels. I can only view one person's calendar, but I can view and make appointments on another's. I can't access anyone's inbox or anything else. I've been granted specific permissions.
posted by loiseau at 12:41 PM on December 20, 2006

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