Calendar Use Case
Hello, I'm new to Zimbra so please bear with me. I'm running a test domain with Zimbra Open Source and soon to be evaluating Zimbra Network Edition (due to needs for Outlook integration).
Some quick comments before my question.
So far we are liking Zimbra, it is relatively easy to deploy and use. Plus it seems like the community and developers here are committed to moving the project forward.
My use case is as follows, I hope someone can help me understand how to do this in Zimbra. We have clients that need to be able to self-schedule interviews with our employees. We would like to put up a calendar that would have available slots to interview in to which clients could claim.
I've tried this out and can get something that "works", however it gives an excess of permissions to the clients allowing them to potentially cause havoc.
One is to share a calendar with clients setting them as Managers. Slots are set up by the calendar scheduler with themselves added as a "fake" attendee to all the events. Clients claim an event by adding themselves as attendee's and by potentially editing the title to "Claimed". Problem is that this gives clients unlimited power over the calendar allowing them to delete slots, add bogus slots, and reclaim slots from other people.
Two is to share a calendar with clients setting them as Viewers. Slots are set up by the calendar scheduler with themselves added as a "fake" attendee to all the events. All clients are added as attendees. Clients claim an event by being the first to Accept the slot. Calendar scheduler edits the slot to "Claimed". Problem is that there is no way to set a rule to only allow a "capacity" of attendee's. So scheduling is suboptimal since clients could "claim" a slot only to be told that they in fact were late in claiming it. Scheduler has to adjudicate conflicts instead of software. Additionally, clients will be bothered by notifications for events, only some of which they will "attend".
Three is to share a calendar with clients setting them as Viewers. Slots are set up by the calendar scheduler. Clients edit their own calendar's with an event taking the same time as the slot and with the scheduler as an attendee. This way the scheduler is notified. Again, the scheduler has to give the slot to the first claimant and deny the others, but now they won't be bothered by "false" alerts. However, they must remember to add the scheduler as an attendee each time, a problem.
Does anyone know a way to setup such a beast?
P.S. I hope it wasn't too presumptuous of me to request two "bugs" that developed from our needs. I believe I made a good search for previous entries, but boolean searches seemed hard to input into bugzilla. 12653 and 12654.
Now leaning towards option 3 with the adjustment that the shared calendar is set for not free-busy status. I just realized, when discussing the options, that users can check availability of the person they are requesting a meeting with. We can instruct client not to schedule during tentative times. However, no warning or error is thrown if someone does schedule in such a way. An alert confirmation would be very nice as well as shortcut to setup a duplicate meeting with someone so that they immediately go to an event with that person being an attendee and can view their schedule.
Ok some issues with that last approach:
* Popup an alert message if the client is about to add a meeting when a participant is "Tentative".
* Popup an big alert message if the client is about to add a meeting when a participant is "Busy".
* Have a shortcut to add a cloned meeting so that the same time and attendees are added to the meeting without the user having to copy them himself.
* When viewing a shared calendar, events that are busy or tentative for the person who made the calendar should be colored different or have a different icon.
Also, theoretically we will be giving clients real addresses from which they can send mail. It's really odd, but a Class of Service (COS) with email! turned off would be really helpful. (Or just external email.)
Thanks for listening to me talk to myself. It's getting late here at work so I'll look through bugzilla for the above later. Unless someone from Zimbra would be so kind. I'm working with 4.0.3 so maybe it's not as up-to-date as version 5 (Frank?).