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Thread: [SOLVED] Dealing with meeting confirmations

  1. #1
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    Default [SOLVED] Dealing with meeting confirmations

    In our old calendar system, meeting acceptances were transmitted internally and automatically, allowing the organizer to easily track attendance. Under the integrated mail/calendar system used by Zimbra, though, everything is transmitted as .ics attachments, which causes two problems for Outlook users. (Note, these aren't unique to Zimbra, I believe the same thing happens with Exchange.)

    1. If someone accepts a meeting and chooses "Don't send response" at the prompt, the organizer can't track attendance in Outlook.

    (1a. But I've gotten a user report suggesting that it does appear that the organizer can track attendance in ZWC.)

    2. If an organizer sends a meeting request to several dozen people and they all respond, the responses end up cluttering the organizer's Inbox.

    So what I'm wondering is:

    1. Is there a way to get Outlook to behave like ZWC and always send meeting responses? (Maybe a registry setting, or something that could be programmed into ZCO.)

    1a. Would it be feasible to have Outlook sync attendance tracking from Zimbra--assuming that Zimbra is more accurately tracking that information independently of email messages? (Which I'm not certain is happening...)

    2. Is there a way to get Outlook to "see" the response without having it hit the user's Inbox? E.g. if I set a filter in Zimbra to autofile responses, will Outlook still process them?

  2. #2
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    Default Findings

    Okay, so I did a bunch of tests in our current environment (ZCS 5.0.18 NE) and this is what I found. I'll be writing guidelines for my users.

    First a correction:
    Quote Originally Posted by ewilen View Post
    1. If someone accepts a meeting and chooses "Don't send response" at the prompt, the organizer can't track attendance in Outlook.

    (1a. But I've gotten a user report suggesting that it does appear that the organizer can track attendance in ZWC.)
    Bzzt. If the attendee doesn't send a response, then AFAICT, the organizer is completely in the dark about whether the meeting has been accepted.

    Outlook as Attendee
    User must agree to send a response, and as far as I can tell, there's no way to get rid of the option not to send a response.
    If no response is sent, then the organizer's client can't track your attendance.
    If you delete a meeting from your calendar, you must agree to send a response, or the organizer will not be updated.

    iCal as Attendee
    When you accept/decline a meeting request, a notification is sent automatically.
    If you delete a meeting from your calendar, iCal automatically sends a decline to the organizer.

    ZWC as Attendee
    When you accept/decline a meeting request, a notification is sent automatically.
    Deleting an appointment does not notify the organizer--you should decline (right-click) instead of or in addition to deleting.
    (See Bug 33237 -- add option to notify organizer when attendee deletes a meeting, Bug 36767 -- No notification is sent to organizer when attendee deletes appointment, and Bug 31241 -- Deleting meeting in invitee's calendar does not inform inviter.)

    iPhone as Attendee (using ActiveSync; CalDAV not tested)
    Note that sending meeting responses via iPhone may cause problems with Outlook. See Bug 39429 -- Calendar item acceptence from iphone causes local failure notice in outlook.
    When you accept/decline a meeting request, a notification is sent automatically.
    Deleting a meeting is not possible without declining, which does send a message. However the message doesn't automatically update the organizer's tracking.
    Also note:
    Accept on iPhone does not remove invite from inbox (Bug 33643 -- Zimbra does not remove meeting invitations from the Inbox upon responding to the meeting invitation from the device.).
    Accept on iphone does not update calendar in ZWC, iCal, or Outlook (Bug 39358 -- accept/decline response from iPhone does not update status on attendee's copy of appointment).
    If accepted in iPhone and invite is then deleted in Outlook, meeting disappears completely from calendar (Bug 36249 -- iPhone meeting acceptance).
    IMPORTANT: For optimal operation, email field in account setup should be your email address, not your name. (See Bug 30526 -- iPhone sending email doesn't show name of sender for why you might put your name there.)

    Outlook as Organizer
    If you don't want your Inbox cluttered by meeting responses, you can create a filter in ZWC to file them somewhere--even the Trash; they are still processed so that you can track attendance. But you'll want to be careful what you filter on. See http://www.zimbra.com/forums/adminis...g-invites.html for ideas on filtering inside the .ics attachment.
    If you delete a meeting, Outlook will initiate sending cancellation messages to the attendees. It is possible to then prevent a cancellation notice from going out, but you really have to work at it, see How To: Cancel an Outlook Meeting w/o Notifying the Attendees The Library Mole

    iCal as Organizer
    Meeting responses are automatically removed from Mail and processed into tracking within iCal.
    If you delete a meeting, cancellation messages are automatically sent.
    However if you edit the attendee list and delete the last attendee, the event is cancelled (and notifications are sent) instead of being converted from a "meeting" to an "appointment". See Bug 40962 -- ical deletes appointment if last invitee is removed

    ZWC as Organizer
    If you don't want your Inbox cluttered by meeting responses, you can create a filter in ZWC to file them somewhere--even the Trash; they are still processed so that you can track attendance.
    If you delete a meeting, cancellation messages are automatically sent.

    iPhone as Organizer
    I would watch out for Outlook problems (see iPhone as Attendee).
    iPhone doesn't seem to track attendance, so the question of removing meeting responses is moot.
    Deleting a meeting is the same as cancelling it, and cancellation messages are automatically sent. However there is no text in the message, just an iCalendar file, so the attendees may not understand what happened.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Here's a shell script to set up an account to auto-trash meeting replies with minimal chance of "collateral damage". Save into file called "zmnoreplies" and run as the zimbra user.

    Code:
    # ! /bin/sh
    #
    # Script to automatically trash replies to meeting proposals
    # Author: Elliot Wilen
    #
    # Usage ./zmnoreplies target_account
    #
    # Name of filter used on target account
    filtername="Trash Meeting Replies"
    #
    # Verify exactly one argument
    # (Could use shell Shift command to allow multiple delegation)
    if test $# -ne 1
    then
    echo "Must supply exactly one argument."
    exit 1
    fi
    # Assign variable
    target_account=$1
    # Verify <target_account> exists on the server
    if ! zmmailbox -z -m $target_account gms 1>/dev/null 2>/dev/null
    then
    echo "Target account doesn't exist. Exiting."
    exit 1
    fi
    
    # Verify that filter rule with same name doesn't already exist
    if zmmailbox -z -m $target_account gfrl | grep ^\"Trash\ Meeting\ Replies\" 1>/dev/null
    then
    echo -e 'Naming conflict--delete or rename filter "\c'
    echo -e "$filtername\c"
    echo -e '" on target account.'
    exit 1
    fi
    # Create filter to trash meeting replies
    echo "Creating filter in target account."
    zmmailbox -z -m $target_account afrl -f "$filtername" body contains "Content-Type: text/calendar" body contains "method=REPLY" body contains "METHOD:REPLY" body contains "BEGIN:VEVENT" body contains "BEGIN:VCALENDAR" fileinto "Trash" stop
    echo "Configuration complete!"

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