Configuring Exchange/Office 365 for scheduling

The VMR Scheduling for Exchange feature allows you to create an add-in that enables Microsoft Outlook desktop and Web App users in Office 365 or Exchange environments to schedule meetings using Pexip VMRs as a meeting resource.

To enable VMR Scheduling for Exchange, you must first configure Microsoft Exchange/Office 365 as follows:

  1. Create a service account. The Pexip Infinity VMR Scheduling for Exchange feature uses a service account to log into Exchange. You need to provide the username and password of this service account when configuring Pexip Infinity to integrate with a Microsoft Exchange deployment.

    A single service account can be used by more than one Pexip Exchange Integration.

    Changes to the service account may take some time to take effect, depending on the cache lifetime configured on the Microsoft Exchange server.

  2. Configure Application Impersonation on the service account. The service account must be configured with a Role of Application Impersonation. This role allows the service account to impersonate users on Exchange. For example, the VMR Scheduling for Exchange service impersonates users when sending email updates containing joining instructions (in cases where these instructions could not be added at the time of scheduling). This makes it appear to the recipients that the joining instructions were sent from the meeting organizer, instead of the service account.

    The Application Impersonation role must allow the service account to impersonate all users who will be using VMR Scheduling for Exchange, as well as the equipment resource that is to be used.

    For more information, see Using application impersonation.

  3. Create an equipment resource. The VMR Scheduling for Exchange service works by adding a specific equipment resource as an attendee to all meetings scheduled using the Pexip add-in. The scheduling service monitors the equipment resource's mailbox, processes all meeting requests sent to it, and schedules the meetings as appropriate.

    An equipment resource can only be used by a single Pexip Exchange Integration. If you have separate test and development environments, you must use a different resource for each.

  4. Configure the equipment resource.
  5. Enable basic authentication (for Exchange on-prem).

These steps are slightly different for Exchange on-prem and Office 365, and instructions are given for each below.

PowerShell commands are provided for all steps; parameters to be replaced with your own relevant information are shown in the format <your info here>.

Viewing the equipment resource's mailbox

There may be occasions, such as when troubleshooting, that you want to view the equipment resource's mailbox or calendar. To do this, you first need to assign full access to the equipment resource's mailbox to a delegate account, and then view the mailbox or calendar using the delegate account. (The delegate account could be the service account, or it could be, for example, an administrator's account.)

Using application impersonation

The use of Exchange impersonation is common in business applications that work with mail, when a single account needs to access many accounts.

The VMR Scheduling for Exchange feature requires that the service account is configured to use impersonation to send emails on behalf of all VMR Scheduling for Exchange users.

Impersonation of users is only used in the two cases described below. If the impersonation role does not allow the service account to impersonate users, the users will still be able to schedule and update meetings as usual, except in these cases:

  • If an invitation was sent when the Management Node was offline. In this case, when the Management Node comes back online it will generate a new alias and joining instructions for the meeting. It will then update the meeting invitation using impersonation, so that it appears as though the meeting organizer is sending out the updated joining instructions to all the attendees.
  • When the scheduling recovery tool is run after the Management Node has been restored from a backup. The recovery tool queries the room resource mailbox and finds all meetings that have previously been accepted, and checks whether they are in the scheduling service's database. If not, the Management Node will generate a new alias and new joining instructions for that meeting. This meeting update is sent using impersonation so that it appears as though the meeting organizer is sending out the updated joining instructions to all the attendees.

The following information from Microsoft provides further background on the use of impersonation in Exchange:

Next steps

  1. Configuring Pexip Infinity to integrate with your Microsoft Exchange deployment and create the VMR Scheduling for Exchange add-in.
  2. Making the add-in available to users within your Microsoft Exchange deployment.