Exchange Integration

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The Exchange Calendar Integration Module allows you to synchronise your trainers' accessplanit calendars with their Exchange calendars to streamline your operations and give you real-time visibility of your trainers' availability!

You can choose to push calendar appointments from accessplanit into the trainer’s Exchange Calendar calendar, pull information from the trainer’s Exchange Calendar calendar into their accessplanit calendar, or both!

Using the Exchange Calendar Integration

This is a chargeable module/integration, please speak to your CSM if you would like any more information about this feature.

Please note that the Exchange Calendar integration cannot be used alongside the Google Calendar integration.


Where to find the Exchange Integration Options

To configure and manage your company’s master account Exchange Information, open the ‘Exchange Integration’ page from the Administration menu options:

Exchange Integration Menu Option in Administration

To manage the Exchange Integration per Trainer, edit your Trainer from the Resources area of your platform, and open the Exchange Integration page:

Edit Resource Tab Menu Options

Important information on the integration details

There are some settings that need to be put in place for the Exchange Integration to work correctly. The calendar will also undergo some changes when the integration is active:

  1. The Sync Engine
    This is an option that must be enabled by accessplanit. Without the Sync Engine enabled, Exchange Integration will not automatically sync. Please get in touch with a member of the accessplanit support team to ensure the Sync Engine is turned on when you are ready to start using your integration.

  2. Enable the calendar sync for your trainers
    When the Sync Engine is running, you can define per Trainer if any items that are placed into the Trainer's Outlook calendar will be Synced over to the Resource Calendar. To do this, change the following options for that Trainer in their Exchange Integration settings:

    1. Check the ‘Calendar’ checkbox

    2. The direction is set to "both" or "in"

      A trainer's Exchange Integration settings

       

    3. Any items that are entered into the Trainer's calendar when the Sync Engine is enabled will show up in accessplanit as "Unavailable". They will not show the same detail as they do in the Trainer's Outlook calendar.


Common Uses for Exchange Calendar Integration

  1. Pushing appointments to Outlook
    To push calendar appointments from your trainer’s accessplanit calendar into their Outlook calendar (such as courses and unavailability that you have set up for them), make sure that you have selected your exchange service in the ‘Service’ drop down box, make sure that the Calendar checkbox is checked, and select the ‘Out’ option or the ‘Both’ option in their ‘Direction’ setting.

    A trainer's Exchange Integration settings


    Courses will send over to Outlook in the following format

    1. Title: ‘Training: Name of course or alias override’

    2. Start & End time: The start date & end date of the Course

    3. Location: The venue name and address (class courses only)

    4. Body: Course label, course date, venue, venue address, venue phone, venue email, trainer webinar details, a link to view more details about the course

       

  2. Pull appointments from Outlook
    To pull calendar appointments from your trainer’s Outlook Calendar into their accessplanit calendar, make sure that you have selected your exchange service in the ‘Service’ drop down box, make sure that the Calendar checkbox is checked, and select the ‘In’ option or the ‘Both’ option in their ‘Direction’ setting.

    A trainer's Exchange Integration settings


    Appointments pulled into your trainer’s accessplanit calendar from Outlook will create unavailability with the following information from their Outlook calendar

    1. Summary = Unavailability Description

    2. Start Time = Unavailability Start Date / Time

    3. End Time = Unavailability End Date / Time


Configuring Exchange Integration

There are two areas that need to be configured before the Exchange Integration can be used.

These areas are:

  1. Master Account
    You can find the configuration options for this in Administration > Exchange Integration.

  2. Trainer Accounts
    You can find the configuration options for these accounts in Resources > Manage > find a Trainer > right click > Edit > Exchange Integration. This will be repeated for each trainer that you would like to set up with your Exchange Integration.

Once both of these areas have been configured, your Exchange Integration will begin to sync!

Master Account

To get started, you will first need to have a master account set up by your internal IT department.

As this master account will be used to read the calendar appointments in your trainers' Outlook calendars, and it will be used to create new appointments in your trainers' Outlook calendars, the master account must:

  1. Have full access over any of your trainers' Exchange accounts

  2. Be on the same domain as your trainer’s Exchange accounts

If this master account does not have this top level of permission over your trainer’s Exchange accounts, the calendars will not be able to synchronise and the integration will not be able to work.

Within Outlook, this can be done by following the steps below:

  1. Open Outlook

  2. File

  3. Account Settings

  4. Delegate Access

  5. Select the master account and then set the permissions as shown in screenshot attached ('ap exchange' is the name of accessplanit’s master account, you will see your own master account name at the top of the window)

Outlook settings for delegating permissions

Once your master account has been set up by your internal IT department, you can log the account’s details in your accessplanit platform! To do this, open the Exchange Integration menu option from the Administration page, and if you have multiple Training Providers, select the correct Training Provider in the Active Account drop-down box at the top of the page.

 

Training Provider drop down box

You can then complete the Exchange Information form with the master account’s Exchange Details.

 

Exchange Integration settings for the master account

When you click the Save button, accessplanit will verify if the synchronisation has been successful.

If the synchronisation was not successful, accessplanit will provide a log of information to help to diagnose the problem, if you are unsure of what is causing the problem please get in touch with a member of the accessplanit support team.

 

Once your master account has been successfully configured in your accessplanit platform’s Exchange Integration page, you can set up each of your trainers!

 

Trainer Accounts

To set up a Trainer with your Exchange Integration, find the Trainer in your Resources DataGrid in your accessplanit platform.

Right click on your Trainer to view the Context Menu Options, and select the ‘Exchange Integration’ option.

Resources DataGrid

There are several options in this page to configure

  1. Select your Exchange account within the Service drop down box

  2. Check the Calendar checkbox to enable calendar synchronisation

  3. Select the Direction of the sync

    1. In
      This option will pull calendar appointments into the Trainer’s accessplanit calendar from their Outlook calendar only

    2. Out
      This option will push calendar appointments from the Trainer’s accessplanit calendar into their Outlook calendar only

    3. Both
      this option will push calendar appointments from the Trainer’s accessplanit calendar into their Outlook calendar and pull calendar appointments into the Trainer’s accessplanit calendar from their Outlook calendar

  4. Enter the Trainer's Outlook email address into the Email option, if this is not already populated (please note that this must be the email address that the master account has permission over)

  5. Click Update to save these details.

Once you have completed the set up for a trainer, you can set up your next trainer!


How do courses appear within the Trainer’s Outlook calendar?

Courses will appear like as calendar appointments within the Trainer’s Outlook calendar

If the course is running in a different time zone than the trainer’s normal Outlook time zone, Outlook will display the course at the correct time for them! For example, if a UK based trainer that sees their Outlook calendar in British Summer Time is assigned to a course running in Central European Time that is scheduled to start at 9am will see the start time as 8am.

Classroom Courses

Classroom course appointments include the following information

  • Title
    The word ‘Training: ’ followed by the name of the course

  • Start time / End time
    The full date range of the course

  • Location
    The venue name and address (this will be empty if the course does not yet have a venue assigned)

  • Body
    The name of the course
    The date range of the course
    The status of the course
    The venue, the venue’s address, the venue’s phone number and email address (if one has been assigned)
    A link to view more details about the course

A classroom course sent to Outlook where there is a venue assigned
A classroom course sent to Outlook where there is a venue assigned
A classroom course sent to Outlook where there is not yet a venue assigned
A classroom course sent to Outlook where there is not yet a venue assigned

Webinar Courses

Webinar course appointments include the following information

  • Title
    The word ‘Training: ’ followed by the name of the course

  • Start time / End time
    The full date range of the course

  • Location
    This will be empty

  • Body
    The name of the course
    The date range of the course
    The status of the course
    The trainer’s webinar details for this course
    A link to view more details about the course

 

Cancelled Courses

Cancelled course appointments will include the same information as they did before they were cancelled, however the appointment title will be updated to include the word ‘Cancelled’ at the beginning.

This makes sure that the trainer is aware that their course has been cancelled.

 


FAQs

  1. If the Trainer deletes the course from their calendar can they get it back?
    Yes, accessplanit will periodically sync with the Outlook calendar and override any changes the Trainer makes to the calendar item and replace any which have been accidentally deleted.

  2. Are there any appointments in my trainer’s Outlook calendar that will not sync to their accessplanit calendar?
    Yes, appointments that are marked as ‘Free’ in Outlook will not sync to accessplanit.

  3. How often do the calendars sync?
    Appointments are synchronised between accessplanit and Google Calendar every 15 minutes.

  4. What is the difference between this module and the Outlook Plugin?
    The Outlook Plugin module allows you to push your Outlook emails into accessplanit, rather than calendar items.

  5. Are we able to change to a new Exchange Account if we already have Exchange Integration enabled?
    Yes this is possible! Please contact the accessplanit team to let them know that you plan to update these details as this can cause issues for trainers that are included in the original Exchange Account, but not in the new Exchange Account.

  6. Can I stop the calendar pushing and pulling calendar appointments for a specific trainer?
    Yes! For this trainer, access their Exchange Integration settings and change their ‘Direction’ setting to ‘None’ and uncheck the ‘Calendar’ checkbox, then click the Update button.