Microsoft Outlook Calendar Integration

Table of Contents

Enabling Outlook

User connection

Outlook events listing

Outlook Calendar tiles

Calendar visibility and expected functionality

Multi-domain calendar support

 

With the Microsoft Outlook calendar integration, Site managers will be able to integrate shared calendars into tiles on their Simpplr sites to bring wider visibility into company events, while end users will be able to integrate their personal calendars for easy visibility. 

Enabling Outlook Calendar

An option for Outlook Calendar has been added in Manage > Application > Integrations > Calendar integration, which App managers can check and enable the calendar at the app level. 

Note:

The user who enables the integration at the application level first must be an Application manager as well as the Microsoft/Outlook global admin user, as consent from the admin is needed to complete the integration. Without this connection, other users in the organization won't be able to connect their profiles. No other account will work when establishing the initial connection. This is a requirement from Microsoft, and cannot be changed. For more on Microsoft's security requirements and permissions for 3rd party integrations, check out this article
  • The App manager can add multiple domain names (Max limit = 10). More on multi-domain support below.
  • At least one domain must be added to enable the integration for other users.
  • Once enabled, all users will now have the option to connect their accounts.

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User connection

Like other integrations, in order to utilize the Outlook Calendar features, users will need to connect their accounts in their profile settings. 

  • Users connection is successful only when the domain used is one of the listed domains at app level.
  • If a user attempts to connect a calendar that's not added as part of the Domains list in Manage > Application, they'll receive an error suggesting the domain is not supported.

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To connect your profile:

  1. Head to Profile & settings from your user menu.
  2. Click Edit profile & settings > External apps. Choose Connect account in the Microsoft Outlook Calendar field.AWS
  3. Accept the permissions being requested by Simpplr. Some users like the App manager, who must be the first one to connect, will have different permissions to accept based on their role and permissions within Simpplr.
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Outlook events listing

Once user level connection is complete, users will be able to view the Outlook calendar events in a separate tab under Events listing.mceclip3.png

Outlook Calendar tiles

Calendar tiles are a great way for the users to have a quick view of their upcoming meetings included on their dashboard. Once Outlook Calendar is enabled at app level and user connection is also done, a new option of adding Outlook Calendar can be used to add the tiles on home/site dashboard. Based on the app management governance settings, App managers/Site managers/End users can add tiles to their dashboard.

  • If the Home dashboard is App manager controlled, only App managers can add Outlook calendar tiles to home dashboard for all users.
  • If the Home dashboard is user-controlled, end users can also add calendar tiles to their dashboard.
  • Site managers/owners can always add calendar tiles to the site dashboard for the sites they manage.

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Calendar visibility and expected functionality

Shared calendars: When adding a shared calendar to your Simpplr tiles, it should be visible to all users whom it's been individually shared with, unless the calendar got renamed after adding as a tile, or someone's access to it was removed via Microsoft. Note if a calendar is shared across multiple domains, it still will not be visible to users in Simpplr if they're connected to a different domain than that of the calendar owner/source domain.

Personal calendars: The events from a personal calendar, if added as a tile, would be visible to only those who have access from within Microsoft. 

Public calendars and corporate calendars: These are not supported by this integration. 

Shared mailbox: As of the 24.02 release, users are able to create a calendar display from a shared mailbox in Outlook. This will allow Simpplr tiles that display org-wide calendars based on shared mailboxes.outlook shared mailbox.png

Note that with shared mailboxes, the email address (labeled as Email ID) of the shared mailbox is required as an input when adding the tile, as shown in the image above. This will prompt Simpplr to fetch any shared mailboxes tied to that email address.

Similar to any other calendar tile, if you select to add the shared mailbox calendar to all users' home dashboards, users who are not part of that shared mailbox will see the tile, but not the calendar events. Instead, they will see a message, "You do not have access to this calendar". This may result in a poor user experience, so best practice is to ensure the shared mailbox consists of all users if you're planning to add that calendar tile to everyone's home dashboard.

If a specific user is removed from a shared mailbox, it can take up to one hour for Microsoft to update this in their API response. Therefore, the user could still view events in the Outlook tile on the intranet. After an hour, they will see the message, "You do not have access to this calendar".

To consider when sharing Outlook calendars

When it comes to sharing calendars with users, Outlook's API prohibits sharing in Simpplr unless you share the calendar on an individual level with each user you want to give access to. This must be done within Outlook, and the user(s) you share with must accept the sharing invite via their email in order to see the calendar events in the Simpplr tile. 

To share a calendar so users can see it in Simpplr:

  1. From your Outlook, head to the calendar in question. Then click the more options ellipsis to open the Sharing & permissions menu.
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  2. Type in the email(s) of the user(s) you want to share the calendar with, assign the appropriate permission for the calendar, then click Share.
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  3. The user(s) will receive an email from you inviting them to accept the calendar sharing invite. They will need to click Accept in that email in order to view the events within their Simpplr tile.

Multi-domain calendar support

If a calendar is shared across multiple domains, it will not be visible to users in Simpplr if they're connected to a different domain than that of the calendar owner/source domain.

When a user from one domain, Jim.Smith@smallcompany.com, shares calendar to user from another domain, Jane.Doe@bigcompany.com, then the calendars returned from Graph API for Jane.Doe for  will have the result of "owner = null". In Outlook calendar, Simpplr does not have a unique calendar ID for a shared calendar across users, therefore we are relying on the owner name and calendar name for shared calendars. Since in cross domain calendars, we get "owner = null" from the API, our shared calendar logic will not be supported in shared calendars across domains.

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Comments

3 comments
  • Hi Jason!

    It makes sense for site managers and content managers to connect their Outlook Calendar so that they can create an Outlook Calendar tile, but is there a reason for regular members to connect their Outlook Calendar to their profile?

    If I missed it in the knowledge base, please feel free to just link me that page.

    Thanks! :)

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  • Hey Aileen. It would make sense for an End user to connect their Outlook calendar if they had control over their own home dashboard layout. App managers can enable each individual user to customize their home dashboard, which gives them permission to add any tile they'd like. So they could technically add their own calendar as a tile, but only they'd see it. 

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  • Thank you for the clarification Matthew!

    I'll gear this toward site owner/site/content managers since they are the only ones who have access to a dashboard in our environment. (besides app manager and sysadmin)

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