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Oracle Outlook Connector User's Guide
Release 3.4

Part Number B10096-01
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Calendar features

Real-time scheduling

Calendaring with Microsoft Exchange Server is message-based: all meetings are created, stored, forwarded and retrieved as e-mail messages. Outlook presents the information differently, but behind the scenes it processes all information as individual e-mail messages.

For example, if you create a meeting and invite a co-worker, Exchange stores a copy of the e-mail containing the meeting in your Calendar folder, and forwards a copy of that e-mail to your co-worker's Inbox. When your co-worker accepts that meeting, Exchange stores a copy in his or her Calendar folder.

There are a number of limitations with this method. For example, in between the time you create the meeting and the time your co-worker accepts it, nobody else can know when that meeting exists by looking at your co-worker's calendar. In fact, nobody else can tell that the meeting exists at all, because it doesn't exist in your co-worker's Calendar folder until he or she accepts it.

Oracle's calendar server, by contrast, stores all users' calendars together in a single database. Each time you look at another user's free/busy time, you are seeing up-to-the-minute information about their schedules, including unconfirmed meetings. Likewise, each time you open a meeting in your Calendar folder, you are getting the latest version directly from Oracle's calendar server, instead of opening a copy of an e-mail describing a meeting that may have been moved or changed without your knowledge.

Attendee availability

When you plan a meeting or view attendee availability for a meeting, Oracle Outlook Connector downloads the up-to-the-minute free/busy information for each attendee from the calendar server database and displays it in the time-line.

Accepted Meetings will appear as busy, tentative or out-of-office time, depending on your choice. Unconfirmed Meetings (which have been scheduled but not yet accepted or declined by the invitees) will appear with white cross-hatching.

Attendee status

Oracle's calendar server automatically tracks the responses of everyone invited to a meeting or event. When you accept or decline a meeting request from your Inbox, Oracle Outlook Connector updates the meeting in the calendar server database immediately, and makes the information available to other calendar users.

You can change your attendance status at any time by opening the meeting in your Calendar folder.

Wireless preferences

Oracle's wireless technology offers users the ability to receive reminders of upcoming events, as well as notifications of newly created and modified events, on their mobile devices. Users can also create new meetings and respond to proposed meetings directly from their phones.

If your calendar system has been configured for wireless services, you can configure your wireless preferences through Outlook.

To configure your wireless preferences:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Options.
  2. On the Oracle Connector tab, click the Enable wireless service checkbox, and click Wireless Preferences.
  3. In the Reminders and Notifications section:
    • Click the Include reminders checkbox to automatically receive reminders of upcoming meetings and events. Use the Remind me: X minutes before meeting box to specify an interval before the start time of every event at which the reminder will be sent.
    • Check the Include notifications when events are created, edited or deleted check box to receive a message on your phone whenever a meeting that you are scheduled to attend is created, modified or deleted.
  4. In the Services section, specify the behaviour of your reminders and notifications:
    • Select the Hold wireless messages radio button to temporarily stop delivery of all reminders and notifications. For example, you might set this before going into an important meeting to stop your phone from going off.
    • Select the Always deliver wireless messages radio button to deliver messages at all times.
    • Select the Only deliver wireless messages between radio button to set a time range during which you want to receive messages. Select Hold outside this period to save all messages that originate outside this period and deliver them at the beginning of the next time range you have specified. Select Discard outside this period to never deliver messages that originate outside your time range.

E-mail notification

You can set up Oracle Outlook Connector to automatically notify invitees by e-mail when you create, modify or delete a meeting. Other Oracle Outlook Connector users already receive the meeting request along with new e-mail in their Outlook Inboxes, but calendar users who may choose another client such as Oracle's native calendar clients for Windows, Macintosh or Motif may prefer to also be notified by e-mail of any changes you make involving their schedules.

To set up automatic e-mail notification:

  1. Click the Tools menu, select Options.
  2. On the Oracle Connector tab, click Calendar Preferences.
  3. Select the Send e-mail notification to attendees when a Meeting is created or updated check box.

iCalendar notification

You can set up Oracle Outlook Connector to automatically send new and updated meetings in iCalendar format to your attendees. This feature is not intended for the benefit of other users on your calendar server -- they automatically have their schedules updated by the calendar server. However, attendees who use other calendaring systems that support iCalendar can paste the iCalendar attachments directly into their own calendar applications.

To set up automatic iCalendar notification:

  1. Click the Tools menu, select Options.
  2. On the Oracle Connector tab, click Calendar Preferences.
  3. Select the Automatically send iCal notification to non-Oracle Calendar attendees check box.

Responding to multiple meeting requests

Oracle Outlook Connector offers you the ability to respond to multiple meeting and event requests in the Inbox with a single command.

To respond to multiple requests:

  1. Select all the meeting requests you want to respond to.
  2. Right-click any of the selected meeting requests and select Respond to all.
  3. In the pop-up list, select Accept, Decline, or Tentative.

Choosing a name format

You can choose in what format that you want Oracle Outlook Connector to display other calendar users' names. Available display formats are:

Display formats are reflected in the calendar server Address Book, the To: field of meetings and events, and the To:, Cc: and Bcc: fields of e-mail messages.

To choose a name format:

  1. Close Outlook.
  2. Click the Windows Start button, and select Settings.
  3. Select Control Panel from the pop-up list, and double-click the Mail icon.
  4. Click Show Profiles, select your profile in the list, and click Properties.
  5. Select Oracle Outlook Connector and click Properties.
  6. On the Calendar tab, click Advanced.
  7. Click the Address Book User Display: pull down menu, and select your desired display format.