Get a Room! Enable Room Finder with Room List Distribution Groups


If your Exchange Online (Office 365) or Outlook Live (Live@edu) users are already using Room Mailboxes to schedule meetings in conference rooms, auditoriums, labs or other facilities, then why not enable Room Finder for your Microsoft Office Outlook 2010 clients by configuring Room List Distribution Groups?

Room Finder simplifies the process of searching for an available room while setting up a meeting. Instead of adding all possible conference rooms to a meeting request and using the Scheduling Assistant to identify available rooms, meeting organizers can use Room Finder to show a room list, see suggested times, and choose an available room.

 

Room Finder in Outlook 2010 
without Room Lists
Room Finder in Outlook 2010 
with Room Lists
room-finder-without-room-list-distribution-groups room-finder-with-room-list-distribution-groups-2

 

How do I enable Room Finder?

A messaging administrator can enable Room Finder for Outlook 2010 clients in a few easy steps: (1) Connect to Exchange Online or Outlook Live using Windows PowerShell; (2) Create Room List Distribution Groups; (3) Add existing Room Mailboxes to Room List Distribution Groups. 

Outlook 2010 detects the Room List Distribution Groups automatically and populates the Room Finder with room lists, available rooms and suggested meeting times.

 

Connect to Exchange Online or Outlook Live using Windows PowerShell

 

Create Room List Distribution Groups

New-DistributionGroup -Name "Name of Room List" –RoomList creates a new Room List Distribution Group using the cmdlet’s minimum required parameters for a Room List Distribution Group. If you don’t specify any additional parameters, then they will be set for you.

You may want to take control of your recipient object’s attributes by using additional parameters, e.g. –Alias, –DisplayName, –PrimarySmtpAddress, etc. You can find a full list of available parameters at TechNet New-DistributionGroup: Exchange 2010 SP1 Help.

New-DistributionGroup -Name Bldg_HUB -DisplayName "Student Union Building Conf Rooms" –PrimarySmtpAddress Bldg_HUB@contoso.edu –RoomList

 

Add existing Room Mailboxes to Room List Distribution Groups

Add-DistributionGroupMember –Identity "Name of Room List" –Member "Name of Room Mailbox" adds Room Mailboxes to Room List Distribution Groups. It requires that you specify the Room List Distribution Group using the –Identity parameter and the Room Mailbox to be added using the –Member parameter.

Add-DistributionGroupMember –Identity Bldg_HUB -Member Room_HUB1001
Add-DistributionGroupMember –Identity Bldg_HUB -Member Room_HUB1002

You can use the DisplayName, Identity, PrimarySmtpAddress and various other values with the –Identity and –Member parameters. You might find it helpful to list them.

The following command will list the Room List Distribution Groups.

Get-DistributionGroup | Where {$_.RecipientTypeDetails -eq "RoomList"} | Format-Table DisplayName,Identity,PrimarySmtpAddress

The following command will list the existing Room Mailboxes.

Get-Mailbox | Where-Object {$_.RecipientTypeDetails -eq "RoomMailbox"} | Format-Table DisplayName,Identity,PrimarySmtpAddress

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