Understanding Meeting Updates


Since working with the Outlook calendar, and more specifically with meetings, it is very likely that the majority of us have encountered situations in which updates to meetings are not triggering the same type of message.

And what I mean by this is that depending on the type of changes that we make to a meeting, this will generate either an informational or a full update, and the information will be changed or not, accordingly, on the attendee’s calendar.

As I have discovered a good bit of documentation on this topic, I think the below article can be useful in either troubleshooting calendar issues or in understanding the expected behavior in such scenarios.

 

In earlier versions of Outlook, you could easily run into one or more of the following problems when sending a meeting update:

  • Invitees have to reaccept meetings unnecessarily.
  • Attendees do not see anything different with the meeting and they delete the request thinking they have already dealt with it.
  • The invitee or recipient list does not handle duplicate entries and distribution lists elegantly. Consequently, invitees may receive cancellations and updates at the same time.
  • Attendees do not always have an up-to-date invitee list because updates are not sent correctly.

Starting with Outlook 2007, meeting updates are classified as one of two types: a full update or an informational update.

The difference between these two is worth discussing, as Outlook uses each type in a very specific scenario. Basically, this is the topic for this blog, with a focus on describing the scenarios that trigger either a full or informational update. Additionally, you will learn how to make Outlook send a specific type of update, depending on the meetings properties that you want to change.

 

What is a full update?

A full update is practically a new meeting invitation to the same event, replacing the old properties with the new ones. Full updates are sent when one or more of the following properties are changed:

  • Start Date/Time
  • End Date/Time
  • Recurrence

 

A Full update has the following characteristics:

  • An organizer must send out the update. They cannot change and then save certain properties on the meeting without sending an update.
  • The attendee must reaccept the updated meeting.
  • If the receiving attendee does not have the meeting on their Calendar, the meeting is created on the Calendar (as if it is a new meeting request).
  • Changes to the meeting are highlighted in color in the attendee’s meeting invitation and the public properties on the meeting are overwritten on the attendee’s calendar item.

In a few words, in Outlook 2007 and 2010 you can no longer make critical changes on a meeting without sending an update. For example if you attempt to delete a meeting, the Send Cancellation form automatically appears. You cannot save this change without clicking the Send Cancellation button to send the cancelation email.

 

When you receive a full update from the organizer, you are requested to respond to the meeting.

What is an Informational update?

An Informational update is an update that does not require any action from the attendee. As the name states, it was designed to simply inform the attendee of specific changes that have occurred on the meeting. Informational updates have the following characteristics.

  • The update does not have to be reaccepted by attendees.
  • The Free/Busy status of the meeting is unchanged.
  • Changes to the meeting are highlighted in color in the attendee’s meeting invitation and the Public properties in the meeting are overwritten on the attendee’s calendar item.
  • If the meeting is not on the Calendar of the receiving attendee, the meeting update behaves as a Full meeting update.

 If you receive an informational update and the invite is processed, the required action is clearly spelled out in the message. If you are viewing the message in the Reading Pane, the informational message is clearly highlighted in the invite. The informational message appears in the light blue box in the following image:

 

If you click the No Response Required button in the Reading Pane, you are notified that your calendar has been updated and the meeting update is automatically deleted.

If you open the invite for an informational update, the Information Bar clearly states that your calendar has been updated and that there is no need to respond to the update.

Please note that the Accept, Tentative, and Decline buttons are available. However, you are not required to respond to the update.


 

 

In brief, here is a table describing the properties that can change on a meeting and what kind of update do they trigger:

Property

Update Type Issued

Start Date/Time

Full

End Date/Time

Full

Recurrence

Full

Free/Busy

Informational

Location

Informational

Subject

Informational

Required attendee

Informational

Optional attendee

Informational

Body, Attachment

Informational

Custom properties, Bill information, Companies, Mileage

Informational

Response Requested

Informational

Allow New Time Proposal

Informational

Online Meeting

Informational

Removed attendee

Informational

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are also two types of properties on the meetings: public and private.

Public and private properties of a meeting are properties that exist when a meeting is created. For the most part, as an attendee you can change these properties for any meeting that you have accepted or tentatively accepted. The difference is that any of your previous edits to Public properties are overwritten if the meeting organizer changes any of them and sends you an update to the meeting (regardless of whether it is an informational or full update).

Public Properties   

Time (Start/End/All Day Event)

Location

Subject

Attendees

Body

Attachment

Recurrence Pattern

Importance (High/Normal/Low)

Custom Properties, Billing Information, Companies, Mileage

Response Requested (Read-only)

Allow New Time Proposal (Read-only)

Meetings Workspace (Read-only)

IsOnlineMeeting (Read-only)

NetShowURL (Read-only)

 

Private properties are those that you can edit on your local copy of the meeting and that will not be changed when the meeting organizer sends you a meeting update.

Private Properties   

Free/Busy Status

(see exception in table below)

Sensitivity (Private)

Reminder

 

There is one exception to the above rule, which is the following. Free/Busy status is the only private property that can change but only with a full update:

 

Info

Full

Free/Busy

no

yes

 

 

 

 

So whether the attendee makes a change on any of these private properties, they will behave as described above.

A full update will change the free/busy time, whether or not the attendee previously changed it.

The sensitivity and the reminder time are never changed, except if the attendee has not yet accepted the initial meeting request before receiving the update to it.

 

To exemplify this let’s take a scenario with userA as organizer and userB, userC as attendees.

Note: I also used the public property Importance in this scenario.

UserA sends a meeting request to userB and userC with Free/Busy as tentative, private, high importance and 15 minutes reminder.

Both attendees accept the meeting.

UserB leaves the meeting as it is, however userC changes the sensitivity to public, the importance to normal, the free/busy to busy and the reminder to 10 minutes, after which he saves and closes the meeting.

UserA, as organizer, changes the end time, to another half an hour, free/busy to free, reminder to 30 minutes, importance to low and the sensitivity remains to private.

Since the end time was changed, this will trigger a full update. However on the attendees, after reaccepting the meeting we will see the following:

UserB will have the time updated, importance to low, free/busy to free, reminder to 15 minutes and sensitivity to private.

UserC will have the time updated, importance to low, free/busy to free, reminder to 10 minutes and sensitivity to public.

 

To go a bit further with this topic, there are also some ways of checking if the update received for a meeting was informational or full.

The MAPI property Named Prop Name=0x0026 stamped on the meeting update indicates the type of meeting request or update being sent. You can use MFCMAPI to examine the property.

Note: You should download the latest version but please use the same bit-version you have in Outlook (32 or 64 bit)

  • Open MFCMAPI
  • Go to Session -> Logon and Display Store table
  • Double-click on the user’s mailbox
  • Expand the Root and then
    • if the profile is configured in Online mode expand Top of Information Store
    • if the profile is configured in Cached mode expand IPM_Subtree
  • Right-click on Inbox and select Open Contents Table
  • From the window that pops-up locate the item in the top pane. The MAPI Properties of the item are at the bottom pane
  • Look at the bottom pane to locate the Named Prop Name 0x0026 property.

 The values for this property are listed in the following table:

Meeting Item Type

Bit

Meeting Request

0x00000001

Full Update

0x00010000

Informational Update

0x00020000

 

Hope this was helpful in understanding and troubleshooting issues of this kind.

Feel free to comment or add any remarks to the topic and keep on outlooking!

Comments (40)

  1. FlorinaB says:

    Hi Rachel,

    If you want to modify a recurring meeting you can chose from modifying individual occurrences or the entire series. However you cannot modify the series only starting form a certain point.

    In your case I would suggest ending the recurrence for the current meeting in February and creating a new one with the desired pattern starting from March.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Florina

  2. FlorinaB says:

    Hi Elo, depending on the Outlook and Exchange version the update can take place immediately or not. I would recommend checking the configuration of the attendee, if he has additional mailboxes, using cached mode, syncing the mailbox on a 3rd party device or having certain adding added in Outlook. All of them can have an impact on the sync/update behavior. You also need to check if the Calendar attendant is enabled on the sever. On the other hand, does it update the meeting after the user accepts it?

    @Mike: unfortunately the answer is no. Meetings in your calendar will trigger a reminder not depending on the acceptance status. However you can manually configure it for each individual item after having accepted them. You can change that from 15 or 30 as it was set by the organizer, to None and then save it.

  3. FlorinaB says:

    Hi Daniel W,

    An attendee can change the body of the meeting but the changes will only be visible for himself.

    In order to have the changes visible for everyone, the organizer needs to make them and send an update.

    However, if the organizer updates a meeting that was previously changed by one of the attendees (on his own calendar item), those changes will be overwritten and the attendee will see the updated content instead of the changes made by himself.

    Florina

  4. FlorinaB says:

    As explained in the blog, only by changing Free/Busy info you cannot trigger a full update, only an informational one, thus leaving the FB info unchanged for the attendees.

    In order to force the attendees to receive the FB changes you need to trigger a full update (by changing either one of the start date/time, end date/time or recurrence), however this will imply indeed the re-acceptance of the meeting.

    There is no other way to update the FB info other than by triggering a full update.

  5. FlorinaB says:

    @marilene m: when a user declines a meeting invitation it is true he will no longer see it in his calendar. However in the organizer's Outlook, he will still appear as attendee. Under tracking options the organizer can see each attendee's response, whether accept, tentative or decline.

    Now if the organizer will make a change to the meeting and send an update for it, everybody will receive that, including the ones who previously declined. This is because the change might make the attendee to change his made about attending and thus, change his response.

    @Martha m: this is a different story. If the organizer removes one or more attendees from the meeting, he will have to send a cancellation message so that the meeting will be removed from their calendars, they will be informed about this and will no longer receive updates for this meeting in the future.

    Florina

  6. FlorinaB says:

    Hi,

    @Jeet: If you want to change the reminder time you can do so when you first create the meeting. in the new meeting window you have the option to select the reminder time. by default this is set to 15 minutes.

    Otherwise you need to either generate a full update, as described in the blog, or send an email.

    @Urban: we need to know more about the issue. When you say the user updates the meeting you mean the same meeting he received the previous update and for which he is an attendee, or a different meeting where he is the organizer? Also what part of the body is cut off? Have you tried safe mode and make sure the Outlook client is updated? I would also recommend checking these best practices:

    office.microsoft.com/…/best-practices-when-using-the-outlook-calendar-HA104004449.aspx

    If everything fails I would say raising a support case with Microsoft.

    @Mark2234: For this blog I haven't tested the shared calendar behavior in regards to meeting updates but as soon as I do, I will get back to you with some more information.

    @patty Neifer: The meeting updates, no matter if they are full or informational, are received in the default delivery location (usually Inbox), unless the user has a rule to move them automatically to a different folder (which is not recommended).

    Hope this answers your questions.

    Florina

  7. FlorinaB says:

    Hi Tina,

    As far as I understand the problem is that certain attendees cannot see the updated version of the meeting in their calendars, although they have accepted it.

    Please have a look at the following articles that might help you troubleshoot this problem on your own.

    Working with support to troubleshoot the Outlook calendar in an Exchange environment

    technet.microsoft.com/…/cc891495.aspx

    How to troubleshoot missing and duplicate appointments in Outlook

    support.microsoft.com/…/890436

    Description of common scenarios in which Calendar information may be removed from the Calendar or may be inaccurate

    support.microsoft.com/…/899704

    How to troubleshoot calendar issues in Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

    support.microsoft.com/…/971878

    Considerations when you use the Delegate Access feature in Microsoft Outlook

    support.microsoft.com/…/829217

    Current issues with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and third-party devices

    support.microsoft.com/…/2563324

    Best practices when using the Outlook Calendar

    office.microsoft.com/…/best-practices-when-using-the-outlook-calendar-HA104004449.aspx

    Outlook meeting requests: Essential do’s and don’ts

    office.microsoft.com/…/outlook-meeting-requests-essential-dos-and-donts-HA001127678.aspx

    Otherwise I would recommend you to open a support case with us, so that an engineer can assist you and investigate the problem.

    Florina

  8. FlorinaB says:

    Hi Mark C,

    Thank you for the appreciation on this blog post.

    From what I understand in your description, it seems User 1, when changing the subject for this meeting, it triggered a full update that implicitly forced the subject SUMMER for the entire series. Normally however, this would have to reflect to the Manager 1's calendar as well. When a user is the organizer and of you are on Outlook 2010 for example, you are forced to send an update if making a change on a meeting item so you cannot just save it for yourself only.

    But in order to avoid making any assumptions I would say we definitely need more data about the environment and what is the assistant doing when changing the July occurrence.  

    – what is the Outlook version

    – are all the Updates installed

    – are any of the users having their emails synchronized on a mobile device

    – is user 1 sending an update after making the change of the subject?

    – is she changing anything else except for the subject?

    If you consider having a support case raised on this, there are a series of logs (depending on the versions of Outlook and Exchange) that can help us bring you more information about what happened, especially of it can be reproduced at will.

    Hope this helps,

    Florina

  9. FlorinaB says:

    Hi NotBob,

    If you are on Outlook 2003 you will always have to reaccept the meeting, no matter what you change.

    The "Request Response" button only reflects in giving the users the option to send a response along with their acceptance/denial.

    On Outlook 2010/2007 normally neither the location, nor the subject or not even the combination of both location and subject should trigger a full update. I have retested this just now to confirm.

    Otherwise, I would suggest trying on multiple machines and if you have a consistent repro, to raise a support case.

    Regards,

    Florina

  10. Alex Coltea says:

    Hello Dan,

    These kind of issues are triggered if something has touched that meeting.

    like an handheld device or an add-in.

    If a meeting is corrupted the only workaround is to delete that meeting (series) request and to recreate-it.

    If you want to find out why this happened and to prevent these from happening the feature you can open a case with Microsoft .

    Also you can use this tool to find out more details: CalCheck – http://www.microsoft.com/…/details.aspx

    "The Calendar Checking Tool for Outlook (CalCheck) is a program that checks the Microsoft Outlook Calendar and items for problems or for potential problems"

    Kind Regards,

    Alex

  11. FlorinaB says:

    Hi,

    @Vera: You need to make sure there isn't any other change that could trigger a full update like the date or the time, or if there any sync devices (mobiles) that could have "touched" the meeting. If you can repro at will and you get the same behavior in safe mode, maybe you should consider a support case so that someone can look into the specific details and provide a more relevant explanation.

    @VickiG: The location field is updated if you add the Room in the Resources field. If the organizer added the new room only in the To field, this will not reflect in the Location. To fix this you can suggest the organizer to use the Rooms button and make sure the location is replaced with the correct information before sending the update.

    Hope this helps.

    Florina

  12. HELP!!! paging FlorinaB says:

    I am having this same issue I cant get a full update to trigger by changing the free/busy information I alone.

    if I change the free busy information the update goes out as informational and does not get reflected on the partners calendar.

    I can change the data time (by one minute) change the free busy information.   the partner mailbox than has to re except the meeting and also the free busy information gets updated.

  13. D-Mo says:

    One of my users started having this issue recently:

    Outlook is sending meeting requests for recurring meetings that have already been accepted.

    Please help!

  14. Rachel says:

    I am trying to update a recurring meeting– the one scheduled for next month (Feb) we do not want to change, only starting in March forward. When I go to the March occurance and open series, it updates the entire session including the one in Feb- Is there a way I can get to to only update the series from "this point forward?"

  15. NotBob says:

    I'm having the opposite issue. Only the location and subject in a meeting is being changed and yet Outlook is sending out full invitations instead of informational ones.

    I tried unhighlighting the "Request Responses" button under Response Options, but that is still requiring people to reaccept the meeting.

    Any thoughts as to what the error is?

  16. Vera Hawkins says:

    Using Outlook 2010 when a user sends a recurring meeting it goes to the room and users ok. However, if the room declines and you add a new one and send update, it still goes to all uses and they have to accept again. Do you know why this happens.

    Thanks

    Vera

  17. VickiG says:

    I have a user (Outlook 2007) who has changed the Resource (meeting room) to another room. The location field is not being updated so attendees are going to the wrong location. What needs to be done to fix this?

  18. JEET says:

    I want to send a reminder only at 9am to everyone attending a meeting at 3pm on that day.  I do not want to send an email just a reminder only.

    Is this possible?  I am using Outlook 2010.  

  19. Urban says:

    Hi all.

    Maybe you already met the issue: Exchange 2007 + Outlook 2010 – one user has a problem with some recurring meetings (only some and only this user). When an update to some meeting comes (with e.g. meeting minutes in the meeting body), everything seems OK. But when the user update the meeting, the body is not complete as was before updating. Part of the body is cut off. It must be something MAILBOX related because it happens on more machines.

    Anyone met this?

  20. Mark2234 says:

    Hi

    I wonder if anyone can help.  We are running Outlook 2010 Clients with Exchange 2007 which appears to have no problems/  However we have created a shared calendaremail account. The scenario is:

    Create a meeting request in the shared calendar and invite bob 1,bob 2 and bob 3.

    Send meeting request.

    Bob 2 declines

    Physically remove bob 2 and select "send to added or deleleted etc."

    Result is that bob1 and bob 3 get the meeting request again.

    Add bob 2 to an alternate meeting with bob 4,bob 5 and bob 6 that they already have accepted

    Send update and select "send to added or deleted etc."

    Result is that bob 2, bob4, bob 5 & bob 6 all get the invite

    Anyone any clues?  Note this functionality work perfectly with your personal calendar

  21. patty Neifer says:

    Will an informational update to an outlook meeting invite appear in the recipient's in box or will that update only by made in the content of the meeting on the invitee's calendars?

  22. Mark C says:

    This has been the best Blog post on Meetings I've ever seen!  Thank you for the great information.  I have one slight issue – I know how to fix it – but I'm trying to figure out what caused it.  User 1 (admin Assistant) has 2 managers.  She gets on Manager 1's calendar and sends out a monthly recurring appt. for 2013.  Manager 2 accepts – and both Managers have MONTHLY on their calendar 12 times (one for each month).  User 1 decides to change the subject of July's meeting only on Manager 1's calendar to state SUMMER as the subject.  Now, Manager 1 has 11 meetings that say MONTHLY, and 1 meeting that says SUMMER.  That's the way they want it to be.  The problem is – Manager 2 has 12 meetings that all say SUMMER as their subject.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    THanks!

  23. marilene m says:

    Is it possible for the invitees who declined to not receive updates, since this is not on their calendars anynore?

  24. martha m says:

    I'm anxious to see the response to marilene m's question, as I have been having a similar problem.  If I remove them from the updated information they get a notice that the meeting is cancelled, which is not the case.

  25. Daniel W says:

    Can an attendee change text in the body (2007) and updates be sent to everyone, or can only the originator change anything in the body?

  26. I have updated a recurring meeting planner with adjusted start time and attendees. Two of the attendees let me know that they accepted, however the meeting did not go on their calendars. Normally if there is a conflict, you can still accept and it will show both appointments. But it seems to have removed the updated meeting.

  27. Elo says:

    I have a question: The meeting organizer changed the date and time of a meeting. However, one of the attendees' calendar was not updated. The old meeting was showing up, not the new one. Does the attendee have to accept it in the update email for it to even show up in the calendar?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  28. mike says:

    Hi guys, our firm has several teams. We all accept each others meetings, however only a certain subset of them are my actual responsibility. I would like to only get "reminders" (ie. the little sounds) for my meetings. I have started accepting my meetings, and tentatively accepting the others (that way they are still visible in my calendar).

    Is there a way to only get reminders for my accepted calendar items and not for Tentative items?

  29. Sheri Simon says:

    What is the expected behavior if you change an optional attendee to a required attendee for a meeting series? It seems to send an update to all attendees, which doesn't make sense.

  30. Chris says:

    I like to note my calendar invites with things I must remember about meetings.  Of course, when the organizer updates the meeting invitation, my notes disappear (which is truly aggravating).  Is there a solution that would allow me to retain my personal notes in a calendar invite even after it has been updated by the organizer?

  31. Richard says:

    Question – I created a meeting request from an e-mail which person A sent to me and person B.  Person A then wanted to have a meeting without me and forwarded my meeting request to person B.  Person B confirmed a time then person A and person B scheduled the meeting using the email but without me.  Later I did know that person A and person B scheduled a seprate meeting so I reused the email and it invited all three people is that possible which udated the meeting request between person A and person B and sent their meeting request into the deleted item as my meeting request was the latest.

    Thanks

    rich

    richard_monzon@comcast.net

  32. rod says:

    I have a user encountering a problem in Outlook 2010. She adds a recipient to an existing meeting and sends the update. When she sends the update, she receives an automated response from Outlook which says, "You can't send a message on behalf of this user unless you have permission to do so," and all the original recipients are listed on the automated message. In other words – no one is receiving the update. Can you help me with this? Any suggestions on how I can help this user?

  33. Lupe says:

    I updated a meeting to many people originally sent to a distribution list. Later, I changed the end time and the room location, and deleted two of the original attendees. Then I clicked "send update". The update went out to everyone but the update used the word "cancelled". It was not removed from the attendees calendars and most of them reaccepted. But it was confusing. Why was the word "cancelled" anywhere it there if it was just an update?

  34. Anthony says:

    I am having exactly the same issue as Chris;

    "Chris 9 Oct 2013 5:08 PM #

    I like to note my calendar invites with things I must remember about meetings. Of course, when the organizer updates the meeting invitation, my notes disappear (which is truly aggravating). Is there a solution that would allow me to retain my personal notes in a calendar invite even after it has been updated by the organizer?"

    It has just happened to me and I have lost a substantial amount of prep. material for a meeting in the morning, which is a massive pain. Is there anything at all that can be done to recover the info I've lost? I'd also appreciate some help on ensuring it doesn't happen in the future.

    Thanks so much in advance – this is a great thread, which will be made greater still by an answer to the above.

    Cheers,

    Anthony

  35. Anthony says:

    I have now found Microsoft's explanation of the issue Chris and I are having. It's not very satisfactory, but here you go.

    Issue – Your personal notes are lost after a meeting update is received

    We recommend that you do not take personal notes in the body of a meeting item in the calendar. If you are an attendee of this meeting, your notes will be lost if a meeting update is received. If you are the organizer, your personal notes will be sent to everyone on the attendee list. Consider the following scenario:

    You receive a meeting request.
    You start Outlook and open the meeting request that appears in your Inbox and click Accept
    You open the Calendar item for the meeting and add some text to the body of the item.
    You click Save and Close.
    The meeting organizer sends an update to the meeting and you receive it.
    You open the item to force the sniffer to update your Calendar, but do not click Accept.
    You open the calendar item again. All the notes you entered earlier are gone.

    Status
    This behavior is by design.

    Workaround
    Microsoft recommends taking personal notes using the Notes feature in Outlook or another product, such as Microsoft Office Work or Microsoft Office OneNote.

    I found this here; http://support.microsoft.com/kb/899704

    If anyone knows how to recover the lost notes, I would be delighted! Thanks, Ant

  36. Ben Bear says:

    I am using Outlook 2010 for my mail client and Office 365 E as our Exchange back-end. If I am the organizer of a recurring meeting, and I change the date/time of one occurrence, the update goes to the invitees and resources, but the meeting is unchanged on my calendar. Any help would be appreciated. bbear [at] sfmfoodbank d0t org

  37. Ashish Vikram Singh says:

    Hi,
    Can you provide such information in relevance to Outlook 2013 too?
    Regards

  38. Anonymous says:

    Understanding Meeting Updates – Outlooking on Outlook – your answers are here – Site Home – TechNet Blogs

  39. Anonymous says:

    Understanding Meeting Updates – Outlooking on Outlook – your answers are here – Site Home – TechNet Blogs