Exchange and sharing of single resource

95 pts.
Active Directory
Microsoft Exchange 2003
Microsoft Outlook
Outlook calendar
My firm works in a building shared with another similar, but quite separate firm. We are about to share one single resource - a meeting room. Both firms are running MS Exchange and using the Outlook calendar for resource booking - but with completely separate Exchange instances on different networks. We are not interested in sharing the complete Active Directory, but at the same time we need some way to handle booking of this one meeting room. Does anybody know a way to make this single resource available for consistent booking to both firms - using Exchange? If not - does anybody have experience with other IT solutions for this or similar challenges?

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You could try publishing the Free/Busy time for the resource to an external file where both companies would be able to access, or an externally hosted web calendar.

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  • Onilke
    OK - I could try that. But I will also need a more detailed explanation how. Could you or anyone link me to some good resources about this?
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  • Vcavendish
    Try looking for "Publishing Free / Busy Data" or publish free/busy calendar. This microsoft KB would be able to get you started: and some info on how it all works...
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  • Onilke
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but what I draw from these readings is that I have the following alternatives: 1) Run Exchange in the second firm as a (partial?) replica of Exchange in the first firm. This does not seem to solve the needs of the second firm, like giving equal access for booking, and there are more reasons I do not think this alternative will be accepted. 2) Create the shared resource in Exchange on one side (one of the two firms creates it) and publish the reservations of the resource to a shared site. This way the other firm can see the existing reservations and make reservation requests that have to be handled by the first firm. Question is then: Can this be configured to be handled automatically, like internal reservation of resources? And how secure / vulnerable will this solution be, in questions of reservations not getting through or duplicating? (For now, we just consider to divide the week in two, one half each, no inter-Exchange communication.)
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