Outlook: Group Schedule Definitions

An Outlook 2002 user has defined some group schedules. Where does Outlook store these schedule definitions? Can I copy them to another user?

The Group Schedules feature, new in Outlook 2002, is similar to the Availability Viewer form that Siegfried Weber of CDOLive and I wrote years ago. This feature lets you create a group schedule item that shows the free/busy time of multiple users and lets you save that schedule for reuse, as Figure 1 shows.

To create a group schedule, switch to your Calendar folder, then choose Actions, View Group Schedules. In the Group Schedules dialog box, you can click New to create a new group schedule or Open to open any schedule you already have.

Viewing the Calendar folder with the mdbvu32.exe utility that comes with Exchange or with Dmitry Streblechenko's OutlookSpy utility from http://www.dimastr.com reveals that each group schedule is an appointment item hidden in the Calendar folder. A few extra Messaging API (MAPI) properties apparently tell the Outlook 2002 version of the appointment form to display only the equivalent of the Scheduling tab on a regular appointment item. The group schedule display also includes a Make Meeting button that you can use to schedule a meeting with the group.

Because Outlook stores group schedules as hidden items, you can't easily distribute them to other people. Each user will need to create a separate copy of the group schedule.

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