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When to Grant Delegate Access to a Mailbox

When is it better to give someone delegate access to a mailbox instead of giving that person folder permissions?

Granting someone delegate access makes the following three changes to a mailbox:

  • It lets the delegate access one or more folders, depending on what you choose in the Tools, Options, Delegates dialog box.
  • It grants the delegate permission to send messages on behalf of the mailbox owner.
  • It sets up a hidden rule that redirects all meeting requests and responses to the delegate.

You should give someone delegate access only if he or she needs to be able to do all three of these things. You don't need to grant access using the Delegates dialog box if you don't want the person to have Send on Behalf permission or receive meeting requests and responses. In those cases, you should set the mailbox's folder permissions by using a folder's Properties dialog box.

If you have Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, you might not even have to bring up the folder's Properties dialog box to set the folder permissions. To grant someone the ability to view your Calendar folder, for example, display the Calendar navigation pane, where you'll see a command for Share My Calendar. When you click that command, Outlook 2007 creates a sharing message. Click send, then click Yes when Outlook asks you to confirm the sharing permission, as Figure 1 shows. The recipient of the message is instructed to open the calendar, as Figure 2 shows, causing Outlook to automatically add it to the People's Calendars list in the Calendar navigation pane.

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