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Saving Calendar Items (Events, Meetings, Appointments) in Salesforce via SmartCloud Connect

Office 365

Tip

Also refer to this article for detailed information on how fields are matched between MS Outlook/Exchange and Salesforce objects.

The general pattern of saving a calendar item (MS Outlook meeting / appointment / all-day event) depends on whether it is initial sharing on which the corresponding Salesforce event object is created or it involves updating / modifying an existing event. Initial sharing is performed by SmartCloud Connect synchronization, therefore sync must be running when you are saving a new calendar item to Salesforce; however, updating / modifying an event object already existing in Salesforce is performed by the Add-In immediately. To prevent creation of several instances of the same event events deduplication is performed on server side on events sync. Please also refer to this article for complete information about patterns applied with regard to attendees’ lists on Exchange-to-Salesforce and Salesforce-to-Exchange synchronization.

Note

In the latest SmartCloud Connect updates group (public) calendar events sharing is also fully supported, it is performed in the same ways as saving of regular calendar events.

 

Meeting / Appointment Autosharing

If the meeting auto-sharing / appointment auto-sharing options in SmartCloud Connect sync settings are enabled, the Add-In will automatically share in Salesforce respectively all meetings or all appointments which you create or accept (also tentatively accept) in MS Outlook.

Recurring calendar items can be synchronized automatically like any other items if Advanced calendaring is enabled in your Salesforce org. When a calendar item is autoshared, it will be linked to Related records retrieved for the item by SmartCloud Connect Initial Search. Calendar items which do not get autoshared are ones marked as private, internal (in-company) or blacklisted (e.g. personal) ones, and non-linked events.

Important

SmartCloud Connect auto-shares only those meetings and appointments which belong to the sliding time window between 2 weeks (14 days) in the past and 2 months (60 days) after present date; older calendar items and ones scheduled to occur in more than 60 days are omitted from sync. This ensures that relevant events are kept in sync over long periods of time, while allowing to avoid syncing very large amounts of data for irrelevant past events. Autosharing is carried out on SmartCloud Connect synchronization sessions so it is not instant and it requires Sync to be active.

Tip

In the latest SmartCloud Connect updates it is possible to set up one-way auto-syncing of Salesforce Public (group) calendar events (presently only available in Salesforce Classic) with MS Outlook calendar; additionally, these events can be put into different event categories. Presently, this feature is only available for major Enterprise customers and can be enabled by request sent at [email protected]; the request should contain a detailed description of your use case.

Please also note that calendar items synchronization follows slightly different scenarios depending on whether internal or external contacts are involved and other factors.

 

Saving Calendar Items Semi-Automatically

Calendar items can also be saved in Salesforce manually in one of the following ways:

1. By assigning them the blue Salesforce category:

  • click Categorize in MS Outlook ribbon and select Salesforce from the drop-down list
  • or right-click the item and select Categorize > Salesforce

2. By clicking the Save button at the top of SmartCloud Connect Sidebar for the calendar item opened in MS Outlook.

Tip

The Save button will be enabled only after you mark in the Sidebar relevant Salesforce record(s) to link the event to.

After you click Save, there will appear the Save current event as an Activity in Salesforce dialog:

In this dialog, you may change the primary record (a key Lead or Contact) that the event will be linked to in Salesforce through lookup relationship using the Name field or specify an additional business object to be associated with it using the optional Related To field.

Either way, if it is initial sharing of the calendar item, it will be saved in Salesforce on the next synchronization session; if the event object already exists, it will be updated immediately.

Note

By default, internal (in-company) meetings (calendar items in which all attendees and the organizer belong to the same company) can only be saved in Salesforce manually using the described above procedures. However, there is also an Admin panel setting that allows sharing internal events in Salesforce automatically; you can request that by sending us an email at [email protected]. Additionally, please note that if an event’s attendees list contains only unresolved email addresses (ones having no Salesforce objects associations), this event can only be shared in Salesforce after you create at least one corresponding contact association in Salesforce.

 

Synchronizing Series of Recurring Items

Important

In the latest SmartCloud Connect update, if your are using Salesforce Lightning Experience, there is a limitation on both sharing and auto-sharing of series of recurring events from Salesforce to MS Exchange/Outlook: series of recurring events created in Salesforce Lightning Experience, unlike individual events or events created in Salesforce Classic, cannot be shared in MS Exchange/Outlook via SmartCloud Connect. At that, series of recurring events created in MS Exchange/Outlook can be shared in Salesforce set to use the Classic configuration; however, they will be shared as Salesforce Classic format events. This way, series of events shared by SmartCloud Connect sync will be non-editable in Salesforce, unless you temporarily switch to Salesforce Classic or return to MS Outlook to edit them there.

If you need to share series of recurring calendar entries in Salesforce, please refer to this article to learn how to enable this possibility in Salesforce. In addition, recurring events sharing needs to be enabled in SmartCloud Connect Admin panel; contact us at [email protected] to request that.

Note

If you assign the custom Salesforce category to one calendar item in a series in MS Outlook Calendar, the entire series will be shared in Salesforce on the following sync session.

Please also note that in the latest SmartCloud Connect updates recurring events can also be shared in Salesforce automatically if events auto-sharing is enabled.

 

Custom Salesforce Categories in MS Outlook

The following custom Salesforce categories are assigned to calendar items in MS Outlook to indicate their sync status:

Blue Salesforce category: item already shared or marked to be shared in Salesforce by sync

Red Sync Error category: item synchronization error

Besides these statuses there are other colored categories assigned to events which provide additional information, for example “ Status: Tracked successfully.” (for items saved in Salesforce automatically through synchronization) or “Status: Required fields are missing: …” explaining an error’s cause.

Note that in MS Outlook calendar view, items shared or marked to be shared in Salesforce by sync and items with synchronization errors are accordingly color-marked, so you can instantly tell their status:

 

Tracking Event Synchronization Issues

If something went wrong about calendar items synchronization, you can track error causes in sync Issues > Events on SmartCloud Connect sync dashboard.

Unresolved Meeting Participants

An unresolved meeting participant is one that has no associated records in Salesforce. When a meeting invitation is received from (or sent to) an unresolved participant and then it is saved manually or auto-shared and SmartCloud Connect finds no related records in Salesforce to link the event to, there will appear the following notification in SmartCloud Connect Sidebar suggesting you to create an associated record first and then link the event to it:

Note

SmartCloud Connect can automatically create a corresponding contact, account, lead, or opportunity record for unresolved meeting participants. Contact us by email at [email protected] to enable this feature.

 

Calendar Item Description Field Updating

Please note that when a calendar item is shared in Salesforce, only the original item body is saved in the Salesforce event object. If the item’s description is later modified in MS Outlook / MS Exchange, the corresponding field of the event object will not get updated in Salesforce, unless the corresponding setting is enabled in SmartCloud Connect Admin panel. Contact us at the above specified email address to request that.

 

Sharing Private Calendar Items

Please note that calendar items marked as private are not automatically shared in Salesforce by SmartCloud Connect meeting/appointment auto-sharing, however you can still save private calendar items manually by assigning them the Salesforce category or by using the Save button, provided you have the access permission (e.g when working with another user’s calendar via delegated calendars).

 

Event Down-Syncing from Salesforce to Exchange

If you create an event object or move an existing event directly in Salesforce, these Salesforce Calendar updates will get down-synced by SmartCloud Connect synchronization: the corresponding calendar item will be automatically created, modified, or moved in MS Exchange and displayed in MS Outlook. But please note that if an event object is deleted directly in Salesforce, its matching MS Exchange / MS Outlook item will not be deleted but only lose the Salesforce category.

Please also note that if a calendar item’s Organizer cancels it using the regular meeting / appointment / event cancelling procedure in MS Outlook, the corresponding Salesforce object will deleted as well on the following sync session.

 

Smart Actions in SmartCloud Connect Sidebar Opened for a Calendar Item

Please note that only three Smart Actions are available for events in SmartCloud Connect Sidebar - Email opens, Salesforce Reports, and Observations.

 

Meetings Sync Common Scenarios

The patterns of meetings sharing in Salesforce vary in different situations depending on what kind of meeting participants are involved. Some of the most common scenarios are described below:

1. The meeting organizer is an internal user (a user that belongs to your Salesforce org), i.e. a colleague from your organization. You are among the attendees, you have accepted the meeting and your meeting auto-sharing is enabled; the organizer’s meeting auto-sharing is not enabled. In this case the meeting will not be shared in your Salesforce until the organizer either saves the meeting in Salesforce manually, e.g. by assigning it the Salesforce category, or enables auto-sharing. The corresponding “waiting for the organizer to synchronize the event” notification will be displayed in Dashboard Issues > Events.

2. You are the meeting organizer. The meeting will be saved in Salesforce for you and for those of the attendees who are internal Salesforce users only if your meeting auto-sharing is enabled or you have shared the meeting manually. In Salesforce, the corresponding event object will be linked to associated records of the attendees which are external contacts.

3. The meeting organizer is not an internal Salesforce user (e.g. a colleague or contact that does not belong to your Salesforce org). In this case all meeting attendees which are internal users and enabled the auto-sharing setting or saved the meeting manually will get the received appointment saved in Salesforce as its owners. It will be saved as an event Salesforce object linked to the relevant records of all external contacts involved (the organizer and some of the attendees).
This way, the event object will be linked to relevant records of all external contact attendees for as many times as many meeting participants which are internal Salesforce users (auto-) share the meeting, each of them indicated as the owner of this meeting. However, it remains the same single event object, since the meeting has one single MS Outlook GUID.

An example to clarify the scenario #3
For instance, there are four persons involved in the meeting:
IU1: an internal Salesforce user with meetings auto-sharing enabled
IU2: another internal Salesforce, this one with event sync filters turned on but meetings auto-sharing disabled
EU1: an external contact already registered in your Salesforce CRM
EU2: an external contact not yet registered in your Salesforce CRM

EU1 is the meeting organizer. EU2, IU1, and IU2 are the attendees. In this case IU1’s contact will be linked and added to the Activity History for EU1.
IU1 will be set as the meeting’s assignee in Salesforce. The attendees won’t be shown. In the default SmartCloud Connect configuration, the initial description from MS Outlook will be used in the event’s detailed view: ‘From:’ EU1 and ‘To/CC:’ EU2, IU1, IU2.

If IU2 saves the meeting in Salesforce by assigning it the Salesforce category in MS Outlook, SmartCloud Connect sync will create the meeting in the Activity History for EU1. In this case IU2 will be set as the event’s assignee in Salesforce.
Essentially, this way this event (with its specific MS Outlook GUID) will be duplicated. This is expected behavior, since sync is performing its regular patterns. At this point it is expected from IU1 and IU2 to negotiate who is going to be will be the event’s ultimate assignee, since there may be many attendees.

 

Do more with SmartCloud Connect

Several key aspects of events syncing patterns can be fine-tuned according to your preferences via customization settings, Admin panel settings or extra settings managed by Invisible Support team. Refer to the following articles to learn more about these possibilities: sharing custom and standard Salesforce objects as calendar items and one-way syncing; other on-request adjustments.