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

Office 365

Tip

Also refer to this article for detailed information on how fields are matched between MS Exchange/Office 365 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 of 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 directly and immediately. To prevent creation of several instances of the same event, events deduplication is performed on server side during events syncing. Please also refer to this article for complete information about patterns applied with regard to attendees’ lists on Exchange → Salesforce and Salesforce → 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. At that, note that only 24 hours long or shorter events can be shared (due to a Salesforce limitation).

 

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 only auto-shares meetings and appointments which occured no earlier than 2 weeks in the past from the present date. Older meetings are omitted from syncing. For future calendar items syncing, there is no date limit, all calendar items scheduled to occur in the future are synchronized with Salesforce. 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

Note

Note if you need to save a new calendar item to Salesforce and SCC sync is not active for any reason, saving it is not possible until you enable Sync. However, if a corresponding Salesforce Event record was created earlier, updating of its field values is made by the Add-In directly and does not require Sync to be running.

Calendar items can also be saved in Salesforce selectively 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 WhoIs relationship via 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

Presently, there is a limitation on syncing of recurring meetings/appointments series if your are using Salesforce Lightning Experience: series of recurring calendar items created in Salesforce Lightning Experience cannot be downsynced to MS Exchange/Office 365 by SmartCloud Connect. At that, series of recurring MS Exchange/Office 365 calendar items can be upsynced to Salesforce Lightning, but only as Salesforce Classic format events; therefore, they will be uneditable via Salesforce Lightning. As a workaround, you can temporarily switch to Salesforce Classic to edit them in Salesforce or edit them in MS Outlook and upsync the changes.

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.

Series of recurring events can be shared in one of the following ways:

1. In MS Outlook / Office.com, open the Calendar and right-click on an item which belongs to the series being shared, then assign it the custom Salesforce category

or

2. Double-click on an item which belongs to the series and select The entire series in the “Open Recurring Item” dialog window

Then, to get it shared in Salesforce, you can either assign the series the custom Salesforce category or open the Sidebar for it and use the Save button; in the latter case you can also choose specific Salesforce objects to link the shared Event to instead of ones defined by SCC automatically.

The series will be synced on the following sync session.

In addition, please note that in the latest SmartCloud Connect updates recurring events can also be shared in Salesforce automatically if meetings/appointments auto-sharing is enabled in Sync settings.

 

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 whose email address that has no corresponding record registered in Salesforce. When a meeting invitation is received from (or sent to) an unresolved participant and then it is shared in Salesforce by the user and SmartCloud Connect finds no relevant 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 - refer to this article for more information on this feature. Contact Invisible Support team to enable this feature.

 

Calendar Item Description Field Updating: Safe Description

Please note that by default when a calendar item is shared in Salesforce, only its original body (description) is stored in the Salesforce event object and its future updates will not be conveyed to Salesforce. That is, if the item’s body (description) is later modified in MS Outlook / MS Exchange, the corresponding field of the calendar event object will not get updated in Salesforce, unless the corresponding special setting is enabled in your configuration. This measure is necessary to prevent the cases when an end user adds some internal-use-only or sensitive notes and comments to a Meeting’s body (description) – which, without safe description applied, would be automatically sent out to the attendees by SCC sync, as any other meeting updates.

If you need to disable Safe Description for your entire Org or for specific users, send a corresponding request to Invisible Support team.

 

Sharing Private Calendar Items

Please note that calendar items marked as private are never 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).

 

Events 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 - Engagement Panel, 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.

 

Calendar items which SCC cannot sync

• MS Exchange/Office 365 all-day events which have a duration of over 24 hours (a Salesforce limitation) • Recurring all-day events • Calendar items set in problematic time zones

 

Sharing Calendar Items’ Attachments

In the latest SCC updates files attached to calendar items can be shared in Salesforce as Attachment objects, along with the items. Please refer to this article for more information.

 

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.