Book Me: Sharing Calendar Availability with SmartCloud Connect¶
The Share Calendar Availability (Book me) feature allows parsing your and your colleagues’s availability periods based on MS Exchange/Office 365 calendar data to be sent to your business contacts, for example to negotiate a meeting time convenient for all participants involved or to schedule a series of meetings with different contacts. The unoccupied time slots from meeting organizer calendar(s) are parsed to be shared as a link to an interactive scheduling table webpage. When building availability tables to be shared, SCC parses unoccupied time slots from calendar(s) over a 365 day span. This limit can be adjusted on request sent to our CSM team.
Please also consider that this parsing is not continuous, thus any changes in your calendar(s) made after the link was generated won’t be reflected in the table.
To share your availability periods with your contacts¶
1. Open the SmartCloud Connect sidebar for a relevant or a newly created email message in MS Outlook by clicking the Open SmartCloud Connect button.
2. In the Sidebar, click the Book me icon in Smart actions bar.
3. Fill in the key meeting details – Meeting subject, Location and Duration, Body (Description), and the optional details:
- Save to Salesforce record
- Days of the week and from/until according to your weekly schedule
- Required internal attendees (the attendees from your company to attend the meeting)
- From date and To date – the period over which the meeting is valid
You can hide the advanced Book Me dialogs fields and controls which you do not use when creating meetings, just click the ⌄ (collapse) icon next to the Advanced options section title.
The Meeting subject field is prefilled with the subject of the related email (if any) and your can edit it according to your needs. In the Location picklist you can select a location from your MS Exchange rooms resources or manually enter a location. The minimum meeting Duration as well its increase step is 15 minutes.
Next, you can also select a Business object (e.g. Account or Opportunity) to associate the event with, using the Save to Salesforce record search box. Please note that if you leave this field blank, the event will not be auto-shared in Salesforce.
In the latest SCC updates the Enterprise customers can request the possibility to link Salesforce events created this way to specified People objects (e.g. Leads or Contacts), besides Business objects. Send a corresponding request to our Support team if your Org requires that.
Next, the Body (Description) box is used for specifying additional event information for its participants, to be used as meeting description in the Exchange/Office 365 calendar and in Salesforce. Note that it will not be included into the text of the share calendar availability email generated by Meeting Scheduler.
Additionally, in the latest SmartCloud Connect updates you can setup MS Outlook reminders to be created automatically for meetings initiated via Meeting Scheduler, using the Reminder field.
The Minimal span between booking & actual start field below (values range from 30 minutes to 2-48 hours) ensures that the meeting organizer will have enough time to react and get prepared for the meeting after a slot has been picked by Book Me link recipient.
Finally, the From date and To date controls were added. This meeting validity span is set if you (or other involved people from your Org) will only be available during a limited calendar span, e.g. a conference, a field visit, or an overseas trip.
Note that in the latest SmartCloud Connect updates the dialog was enhanced with focused availability limits – the Available on (days of the week) selector and the From and Until picklists - their default values are retrieved from your MS Exchange/Office 365 working days/business hours account settings. Use these controls to set your availability spans specific to your regular work schedule, for example if you are available for meeting customers only on Mondays and Thursdays from 2pm until 5pm, or if you would like to arrange a business meeting out of your working hours or on a weekend.
Another Book me feature improvement introduced in the latest SmartCloud Connect updates is the Internal attendees field. This field allows you to add the schedules of your colleagues (they must belong to your MS Exchange space) whose presence is required at the meeting to the resulting parsed availability table, this way ensuring that a slot convenient for all key in-org participants will be selected.
4. SmartCloud Connect will generate a short link leading to a Meeting Scheduler web page with a table showing your availability periods based on your calendar data. Click on the corresponding icons to copy the link or open it in your web browser, if needed, or click Finish and the link will be automatically inserted into the message.
If you want to set a custom share calendar availability message template, refer to this article.
In the latest SmartCloud Connect updates, a standard reCAPTCHA v3 anti-bot check was introduced on accessing the Calendar availability slots reservation webpage to prevent calendar spamming activities.
The list of meeting Attendees is populated with recipients from the To and CC fields of the invitation message; the sender of the invitation is listed as the Organizer. When the recipients open the link, they can select their preferred time slot by dragging the Book a meeting control or clicking at their preferred slot. Once a time slot is selected and confirmed by the attendee (see below), it will be automatically reserved in your calendar and you will receive a corresponding notification.
After the invitee selects a slot on the Meeting Scheduler page, he/she also needs to fill in their full name and email address in the Booking confirmation dialog:
Please note that in the latest SmartCloud Connect updates you can setup MS Outlook reminders to be created automatically for meetings initiated via Meeting Scheduler.
Quick Send Availability¶
Besides the Share My Availability feature you can use the Quick Send Availability shortcut located next to the Open SmartCloud Connect button in MS Outlook ribbon to quickly send your availability slots omitting the second and the third steps.
After you click on this button, the availability selection page link will immediately be inserted into the email message.
In the latest SmartCloud Connect updates it is possible to set the default (prefilled) Meeting Location and Duration, which will also be preset for links generated with Quick Send Availability. To set the default Meeting Location and Duration to be used, submit a corresponding request to our CSM team.
Please note that by default generated share availability links expire 365 days after their creation date. This period can be adjusted on request.
Please note that when you are using this feature from the Sidebar running in MS Outlook on a mobile device, you will not be able to edit the text of the resulting email – a pre-configured Salesforce message template will be used instead, and the email with the link you generated will be sent out by the Add-In automatically.