Step by Step: How to Use Outlook 2010 Meeting Requests with SharePoint 2010 Meeting Workspaces

Written by Denis Stadler on . Posted in Collaboration

The business scenario is quite simple: a user creates a meeting request in Outlook, but he wants to have a space where he and the other attendees can share information about the meeting.

I will split the configuration steps needed to achieve this requirement into two categories: the IT administrator’s job and the user’s tasks.

The Administrator – SharePoint 2010

From the technical point of view I think the optimum solution is to create a new site collection that is going to host all the SharePoint Meeting Workspace web sites. If you estimate that you are going to have a lot of web sites, consider implementing the Site Collection into an isolated content database.

To do this, in the Central Administration -> Application Management open the Manage content databases page. For the web application that will hosts the sites add a new content database.

Now we need to be sure that we are going to deploy our new site collection into the newly created database. To achieve it, we have to create the new it using Power Shell:

#Create a new explicit managed path
New-SPManagedPath -RelativeURL "/Meetings" -WebApplication "http://spstaging" -Explicit

#Create a site collection using the site template
$template = Get-SPWebTemplate "STS#0"
New-SPSite -Url "http://spstaging/meetings" -OwnerAlias "STADLER\Administrator" -Template $template –ContentDatabase "SPStaging_Content_Meetings" -Name "Meeting Workspace Site Collection"

After the site collection is created we need to enable the self-service site creation. This can be achieved from Central Administration -> Application Management -> Configure self-service site creation page (it is found under Site Collection). It is not necessary requiring a secondary contact.

Now there are only two operations that have to be done at the site collection level and we are ready to go. First of all we need to grant contribute permissions for the default Domain Users group. To achieve this just navigate to the Site permissions page (via Site Actions -> Site Settings).

Second of all we need to modify the Site Creation permissions. This can be achieved via Site Actions -> Site Settings -> Sites and workspaces (under Site Administration).

We are going to grant site and workspaces creation permissions to the Contribute level.

The user – Outlook 2010

The user opens Outlook 2010 and starts creating the meeting request.

But there is no SharePoint Meeting Workspace creation button. To make it available we need to modify the Quick Access Toolbars buttons displayed in Outlook.

The More Commands button opens a new window where we have the possibility to make the changes.

If we click on the newly added button we are going to see the Meeting Workspace pane.

Now it is time to create the Meeting Workspace.

After the meeting workspace was created, the coordinates of the SharePoint web site are automatically added to the Outlook meeting request.

When a user accepts/rejects the meeting request the SharePoint site is automatically updated.

Remarks with Regards to SharePoint 2013

All the five Meeting Workspaces site definitions (Basic Meeting Workspace, Blank Meeting Workspace, Decision Meeting Workspace, Social Meeting Workspace, and Multipage Meeting Workspace) are no longer available in SharePoint 2013. More details you can find on TechNet – Changes from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013.

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Denis Stadler

I'm a technology enthusiast, with more than 10 years of experience in SharePoint and Dynamics CRM projects. To find more details about, please visit the about me page.

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