The Exchange 2007 Scheduling Assistant in action

The Scheduling Assistant eases the burden of tracking down meeting invitees' schedules.

How often do you use Exchange 2003/Outlook 2003's meeting request capabilities, only to find that you still need to scroll all over the place to find a time that works for all participants? And then you need to book a conference room. Exchange 2007, when used with Outlook 2007 or Outlook Web Access 2007, makes handy work of this task with the Scheduling Assistant.

The Scheduling Assistant takes a look at the calendars of everyone you've invited to a meeting and checks to see if they are all available. That's nothing new. Exchange has done that for a long time. Exchange 2007, however, takes things one step further and suggests to you what days and times work best for everyone you've invited, also taking into account the location you've picked for the meeting. Exchange then color-codes each day on a calendar to let you know which days are good and which are not. Figure A shows an example. A dark blue day is very poor; in other words, your attendees are mostly busy. A light blue day is a little better. A white day means that your chosen attendees are mostly free. Note that Figure A is a screen shot from Outlook Web Access. The screen looks a little different in Outlook 2007.

Figure A

The Scheduling Assistant in Exchange 2007 color-codes days on a calendar.

The new Scheduling Assistant can save a lot of time. No more scrolling back and forth to find a good time for a meeting!

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