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Microsoft Exchange/Outlook Options

Microsoft recognizes there is a need for sharing calendar data between a Microsoft environment and Google.  

Microsoft supports  a one time calendar export in ics format, which can be used as an import to a google calendar.  Typically, this is not what a user wants.  Subscribing to a Google Calendar provides a copy in Outlook, but this is not a true sync with your Microsoft Calendar. A two way sync that allows changes made in either calendar to show up on the other is the kind of environment our collaborators need.

For example - if you have a large project that involves staff from a lab or university with a Microsoft Exchange/Outlook environment but you want the central project to be in google calendar, a two way sync is useful.  Google Calendar Sync is the answer.

Note: this is not the same as having an Outlook client act as a Google Calendar interface as an alternative to the web interface.  A two way sync is really connecting two different calendar systems!

Typical Use Case

Actions Taken by a Microsoft Outlook/Exchange Calendar User

  1. Project management uses a Google calendar for group wide events.  A generic google Gmail account is established as the primary owner of the project calendar.
  2. Individuals create primary personal Google Calendars as part of the Google Calendar Sync plugin for Outlook.  As part of the dialogue, the Google calendar is shared with the project Gmail account.
  3. Project staff is provided access to these personal calendars as a result of the share to the Project email/calendar so that free/busy time can be determined. Meetings can be created from either direction (google or outlook)

Anyone who is already a Google User just has to share their calendar using built in Google Calendar functionality. 

Those whose default calendar product is Outlook/Exchange connected to their company infrastructure can publish their calendar by syncing to google.  If someone has designate rights on their google calendar, meetings can be schedule on their behalf and show up on the company calendar.

See Diagram for visual model

Google Sync installation Process

  1. Create (or already have) a gmail account
  2. Download and install the Google Calendar Sync program at: https://support.google.com/a/users/topic/23333?hl=en&ref_topic=1688516
  3. Run the installer and select 2-way sync, and a reasonable sync interval (10 minutes minimum).
  4. Share the Google Calendar (just free/busy information) with another google user.

Related Notes

  MakeUseOf  writeup that documents the process from a blogger on makeuseof.com


IT Division Help Desk: (510) 486-4357, http://help.lbl.gov