Granting Access to your calendar in Exchange

NOTE: These instructions are for Windows users using Outlook 2007.

You can grant access to your calendar on several different levels, as simple as allowing other people to view it, and as powerful as allowing someone else to handle your scheduling. Here's how:

  1. Start Outlook and go to the Calendar tab. Right click on the word "Calendar" under "My Calendars" in the left-hand column, and click on "Change Sharing Permissions".
    Dialog box for changing sharing permissions
    Finding the "Change Sharing Permissions" link
  2. Dialog box for calendar properties
    The Permissions dialog
    This will bring up the "Calendar Properties" dialog, with the "Permissions" tab already selected for you. There are two entries already set:
     
    The setting for anonymous access requests is "no access". Don't change this. The default (for all Exchange users) is "Free/Busy time", which allows other people to see when you are available for meetings. Don't remove this setting; although it sounds appealing. People will still be able to request meetings with you; they just won't know when you are free, resulting in more work to find open times.
     
    To grant someone access to your calendar, click on the "Add" button, just below the list of names.
  3. This brings up the Global Address List interface. To add someone:
    1. Type their name, or part of their name, in the "Search" box and click "Go".
    2. A list of matching names will appear in the results window. Click on the one(s) you want, and then click on the "Add" button at the bottom.
    3. When you have everyone listed that you want, click on the "OK" button in the bottom-right corner, and you will go back to the Permissions dialog.
    Dialog box for adding users
    Searching for users
  4. Dialog box for Calendar properties
    The Permissions dialog
    By default, the people you select will be given very limited access - Free/Busy access, which is also the global default. In order to increase their access, first click on their names, then adjust the access permissions below the names listing, then click on "OK".
     
    You can set any of the defined sets of permissions by using the "Permission Level:" pulldown menu, or you can use the controls below that to set custom permissions. Here is a brief explanation of the levels of access:
    • Reviewer - the person will be able to view events on your calendar only. No changes can be done to your calendar. This is the permission level to select if you want someone to read your calendar, but nothing else.
    • Contributor - the person can create events on your calendar but can't view your calendar and can't modify or delete any events that have been placed on the calendar, including events that they have created. All they can do is drop events (blindly) onto your calendar.
    • Nonediting Author - the person can view your calendar and create events on it, but can not modify any events once they have been have placed. They can delete events, but only events that they themselves have created.
    • Author - the person can view your calendar and create events on it but can not modify or delete any events, except the ones they themselves have created.
    • Publishing Author - the same access as Author, except they can also create subfolders.
    • Editor - the person can view your calendar and can create events on it. They can also modify and delete any event on your calendar. You are effectively giving the person full read and write access to your calendar.
    • Publishing Editor - the same access as Editor, except they can also create subfolders.
    • Owner - they can do anything you can do.
    "Reviewer", "Author", and "Editor" are the most commonly used levels of access.
     
    There is another level of access beyond these, "Delegate", which allows other users to take actions in your name, or "as you", rather than just on your calendar. Delegates can access your meeting requests, in addition to your calendar, and thus can respond on your behalf to meeting requests that others have sent you. They can also send email in your name. Delegate control is accessed through Tools → Options menu, then the "Delegates" tab. For more about Delegates, see this Microsoft article.

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