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Microsoft 365 - Getting Started with Resource Accounts
What is a resource account?
A resource is an Office 365 account typically used for non-person related calendars, e.g. meeting/conference rooms, audio-visual equipment, project, or vacation calendars. Resources contain special options for scheduling and permissions that are not available in user/service accounts.
- Can only be created within an Office 365 domain.
- On creation, NO ONE can work on behalf of the resource (create events on behalf of the calendar), including the primary owner.
- On creation, ANYONE can schedule/invite this resource. The event will show up within the resource calendar, but will require approval.
What is a workflow?
The Office 365 team defines workflow as the series of activities that are necessary to complete a task. Each step in a workflow has a specific step before it and a specific step after it, with the exception of the first and last steps. In a linear workflow, the first step is usually initiated by an outside event. If the workflow has a loop structure, however, the first step is initiated by the completion of the last step.
There are two main ways to interact with a resource:
- Invite the resource
- Work on behalf of the resource
Inviting a resource means - in the process of creating an event on a calendar, the resource is added as an attendee. Some reasons you may want to setup this workflow include:
- You want the owner of the event to be the organizer and not the resource.
- You want to allow the resource to be reserved on a first-come first-served basis.
- You want to allow others to reserve the resource tentatively and then have it either approved or denied by others.
Working on behalf of the resource means - the event is created on the resource itself by a user who has editor or higher permissions. Some reasons you may want to setup this workflow include:
- The event is owned by the resource and not by the individual who created it.
- Only users who have editor (or higher) permissions are able to manage (create/modify/delete) the event.
Note: To edit a resource calendar, you must access the resource directly from the account that is given editing rights. A service account that has been granted access to a resource calendar cannot edit the resource calendar when accessed through a NetID (linked login). You must login to the service account directly using its credentials: Microsoft 365 - How to access a Service Account.
- Vacation (out of office) Calendar
- Manager wants to be able to view one calendar to see who is out of the office instead of having to view individual calendars. Users would create an event within their own calendar and add the vacation calendar as an attendee.
- Conference Room Calendar - managed manually
- A shared conference room needs to be managed by a few staff. Requests to reserve the conference room are handled by a few staff who have the ability to manage all the events within the conference room calendar. When a request comes in, the staff who have editor permissions will be able to create an event within the conference room calendar.
- Conference Room Calendar - managed automatically
- A shared conference room needs to be managed on a first-come-first-served basis. Assigned users would be able to reserve the conference room if it is available. Otherwise, the invitation will be declined automatically by the resource calendar.
Important: As the primary owner, you have the ability to access the resource and set the desired settings per your workflow needs. The primary owner can only be assigned by a domain administrator. Contact your domain administrator to find out who the primary owner of a resource is.
- Log into Office 365 account via Outlook on the web.
- Click your name in the top right corner and select Open another mailbox from the dropdown list.
- Enter the resource name and either select it from the automatic look up list or click Search Contacts & Directory link to find the room in the open another mailbox field. Note: If the resource is not found, enter in the fully qualified email address of the resource and search again.
- Click Open. The resource account will open in a new browser tab.
Configure permissions per workflow needs
We wanted to remind you that we can help determine the best solution for setting up a resource calendar based on your departmental needs and workflows. If you are unhappy with the way your resource calendars are currently working or just need direction on what would be the best way to configure your resource, please contact the DoIT Help Desk for support. Any questions or concerns that can't be addressed by the Help Desk will be escalated to the UW-Madison Office 365 team.
Use the 'Granting Permissions' section of the following document to configure the necessary settings: Microsoft 365 - Getting Started with Resource Account Permissions.