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Configure the Room Finder in Exchange Online

Getting the Room Finder in Outlook fully functioning, will increase the end user experience to find the best suitable meeting room. In this post I will explain how to configure this.


Starting up

The Room Finder uses meta data that can be setup with the Set-Place cmdlet for RoomMailboxes. To get the Room Finder functioning we need to have:

  • RoomMailboxes, with the following meta data
    • City
    • Capicity
    • Building (Displayname of the linked RoomList)
  • RoomList (a distribution group with the linked RoomMailboxes)

I guess, many of you reading this already have RoomMailboxes in RoomLists and just want to have the Room Finder to work. In that case scroll down to ’Adding meta data to the RoomMailboxes

Setup RoomMailboxes

To create a RoomMailbox, you can run:

New-Mailbox -Name "RoomMailboxName" -DisplayName "RoomMailboxDisplayName" -PrimarySmtpAddress RoomMailbox@domain.com -Room

Add as many RoomMailboxes as your organization needs

Setup the RoomLists

When you have all your RoomMailboxes ready, is time to link this RoomMailboxes to a RoomList. First you need to create a RoomList by running:

New-DistributionGroup -Name "RoomList" -DisplayName "RoomList" -RoomList

After you have the RoomLists ready, you can start adding the right RoomMailboxes to it:

Add-DistributionGroupMember -Identity "RoomList" -Member RoomMailbox@domain.com

At this point, we have our RoomMailboxes in a RoomList. The next step is adding meta data to the RoomMailboxes.

Adding meta data to the RoomMailboxes

After adding meta data to the RoomMailboxes, your RoomMailboxes and RoomLists will come available in the Room Finder in both Outlook and Outlook on the web (OWA).

NOTE: The Set-Place cmdlet comes available after replication cycle of a new RoomMailbox. You may get an error message when you use the Set-Place cmdlet. This replication cycle is 24 hours in most cases.

You can add the meta data to a RoomMailbox by running:

Set-Place -Identity "RoomMailboxName" -City "Delft" -Building "DisplayName linked RoomList" -Capacity "4"

Or if your RoomMailboxes contains the Capacity meta data (per room setting) already, you could add the meta data City and Building with one single script:

$RoomList = (Get-DistributionGroup -Identity "RoomList@domain.com").Displayname
$City = "Delft"
$Rooms = (Get-DistributionGroupMember -Identity "RoomList@domain.com").Displayname
ForEach ($Room in $Rooms){
    Set-Place -Identity $Room -City $City -Building $RoomList
}

When the RoomMailboxes contains the meta data city, building and capacity, with a linked RoomLists. Then it will appear in the Room Finder after the replication sync cycle.

NOTE: It can take up to 24 hours or more before the meta data is visible in the Room Finder.

Double check if all your data has been in the right place by running:

$Rooms = Get-Mailbox -RecipientTypeDetails RoomMailbox
ForEach ($Room in $Rooms){
    Get-Place -Identity $Room.Name | Select-Object DisplayName,City,Capacity,Building,Localities
}

Fine tuning the Room Finder (Optional)

You could add other meta data to your RoomMailboxes to increase the user experience, below meta data will also be visible in the Room Finder as an icon next to the RoomMailbox.

AudioDeviceName,VideoDeviceName,DisplayDeviceName,IsWheelChairAccessible [$true/$false]

To add this meta data you can run:

Set-Place -Identity 'RoomMailbox1' -AudioDeviceName 'Sonos One' -VideoDeviceName 'Sony VPL-VW290ES beamer' -DisplayDeviceName 'Samsung Crystal UHD 55' -IsWheelChairAccessible $true

Ending up

After the sync, what can take up to 24 hours or more. The Room Finder will pick up the new meta data and should be visible like below:


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