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Your 25Live scheduling environment provides the ability to send event information from Microsoft Outlook to 25Live. The Outlook integration feature lets you create an event in Outlook, select an available Location for it, select its Event State and Event Type, and add a Sponsoring Organization. Your newly created Outlook event can then be sent to 25Live for ongoing management and display on calendars, saving you time and extra steps.

Prerequisites

  • Download the necessary files for Outlook Integration installation and configuration from the Software Downloads page (Series25 Customer Resources login required).
  • For configuration steps, you’ll need a 25Live administrator who is familiar with your instance’s cabinets, folders, and event types. The administrator must have proper permissions in 25Live to manage folders and the event hierarchy in the Administration Utility.
  • You must be running Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Exchange 2013 or later. No previous Outlook versions are supported.
  • Each user’s email address in Microsoft Outlook must match the email address in their 25Live contact record.
  • You must have the Microsoft Outlook Web App (OWA) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlook_Web_App) set up for your Microsoft Exchange Server.
  • All 25Live users who will use Outlook integration must have the "Academic" > "3.0 View SIS Import Messages" security setting in the Series25 Group Administration tool. See Permissions in Series25 Group Administration for more detail. 
  • Before you can use the 25Live Outlook integration feature, the 25Live Outlook Mail app must be installed in the Outlook Web App. Your institution's Microsoft Exchange administrator should provide you with the manifest file required to install the 25Live Outlook Mail app. See instructions below.

Recommended Workflow


Image: Example workflow using Outlook integration.

Getting the Outlook Integration Files

Go to the Software Downloads page (Series25 Customer Resources login required) and download the zipped folder of integration files.

Configuring Outlook Integration For Your 25Live Instance

There are three steps (all outlined below) that must be done to configure Outlook integration for your 25Live instance:

  • Set User Permissions in 25Live
  • Configure a Unique 25Live Folder for Routing Outlook Events
  • Customize the Manifest File

Your 25Live administrator and Microsoft Exchange administrator should complete these steps.

The Outlook Mail app uses the vCalendar data standard to send information from Outlook to 25Live. You can learn more about the vCalendar standard and how it’s used in 25Live in the Understanding vCalendar (pdf, Series25 Customer Resources login required).

Setting User Permissions in 25Live

Any security group you wish to use Outlook integration with 25Live must have the "Academic" > "3.0 View SIS Import Messages" security setting in the Series25 Group Administration tool to be able to send events from Outlook to 25Live.

See Permissions in Series25 Group Administration for more detail. 

Configuring a Unique 25Live Folder for Routing Outlook Events

Events created in the Outlook Mail app need to be routed to a single folder in your 25Live event structure. We recommend you use an event structure like the one described in this best practices article: Best Practices: Cabinets, Folders, and Event Types (Series25 Customer Resources login required). With this structure in place, you’ll be less likely to encounter routing errors when sending events from Outlook to 25Live.

If you already have a more complex cabinet/folder structure in place, we recommended creating a new Outlook events folder and making sure events created in Outlook can be correctly routed into that folder. Information about cabinets, folders, the Event Type Hierarchy, and 25Live's “default routing rule” can be found in the 25Live Administration Utility Help.

Recommendations and Information for Setting up an Outlook Events Folder:
  • Folders are created and managed in the 25Live Administration Utility using the Manage Folders task tab in the Events section.
    • Note: You must have the proper security permissions to use 25Live Administration Utility functionality. If you can't sign into the Administration Utility or use Events functionality, see your 25Live Administrator.
  • An Outlook event can only be routed to a folder that has an appropriate parent folder type for the event's event type.
  • The beginning and end dates of an Outlook event must be the same as or within the boundary date range of the Outlook events folder. Set a broad date range for the Outlook events folder.
  • If an event created in Outlook can't be routed based on event type and begin/end dates alone, it is routed to a folder with the same associated organization as the event. Make sure the Outlook events folder has an appropriate primary organization associated with it.
  • Create one or more event types for Outlook events, and make sure those event types have Unlocked Transactional selected in the vCal Processing field.
To add an event type:
  1. Click the Event Type Hierarchy task tab in the Events section of the Administration Utility.


    Image: The Events tab in the 25Live Administration Utility.
  2. Use the Browse (manage/add) link, and expand the Hierarchy to display the folder type you want your new event type under.
  3. Click Event Type, then create the event type as described in the 25Live Administration Utility Help, making sure to select Unlocked Transactional from the vCal Processing dropdown.


    Image: Be sure to choose Unlocked Transactional from the vCal Processing dropdown.

Customizing the Manifest File

Before you import the manifest file, you can configure it for your environment.

  1. Find the two lines beginning with <SourceLocation DefaultValue=
  2. Customize them to include the base WebServices URL for your institution.
    • Use the parameter base_url
    • Replace <instance> with your own 25Live instance name:
      https://25live.collegenet.com/25live/data/<instance>/run/

Example code
Image: Customizing the manifest file.

Administrators: Installing the 25Live App As an Add-In

1. Sign Into the Microsoft Admin Center

Use the Microsoft Admin Center using an account with the necessary permissions to deploy add-ins.

2. Choose to Deploy Add-In

Go to deploy or manage Add-Ins (depending on your version of Outlook).

3. Upload the Custom App

Find the option to add or upload custom apps, then indicate that you have a manifest file.

You can then enter the following URL for the manifest file:

https://25live.collegenet.com/outlookintegration/manifest/outlookintegration.xml

Install the 25Live app in your Outlook/Exchange environment.

4. Choose Options For Users

You will be prompted to choose how to make the app available and to which users.

End Users: Installing the 25Live Add-In Within Outlook

1. Refresh Your Outlook Sign-In

If the app has been newly installed in your institution's Outlook environment, you may need to sign out of Outlook then sign back in.

2. Edit an Event in Outlook

Find or create an event you have permission to edit in Outlook. Open the event to edit it.

3. Choose the 25Live Add-In

Outlook on the web
Image: The more menu looks like three dots in the ribbon, as shown in the web/browser version.

When editing or creating an event using either the web version of Outlook from your browser or a desktop version on Windows or Mac, open the ellipsis (three dots) ... option in the ribbon at the right end of the top ribbon menu.

Outlook on desktop
Image: The more (three dots) menu location in Outlook for Mac.

Choose the Get Add-ins or Office Add-ins option, depending on the version.

Add-in menu
Image: Click on the 25Live for Outlook add-in.

The 25Live add-in your institution administrator installed should be listed under Admin-managed. Click or tap on 25Live for Outlook, and close the add-ins view.

4. Add Your 25Live Instance

After adding the app, you will need to set your 25Live instance name. Enter the information in the following prompts of the add-in:

Base URL: 25live.collegenet.com

Instance: (your instance name)

Use the Save button to save these settings. This information could be reset if you ever wish to send events to a different 25Live instance.

Contact Series25 Support to get your 25Live instance name

If you don't know the name of your 25Live instance, contact Series25 Support.

5. Sign In to 25Live

When first using the add-in, you will be prompted to sign in to 25Live. Use a 25Live username that has the same email address as the Outlook account you're logged in with.

Reminder: The 25Live Outlook App Add-In Uses vCal

Note that the app will send events to 25Live in the vCal format, which means you must have a unique target destination setup in your 25Live event hierarchy, for the event to route properly into 25Live, as described under the "Configuring a Unique 25Live Folder for Routing Outlook Events" heading above.

Using the 25Live Outlook Mail App

The primary use of 25Live Outlook integration is to give you the ability to create an event in Outlook and then send that event information to 25Live and the Series25 database. Once in 25Live, more complex edits and management of the event’s details, location, and resources should be done there.

Creating a New Event in the Desktop Client

  1. Go to the calendar view in Outlook and click the button or link for a New Appointment or New Meeting.
  2. Complete the following Outlook fields as you normally would:
    Subject
    Start time and date
    End time and date
    Description or notes about the event

    Don't complete the Location field. You'll set the location using the 25Live app.

  3. Click the Save icon at the top of the window.


    Image: The Save icon in Outlook.

    If you accidentally close the event, simply find it on your calendar again and re-open it.

  4. Click the Apps for Office button in the event or appointment window's toolbar, then click the 25Live app button.
    If you are not currently logged into 25Live in this web browser, you will be prompted to log into your 25Live instance.

Creating a New Event in the Web Application

  1. Go to the calendar view in the Outlook Web Application and click the new event link above and left of your calendar.
  2. Complete the following Outlook fields as you normally would:
    Event
    Start time and date
    Duration
    Description or notes about the event
    Attendees

    Don't complete the Location field. You'll select the Location using the 25Live Outlook app.


    Image: Do not complete the Location field.
  3. Save the event.
    The Outlook web client closes an event when saving it. Find the event on your calendar and re-open it. Then, click the EDIT link to continue editing the event.
  4. Click the APPS button and select the 25Live app from the list.


    Image: Use the APPS button.

    If you are not currently logged into 25Live in this web browser, you will be prompted to log into your 25Live instance.

    Reminder: You can't send an Outlook event to 25Live until you have first saved it in Outlook.

Sending Your Event to 25Live

  1. As indicated above, open the Apps section in the Outlook Web Application and click the 25Live button.
    You see the 25Live Outlook app pane to the right of your Outlook event.
  2. Click the Find a New Location button to access your saved and public location searches.


    Image: The 25Live Outlook application.
  3. Select a location search and/or click the Show Available Locations button.
    25Live searches for available locations.
  4. Select a location from the resulting drop-down.
    Only available locations appear in the drop-down list.
  5. Below the buttons, select the Event State of your new event.
    Note: You can’t create event drafts using the Outlook Mail app.

  6. Start typing the name of the event’s Sponsoring Organization, then select it from the displayed search results.
  7. Take a moment to review your choices and, when ready, click the Send to 25Live button.
    25Live checks to confirm that your chosen location is still available, and then saves your event to the Series25 database, accessible from 25Live.

25Live security affects your choice options

Only Event States, Event Types, and Sponsoring Organizations that you have permission to view in 25Live are displayed in the corresponding fields in the 25Live Outlook Mail app. Contact your 25Live administrator if you need to see other options.

If your event information didn’t return any errors, you see a success message.


Image: The success message after sending an event.

Creating a Series of Repeating Events

You can create a series of repeating events in Outlook and send all the events to 25Live. You should then do any other editing or management of the events in 25Live. You can't make changes to an event occurrence or create exceptions to a repeating series from within Outlook. The 25Live Outlook app does not allow you to send a repeating Outlook event to 25Live that contains occurrence exceptions.

Other Event Tasks Available with Outlook Integration

The 25Live Outlook app is best used for creating new events in Outlook and then sending them to 25Live for ongoing management. However, you can also complete the following small changes to single events from within the 25Live Outlook app:

  • Choose a new location
  • Change the date or recurrence pattern
  • Change the Event State or Sponsoring Organization
  • Add or remove attendees

These changes can only be made by the event Scheduler.

For any of the fields above, change the information in the 25Live Outlook app panel, then click the Send to 25Live button.

There are additional buttons at the bottom of the 25Live Outlook app panel that allow you to:

  • Refresh the event information from the 25Live database
  • Cancel an event in 25Live
  • Sign out of 25Live

Additional Usage Notes

  • If your institution is set up to authenticate using Single Sign On with LDAP or Shibboleth, you can log in with those credentials through the 25Live Outlook Mail app.
  • If you list attendees in Outlook, they’ll show in the event description in 25Live, and the Head Count field in 25Live will be updated.

    Your administrator can turn off the option to show Outlook’s event attendees in the 25Live event description by configuring an option in the manifest file.

  • Only one event location is supported for sending from Outlook. To create more complex events with multiple locations, use 25Live.
  • If you update an event with resources in 25Live and then change the event in Outlook, the resources will be removed. Manage all resources for events in 25Live, and always edit events in 25Live after resources have been added.

Troubleshooting

Error Messages and Issue Solutions

  • Message: Could not determine Outlook mode of read or compose. Please check manifest file.
  • Message: Please specify an event type in the send settings.
    • Solution: In the 25Live app panel in Outlook make sure you have chosen a value for the Event Type field, then try sending the event to 25Live again.
  • Message: Please try signing out and then sign in again, or create a 25Live account with matching email address before sending events to 25Live.
    • Solution: The email address associated with your Outlook user may be different than the email address associated with your 25Live account. Follow the instructions in the error message and try again.
  • Message: Only the organizer of this appointment may send it to 25Live.
    • Solution: You may be trying to send an event to 25Live that you did not originally schedule in Outlook. You may be reading an event in Outlook sent to you by someone else. Only the scheduler of an event can send event changes from Outlook to 25Live.
  • Message: Not sending the event to 25Live. The organization cannot be found.
    • Solution: You have a value in the Sponsoring Organization field of the 25Live Mail app that is not in the Series25 database. Start typing in the Sponsoring Organization field, and you’ll see search results that match what you started typing. Select an organization from the search results.
  • Message: The space could not be found in 25Live. Not sending this event to 25Live.
    • Solution: You may have typed in or chosen a location in the Outlook Location field that is not in the Series25 database. Do not complete the Location field in Outlook. Instead, use the Find a Location button in the 25Live app panel to select a location.
  • Message: You do not have the necessary 25Live permissions to use the Outlook App.
    • Solution: You don’t have the appropriate permissions in 25Live for sending events from Outlook. Contact your 25Live administrator to change your user permissions or security group. Refer to the Setting User Permissions in 25Live section of this document for more detail.
  • Message: 25Live does not support a relative yearly repeat pattern. Please submit each instance of this repeat appointment to 25Live separately.
    • Solution: Follow the instructions in the error message. There are currently no plans to support yearly repeats in 25Live.
  • Message: Your 25Live configuration does not allow you to select a supported event state.
    • Solution: Your 25Live configuration or user permissions don’t allow you to select Tentative or Confirmed as the Event State. Event drafts are not supported in 25Live Outlook integration. See your 25Live administrator to request a change to your instance’s configuration or your user permissions.
  • Message: Could not identify the appointment in Outlook. Please try saving the appointment and sending again.
    • Solution: You may have changed some of the event fields in Outlook without saving and then tried to edit or send event details in the 25Live app pane. Save the event in Outlook, re-open it, then proceed with changes in 25Live's app pane. It is always best to edit your existing event in 25Live instead of Outlook.
  • Message: Routing Error when sending the event to 25Live.
  • Message: This repeating event contains a repeat exception for the following dates: mm-dd-yyyy, mm-dd-yyyy, mm-dd-yyyy
    • Solution: Each “mm-dd-yyyy” is the date of an occurrence of your event, such as 12-01-2019 or 01-15-2020. Remove the date, time, or location exceptions, or recreate the event in 25Live.

Other Issues

  • Issue: I don't see the Manage apps option in my Outlook settings.
    • Recommendation: See your Microsoft Exchange administrator for help. You may not have the necessary permissions set for your user in Outlook.
  • Issue: I accidentally chose a room or location in Outlook rather than in 25Live.
    • Recommendation: Close, then re-open the event in edit mode in Outlook. Open the 25Live Outlook app panel and click the Find a Location button to re-select an available location.
  • Issue: My location choice has a conflict.
    • Recommendation:  Click the link to view the availability grid for that location, then select a new time or different location.
  • Issue: I see a blank (or only an icon) screen in my Outlook app’s window panel.
    • Recommendation: You may not have properly customized the 25Live Outlook Integration manifest file (outlookintegration.xml). Make sure the name of your instance is completed in all areas as specified in Customizing the Manifest File.
  • Issue: I can't add a meeting/event I didn't create using the 25Live add-on.
    • Recommendation: You can only use 25Live integration to add events that you created or have editing permissions for. If needed, a user may create their own copy of a meeting/event to send to 25Live.

Getting Additional Help

If you need additional help with any errors or issues, begin by determining whether your problem lies with Outlook or the 25Live Outlook app. Speak with your Microsoft Exchange administrator if you believe your problem is associated with Outlook. If you need to contact CollegeNET for additional support:

  • First, gather this information:
    • your institution name
    • the version of Outlook you're using
    • your 25Live user name
    • the Location, Event Type, and Sponsoring Organization you chose
    • any knowledge you have of your security group permissions
  • Next, write down the event reference number from the 25Live Outlook Mail app pane.


Image: 25Live event reference number example.

  • Finally, note the actions you were taking that resulted in the error or message and take screen shots of those errors and messages.

Categorize your issue:

  • If you think you encountered a bug or the feature is not working as intended, contact Customer Support (support@collegenet.com). 1-503-973-5250).
  • If you need additional information about how to use the feature or how it functions, contact Functional Support (asktrainers@collegenet.com).





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