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How to set up coexistence

This guide is for the IT administrator and explains how to setup Pronestor Planner with coexistence.

Coexistance can either be on-premise or in the cloud hosted by Pronestor. For cloud, Pronestor handles the installation parts of the guide, but on-premise customers have to install this themselves on their server.

Table of contents

 

What does coexistence do?

With coexistence Pronestor Planner and MS Exchange are synchronized and room resources are shared. You keep all resources on your Exchange server and create the same resources in Pronestor Planner. All bookings of meeting rooms done in Outlook/MS Exchange will be reflected in Pronestor Planner and vice versa.

Some features of Pronestor are disabled in the coexistence solution.

 

Requirements

  • All users that can book Exchange resources must have a Pronestor user account
  • All users that can book an Exchange resource must have a Pronestor user account
  • All users that can book an Exchange resource must have an Exchange account in the same Exchange environment as the Exchange resources
  • Pronestor must be able to follow all actions in the users’ Exchange account as well as the Exchange resources’ accounts
  • AutoDiscover on Exchange must be reachable from Pronestor - here are some guides on setting it up:
    In general regarding AutoDiscover:
    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/jj900169(v=exchg.150).aspx
    How to test/validate:
    https://testconnectivity.microsoft.com
    http://blogs.technet.com/b/rmilne/archive/2014/10/02/how-to-check-exchange-autodiscover-srv-record-using-nslookup.aspx
  • Its highly recommended that the Exchange service account is set without a password expiration date.
  • One and same Exchange server end-point must be able to resolve all users, rooms and their calendars via the Exchange Web Service set up in Pronestor. It can be found in the administration settings under the tab Settings.
  • Server must have the feature "Message Queuing Server" enabled
  • All rooms and users within Pronestor - must have their primary smtp set to the original and not an alias.
  • No contraints must exist for the rooms in Exchange, since these are controlled by Pronestor.
  • Exchange Web Services must be reachable from Pronestor
  • The attached settings must be applied to the exchange resources (see the buttom of the guide for the download link)

 

 

Service Account

  • Exchange service account with application impersonation permissions on users including other settings.
    Please see this guide on how to set it up https://helpdesk.pronestor.com/hc/en-us/articles/203580165-Settings-permissions-for-Exchange
  • Exchange service account must have a mailbox and the primary email address for that account must be the original one and not an alias
  • The Exchange service account must be dedicated to the Pronestor solution and not a shared service account for other services as well

 

On-premise only - installing the modules

The coexistence module needs the Syncronization Module installed. Both modules will be covered in this guide. The modules have to be installed on the same web server as the Pronestor web site.

 

Configuring the Syncronization Module

Pronestor Planner has to be configured to be aware that synchronization is enabled.

  • Download the ExchangeBookingSyncService.zip from http://help.pronestor.com/download/
  • Unzip in c:\program files\pronestor aps\sync
  • With Notepad open "ExchangeBookingSyncService.exe.config"
  • Set the dbConnectionString
  • Set dryRun to "true" for testing, or set to "false" for alive sync
  • Save and Exit

Connect the service account with Pronestor Planner

  • In the Administration interface in Pronestor Planner
  • Set the Exchange Web Services with the credentials for your Exchange Web Services

You can start by running the Syncronization Module in a console to ensure that the module has been properly configured before installing it as a Service.

 

Installing the Syncronization Module

  • Open a command prompt
  • Navigate to the "Sync" folder
  • Type "ExchangeBookingSyncService.exe install" (if installing multiple service instances, use -i [optionalservicename] to name the specific instance name - ex. ExchangeBookingSyncService install -instance:SyncServiceXYZ)
  • Once installed - open "Services.msc"
  • Open the "ExchangeBookingSyncService"
  • Set "Log on"-tab, use an account with local administrative permissions
  • Go to "General"
  • click "Start"

For any issues - please check log.txt or check event viewer

 

Installing the coexistence module

Pronestor Planner has to be configured to be aware that coexistence is enabled.

  • Open "appSettings.config" within the configuation folder of Pronestor
  • Ensure that the key "ExchangeIntegrationMode" is set to "Coexistence".
    i.e. <add key="ExchangeIntegrationMode" value="Coexistence"/>
  • Recycle the app pool

 

Cloud only - connecting the service account with Pronestor Planner

Connect the service account with Pronestor Planner

  • In the Administration interface in Pronestor Planner
  • Set the Exchange Web Services with the credentials for your Exchange Web Services

 

Configuring in Pronestor Planner

  • In Pronestor Planner, go to Administration --> Settings --> Exchange integration.
  • Input relevant Microsoft Exchange information (URL, Username, Password and/or Domain)

If a user that is not registered in Pronestor books a coexisted room resource, Pronestor will assign the fallback user as the meeting owner.

  1. Select the Username of the fallback user
  2. Click Save
  3. test the connection. Confirm that Exchange Web Services status is OK and that Synchronization service status is Online
  4. Go to Administration --> Settings --> Other settings --> Attendees
  5. Set a regex which encompasses email domains that are to be considered for internal (as opposed to external) attendees. Example: pronestor.com|pronestorhr.com would grant all attendees with those two email domains internal status for meetings
    IMPORTANT: This step should be carried out before importing rooms and their respective calendars
  6. Go to Administration --> Resources
  7. Click New resource
  8. For Exchange rooms that need to be coexisted in Pronestor, click Yes. Else, click No.
  9. Input the Exchange email of the room resource and check/uncheck "Only import future bookings" depending on your preference. (For room resources with a long history, we recommend to only import future bookings)
  10. Click Validate and set up the remaining settings for the room.
  11. Click Save.
  12. Repeat step 6 through 11 for each room resource

When a room is imported it takes some time (depends on the amount of meetings that needs to be loaded) for Pronestor to import all the meetings in the room's calendar. To the left of the room resource name a status icon will be displayed.
There are the following states:

  • cloud-download.png Room calendar is currently being imported
  • cloud-checked.png Room calendar has been succesfully imported
  • cloud-sync.png Pronestor is currently synchronizing with the Exchange calendar
  • cloud-unavailable.png Connection to the Exchange server has been lost. Troubleshoot by verifying that the Exchange server is up and running and, subsequently, that the Microsoft Exchange information in Administration --> Settings --> Exchange integration is correct
  • cloud-error.png Pronestor has received an error message from Exchange. Pronestor will try to recover from this state
Remember: When the room calendar has been succesfully imported, activate the resource in the right side of the respective row.

 

Disabling Pronestor email notifications, to avoid double notifications

In coexistence you get notifications from both Pronestor and Outlook. This is annoying. You can disable the Pronestor notifications either by disabling the toggle called "EnableEmailService" or by running this script on the sql database:

update appuser set enable_mail = 0

 

If some users need notifications it's possible to enable them specifically. First you run the previous script to disable everyone. Then you run this script to enable specific users

update appuser set enable_mail = 1 where email = 'users email addresse'
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