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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail Apps
I'm sure everyone knows this by now, but I am submitting it because I've not see anything about it on the web.

Last night, I received an email with an .ics file attached, and Mail identified it as an iCal file, so I opened it and all of a sudden, there's a new event in iCal. So I asked the sender if he was using iCal and he said no, it was Outlook. Apparently Mail takes Outlook meeting requests and converts them to iCal events.

[robg adds: I think this is relatively new behavior. I tested from my work Outlook account to my home email, and sure enough, double-clicking the .ics attachment in Mail opened iCal. iCal popped up an Accept/Decline dialog box, which included the requester's name, meeting name and time, and asking which calendar I'd like to add the event to. I declined the event, and was surprised to see that I was then offered the ability to send the decline notice to the originator. Very cool...]
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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail | 28 comments | Create New Account
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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: sharumpe on Aug 05, '04 11:29:42AM

This is new as of 10.3. Before that, Outlook meeting requests came through in the text of the message, so you could save them, strip out the email headers, and then double-click them. Now, at least, we don't have to take the extra steps.

There is one problem, though, if you're syncing with a Palm. The Timezone is set in the Outlook .ics file in a format that iCal doesn't recognize, so, when you sync with your Palm, everything is off by 8 hours or so. You need to confirm the timezone of any items put in your calendar from Outlook .ics files.



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: johnr on Aug 05, '04 01:15:07PM

If you look in the .ics file, the time zone is specified as a text string ("TZID:Pacific Time (US & Canada)\, Tijuana", for example). This string does not match the output of iCal from the left coast ("TZID:US/Pacific"). Does anyone know where the Time Zone strings are defined. I've unsuccessfully looked for them in the obvious places. Finding the string definitions and a method to change them would probably complete the solution to Outlook integration.



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: mishaonmac on Aug 05, '04 05:18:31PM

There is no uniform way to refer a timezone according to RFC2445 (iCalendar spec) #4.8.3.1:

This property specifies the text value that uniquely identifies the "VTIMEZONE" calendar component.

I can read the above as each calendar server vendor is free to use *any* uniqe string as long as it refers to a valid VTIMEZONE object on the server.



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: ooninay on Aug 05, '04 09:08:03PM

I've seen this before but so far I've never been able to get it to work (I'm using Panther and the most up-to-date Mail.app (1.3.8)). If I go into Outlook (2003) at work and invite my .Mac e-mail address to a meeting, I get the invite in Mail.app as text-only message with no attachment, e.g.:

When: Thursday, August 05, 2004 10:00 PM-10:30 PM (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada).

Nothing gets added to iCal. Do I have some setting wrong somewhere?



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: archiboy on Aug 05, '04 11:31:14AM

WARNING: it has been my experience that events imported do not respect time zones. If you get an invitation to join a conference call that comes from the east coast (and you are on the west coast) you'll miss the call ;-)



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: googoo on Aug 05, '04 02:24:01PM

I have the same time-zone experience. I generally have to set the time-zone manually for Outlook-generated appointments.

-Mark



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Sorry to burst your bubble
Authored by: scorpion on Aug 05, '04 11:33:50AM

but this has been a feature for quite a long time in Mail. I've personally received Outlook 2000 (I believe they need version 10 but won't swear to it for it to work) invites for over a year from clients. Unfortunately, I haven't figure out an easy way to invite "the infidels" (people using Outlook) from iCal without getting my Ph.D. in Unix (not that that's not a good way to meet women). Would welcome your comments.

Sorry -- just had coffee.



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Sorry to burst your bubble
Authored by: Alrescha on Aug 05, '04 12:38:07PM

"Unfortunately, I haven't figure out an easy way to invite "the infidels" (people using Outlook) from iCal without getting my Ph.D. in Unix"

The last time I looked into this, Outlook specifically checked for a Microsoft-specific tag in the header of the email. If the tag was there, Outlook processed the calendar information. If the tag was not there the information was ignored. My reaction was "typical MS behaviour".

I no longer need to work with Outlook, so I've lost track if this is still the case.

A.



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: rainer3 on Aug 05, '04 11:52:34AM

While all of the above is true, accepting causes problems when trying to mail the response. I've always had my e-mails returned to me and have to redirect them to a correct e-mail address. It might just be me, but I've never had an accepted e-mail response go through, they've always bounced back.



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: nestorph on Aug 09, '04 08:26:15AM

I have a similar problem but it manifests itself a little differently: when I accept an Outlook and agree to the email notification, iCal sends out two email messages--one to the invitor (e.g., john.smith@abc.com) and a second one to an address it somehow creates on its own-- smith@mac.com. I actually had a recipient from the web somewhere write me to complain that he keeps getting my confirmations because his email address happens to be (for example) smith@mac.com.

I remember someone posting a fix awhile ago. It involved changing the iCal email script, but I've misplaced it.
Nestor



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: ajmas on Aug 05, '04 01:51:57PM

For those of you interested, the format used is known as iCalendar, or vCalendar, which is a standardised format. It should be noted that there are propriety extensions added by various companies to add what they feel is missing.

More information on the format can be found here: http://www.imc.org/pdi/ .

I should also note that Palm's Desktop Manager also supports this format, but only version 1.



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: xevious on Aug 05, '04 02:01:14PM
Be careful using the Mail.app exchange connector. It appears to me that if I use the exchange connector instead of IMAP from Mail.app, I no longer get my reciepts or Calendar invitations. The Exchange connector seems to hide several folders (like Calendar and Addresses) and provides no other functionality.

Does anyone know how to access an MS Exchange shared Calendar or Addresses (other than through LDAP). I can see them in IMAP folders but they just appear as email messages.

---
-Douglas

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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: spalmer47 on Aug 08, '04 04:56:53PM

Yeah, I don't use the Exchange connector, but use the IMAP instead. Then, when people send you an Outlook invite, you just open the email and click on the ics to add it to iCal. The problem for me is that they can't get invites or my responses. Haven't figured that one out yet.

---
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. - Lisa Grossman



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: ajoakland on Aug 10, '04 10:02:21AM

Unfortunately, even Entourage 2004 only allows you to see mail messages in any of the folders it accesses. Public Exchange folders become worthless. I work in an environment with 300 PC's and 25 Macs. The Macs are my responsibility. Why the samhell Microsoft doesn't replace its Outlook client with something that really works in OSX is beyond me. I mean, its not like my company will ever get rid of Exchange (unfortunately). Sorry, done griping! (for now)



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: Anonymous on Aug 05, '04 03:12:10PM

This sounds like a plug, which isn't intentional, it is for info. But if you are reading this thread and working in an Exchange environment and by some chance don't already know about it... it is worth checking out the offerings from Snerdware http://www.snerdware.com/



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: bcs on Aug 05, '04 03:40:58PM

This is a great hint.

But how come my 'Mail your answer' check box is gray out for the Decline/Accept screen? Where should I turn this on?



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: david-bo on Aug 05, '04 06:00:48PM

Me too:-(

The checkbox has always been disabled for me, I have tried new accounts, different mail clients, on freshly installed computers etc. Always grey. Any suggestions?

---
http://www.google.com/search?as_q=%22Authored+by%3A+david-bo%22&num=10&hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&btnG=



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: osxpounder on Aug 05, '04 06:30:31PM

With what Windows apps [and others] may we iCal users exchange meetings, or whole calendars? It'd be great if we could put this tool to work for us in among the offices we deal with in our daily corporate lives -- being able to email appointments to Windows users would be pretty darn useful.

---
--
osxpounder



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How to SEND meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: mark hunte on Aug 05, '04 06:50:59PM

Ok, after reading this thread I went and had a play. I'm using 10.28 so they maybe some differences.
All you have to do to send an Invite from iCal is create your event.
Once done and all you info is set, select your event and go to the Attendees in the info side bar and type the email address into the None field. Your will notice it will then offer you possible address as you type. add all the names you want.
Now click the attendees button to send invite.

Just to Note in 10.2.8 to get an invite, I sent one to myself by logging on to my Works mail and sending me one.
In 10.2.8 this arrived as text within the email, even though the Attachment Icon say's there is an Attachment, There is not. So I copied the text from
BEGIN:VCALENDAR to END:VCALENDAR and saved it in a text file with the extension .ics.

Double clicked this and up pops iCal with the do you or don't you want to accept.

That all worked ok apart from the accept email bounced back (will try and find what the problem is)

---
mh



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How to SEND meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: mark hunte on Aug 05, '04 07:23:56PM

Ok, my own sends from iCal was also getting bounced back.
It seems in 10.2.8 at least, iCal screws up the address by adding characters to the address.

If this happens to you, This is an easy fix. before you hit the send invite, click each attendees address and select to edit it. Take out any characters not part of the address and once you have done them all send them.

Also when I send myself an invite from iCal it arrives as an Attachment.

The problem I had with sending an acceptance when I got an invite from Outlook, seems to be a similar issue. the only way so far to solve this is to just send it let it bounce back and then copy the bounced back attachment and acceptance message, and past it in to a new email to the attendee.

---
mh



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How to SEND meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: mark hunte on Aug 12, '04 01:02:54PM
The problem I had with sending an acceptance when I got an invite from Outlook, seems to be a similar issue. the only way so far to solve this is to just send it let it bounce back and then copy the bounced back attachment and acceptance message, and past it in to a new email to the attendee
The answer was when I copied and pasted the text from the email. I did not notice that the mail address had been truncated. so iCal would only see half of the email address. So now all I need to do to avoid this is to make sure the address is all together befor I save the file down.

---
mh

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How to SEND meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: murali1080 on Aug 05, '04 08:45:40PM

It works perfectly fine without any glitch from Mac OS X 10.3.4 Panther.



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: There4IM on Aug 05, '04 10:03:26PM

I predict this thread will swell nicely.

I work in a small office with about a third of us using 10.3, the rest on Windows. Management has recently caught Outlook scheduling fever, and we're coping.

With mail.app and iCal, I seem to be able to click .ics attachments and agree to meetings, HOWEVER, i am at a loss for how to successfully handle updates sent from Outlook. Everytime I click on an updated .ics attachment, i get no response from iCal and usually have to manually comb through the text of that attachment to find the START and END times.

I've looked at Snerdware, but I'm not sure it can fix the issue. Anyone?



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: J0l on Aug 06, '04 03:42:37AM

I've had this issues as well

The way to get around this is to delete the original  meeting in iCal and then double click on the new/updated meeting in Mail.app and the new (updated) meeting will appear, if you don't delete then the message won't update. Annoying but it works



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: Steffan Stringer on Aug 06, '04 06:07:57AM

Does this funcionality depend on the version of Exchange server that's being used?

I didn't get an attachment at all just this message...

When: Friday, August 06, 2004 09:00-09:30 (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).
Where: Steffan's Office


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

If I view the Raw Source (I paste part of the text here) it gives the Exchange server version as 5.5.2653.12......

This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand
this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.

------_=_NextPart_001_01C47B7B.217F4800
Content-Type: text/plain;
charset="iso-8859-1"

When: Friday, August 06, 2004 09:00-09:30 (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US &
Canada).
Where: Numpty's Office

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



------_=_NextPart_001_01C47B7B.217F4800
Content-Type: text/html;
charset="iso-8859-1"

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN">
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<META NAME="Generator" CONTENT="MS Exchange Server version 5.5.2653.12">
<TITLE>Important Meeting</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>

<P><FONT SIZE=2 FACE="Arial">When: Friday, August 06, 2004 09:00-09:30 (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).</FONT>
<BR><FONT SIZE=2 FACE="Arial">Where: Numpty's Office</FONT>
</P>

<P><FONT SIZE=2 FACE="Arial">*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*</FONT>
</P>
<BR>

</BODY>
</HTML>
------_=_NextPart_001_01C47B7B.217F4800--



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: galaher on Aug 06, '04 11:48:19AM

I have the same behaviour i.e. text only invitation with no .ics attachment and no BEGIN:VCALENDAR to END:VCALENDAR, and I'm using OS X 10.3.4 mail.app on the same exchange server version as Steffan. Could be something there.

Header snip:

[code]<META NAME=3D"Generator" CONTENT=3D"MS Exchange Server version =
5.5.2653.12">
<TITLE>Kick Off Meeting for foo bar</TITLE>
</HEAD>[/code]

body of message looks like:

When: Wednesday, March 24, 2004 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada); Tijuana.
Where: Meeting Room

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



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Work with Outlook meeting requests in Mail
Authored by: shawga on Mar 15, '05 01:29:51PM

Just an fyi. If you're seeing the above, you're using exchange 5.5. To get working .ics files, the exchange server (actually, the bridge server) needs to be running exchange 2000 or 2003. Preferably 2003.

Once that happens, you'll get usable .ics files.



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What about meetingmaker?
Authored by: tomem on Aug 07, '04 08:05:21PM

After reading this, I fooled around in meetingmaker and set up a meeting with myself as an external invitee (outside the meetingmaker environment). Sure enough, I received an email with an .ics file attached, that opened in iCal to create a new event in my calendar! Good news, it seemed.

However, when I asked our meeting coordinator (who uses a Windows PC) to try this, an email came, but without the .ics attachment. The only thing I can conclude is that the meetingmaker Mac client sends this out, but that other meetingmaker clients do not. I'd been hoping that the server somehow sent something that was recognized as a meeting record by Mail.app.

That was fun while it lasted, I guess...

---
TomEM
Crofton, MD



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