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A hybrid Exchange configuration is highly beneficial for any business. It lets you gain the advantages of various online applications but allows you to have total control over the on-premises environment. It gives a feel of a single organization having both Exchange Server on-premises and Exchange Online (Office 365). The hybrid arrangement can also be considered as a bridge between the two platforms before adopting Exchange Online completely.
Here is the configuration that users will get in the hybrid environment –
Sometimes in a hybrid environment, when Exchange Online (Office 365) users try to open their on-premises calendar, they may face issues. Here are some errors which users face in such cases:
“A connection couldn’t be made with the shared calendar. Remove the calendar and try to add it again or ask the owner to share it again.“
Furthermore, the users cannot access the information in the Scheduling Assistant for the user’s mailbox, and the user gets the error ‘Could not be updated.’
The cause behind the unavailability of calendar details in Office 365 is that the default permissions of a calendar are set to ‘None.’ When the user makes a query to the scheduling assistant, the scheduling service functions based on the organization relationship rather than the user’s permissions. That’s why when the user makes a query, the scheduling service checks the organization relationship which is attached to the default account and acts on calendar information like Free/Busy, time, subject, location.
The solution will work for the hybrid environment because the Free/Busy and calendar sharing features work differently as compared to the situation where both the users are in the same platform (either Exchange or Office 365).
The default permissions of the calendar make sure that how the users can see the Free/Busy information. If the default permission is set to either ‘None’ or ‘Controller,’ then the user cannot see the information. Additionally, the user cannot even see the mailbox calendar. It is due to the nature of this permission because ‘None’ and ‘Controller’ both do not provide any visibility to the user. Here are two steps which you can follow:
If the administrator wants to provide the user some control over the calendar, then federated calendar sharing is a suitable option. It includes sending an invitation email to the user who requires full access, and they can open the calendar in Outlook.
The administrator will create a sharing policy at both on-premises and Office 365 and mention the specific domain which will be shared with the user. Mention the internal domain in the policy with the appropriate permission. In the policy, the administrator can assign multiple permissions.
Send the invitation by right-clicking on the calendar and clicking the share option. Allow the desired level of access and share the users who will access the calendar.
In a hybrid environment, sometimes Exchange Online users will face issues with calendar access and free/busy information. With proper permission assignment, these issues can be solved. Also, users can try to back up their calendar data for security reasons. This can be done using Kernel Office 365 Backup and Restore.