Combining multiple rooms

We are working hard on creating a perfect solution to combine multiple rooms into a single room, but there are many challenges that need to be taken in order for this to work fluently. In the meantime, we provide two ways that can be used as a temporary solution.

The Outlook only solution

If you'll only be using Outlook to create bookings we recommend the read the steps below. However, if you're planning to use the Outlook plugin, GoBright App, or Web portal you can read the full solution below.

This can be accomplished by using a distribution group within Exchange (both local and online). By using the distribution group a booking can be created within multiple rooms.

Create the distribution group

You can create the group either within the User Interface or using PowerShell like written below:

#Create Room List Distribution Groups 
New-DistributionGroup -Name CombinedRoomList -DisplayName 'Combined Rooms' –PrimarySmtpAddress combinedroomlist@yourdomain.com –RoomList

#Add existing Room Mailboxes to Room List Distribution Groups
Add-DistributionGroupMember –Identity CombinedRoomList -Member room1@yourdomain.com
Add-DistributionGroupMember –Identity CombinedRoomList -Member room2@yourdomain.com

This enables the use of the email address 'combinedrooms@gobright.com' to be used as the email address to create a booking on both rooms. 

Using Outlook

We recommend using the distribution group within Outlook, as this list will show up in the Global Address List (GAL). Here it will be possible to check the status of all rooms within the distribution group and book at the same time. 

Temporary implementation

While we are working on a full-fledged solution to combine one or more rooms we have a temporary implementation that can be used.

Do note that this does come with a few challenges when moving or deleting appointments from the combined rooms. If you experience problems in the room behavior we recommend switching to the Outlook only solution.

Create a new room for the combined room

The first step is to create a new resource mailbox for the combined room.

New-Mailbox -EnableRoomMailboxAccount $true -Room -MicrosoftOnlineServicesID "combinedroom@yourdomain.com" -Name "CombinedRoom" -DisplayName "Combined Room" -RoomMailboxPassword (ConvertTo-SecureString -String YourPasswordHere -AsPlainText -Force)

This is treated as any other room mailbox within GoBright and has its own calendar. Make sure to enable to correct calendar processing rules.

Set-CalendarProcessing -Identity combinedroom@yourdomain.com -AutomateProcessing AutoAccept -DeleteSubject $False -DeleteComments $False -AddOrganizerToSubject $False -RemovePrivateProperty $False

Add the following transport rules

We'll now add two transport rules within Exchange that are required to invite the combined room and vice versa. The first rule adds the combined room as a recipient when a meeting request is booked on one of the other rooms.

New-TransportRule -Name "Add combined room as a recipient" -AddToRecipients "combinedroom@yourdomain.com" -SentTo "room1@yourdomain.com", "room2@yourdomain.com" -SetAuditSeverity "DoNotAudit" -StopRuleProcessing $true

The next rule adds the smaller rooms as recipients when the combined room is booked.

New-TransportRule -Name "Add the smaller rooms as recipients" -AddToRecipients "room1@yourdomain.com", "room2@yourdomain.com" -SentTo "combinedroom@yourdomain.com" -SetAuditSeverity "DoNotAudit" -StopRuleProcessing $true

To check if these rules are enabled you can use the command below

Get-TransportRule "Add combined room as recipient"
Get-TransportRule "Add the smaller rooms as recipients"

When both rules appear on the next lines, they are enabled and active.

Add the combined room within GoBright

The last step is to add the combined room that has just been created within GoBright. Check the article here on how to Configuring rooms.

Future developments

While combining rooms is currently limited within GoBright we are striving to add more features regarding multiple rooms. When these features become available we'll update the documentation accordingly.

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