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Exchange Server 2003 Auto Accept Agent

 

Topic Last Modified: 2006-01-11

By Nino Bilic

This article is an introduction to the Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 Auto Accept Agent. Note that this is an introduction only, and more detailed configuration content can be found in the documents mentioned in the For More Information section.

Auto Accept Agent is an asynchronous store event sink that provides automatic server-side processing of meeting requests that are sent to resource mailboxes. Auto Accept Agent is triggered by the OnSave event when an e-mail message is delivered to the Inbox of a registered resource mailbox. Meeting requests, updates, and cancellations are processed in a first-in, first-out order. If the e-mail message is not a calendar item, Auto Accept Agent may delete it, based on the setting for the DeleteNonCalendarItems parameter, to keep the Inbox clear of read e-mail messages. If the request is a cancellation, the meeting is removed from the calendar.

When a meeting request is delivered to an Inbox folder in the Exchange store, an OnSave event is triggered. If Auto Accept Agent has been registered for that mailbox, the triggering of the OnSave event triggers the agent, which is an ExOLEDB event sink. The following illustration shows the basic process flow, beginning when an e-mail message is delivered to an Inbox.

Auto Accept Agent process flow

When Auto Accept Agent processes meeting requests, it checks the availability of the resource calendar, not the resource published free/busy data, and then sends an accept or decline message to the meeting organizer. The agent evaluates only meetings that occur within a specified booking window for conflicts. The agent does not place any meeting instances that occur beyond the booking window in the resource calendar. After it processes the request, Auto Accept Agent saves a copy of the response to the Sent Items folder, and then moves the original request from the Inbox to the Deleted Items folder. The following illustration shows the logic that Auto Accept Agent follows when it processes a calendar request.

Calendar request process flow

Auto Accept Agent accepts or declines new or updated meeting requests for single meetings based on the following criteria:

  • If the entire span of time between the start and end times of the meeting request is marked as free on the resource calendar, the meeting request is accepted.

  • If any portion of the span of time between the start and end times on the meeting request is marked as busy or tentative on the resource calendar, the meeting request is declined.

  • If a meeting update is requested that overlaps the time of the original meeting, Auto Accept Agent does not consider the time of the original meeting as busy and allows the update to be processed. For example, if you schedule a meeting for 15:00 to 16:00 (3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.) on Friday, and then send an update to reschedule this meeting for 15:30 to 16:00 (3:30 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.) on Friday, Auto Accept Agent accepts the update even though the resource appeared as busy.

Auto Accept Agent expands, accepts, and declines recurring meeting requests according to the following parameters:

  • If a recurring meeting request does not contain an end date or contains an end date beyond the specified booking window, by default, Auto Accept Agent declines the request. If you set the EnforceRecurringMeetingEndDate parameter to False, Auto Accept Agent expands and schedules meeting instances up to the maximum allowed number of months contained in the BookingWindowInMonths parameter. However, because the recurrence will be truncated to the limit set by BookingWindowInMonths, the end date on the organizer's calendar could be different from the end date on the resource mailbox's calendar.

  • The RecurringMeetingConflictPercentageAllowed parameter sets a threshold for the amount of rescheduling required by the organizer when individual instances are declined because of a conflict. It does not enable double-booking.

  • The RecurringMeetingMaximumConflictInstances parameter sets a threshold for the number of conflicts allowed for a recurring meeting before the agent declines the request. This parameter works in conjunction with the RecurringMeetingConflictPercentageAllowed parameter, with the lower of the two thresholds determining whether the meeting request is accepted or declined. For example, if you set the RecurringMeetingConflictPercentage parameter to 25 percent and set the RecurringMeetingMaximumConflictInstances parameter to 2, and then send a meeting request with four instances of a meeting, a maximum of one instance could conflict for the meeting request to be accepted. In this case, the 25 percent threshold for four instances allows only one conflict, even though you have set the maximum number of conflicts allowed to 2.

The default value for both RecurringMeetingConflictPercentageAllowed and RecurringMeetingMaximumConflictInstances is zero. To allow conflicts, you must change both of these parameters.

For more information about the recurring meeting parameters, see "Configuring Auto Accept Agent" in the Auto Accept Agent Deployment and Administration Guide.

When a cancellation message is sent to the resource mailbox, Auto Accept Agent removes the meeting from the resource calendar to ensure that the time appears as free and can then be booked for other meetings.

Auto Accept Agent can be downloaded from Tools for Exchange Server 2003.

When you run the Auto Accept Agent installation wizard, Auto Accept Agent is installed on your computer and is registered as a Component Object Model (COM+) component.

To verify that Auto Accept Agent is registered as a COM+ component
  1. Start Component Services.

  2. Expand Console Root, expand Component Services, expand Computers, expand My Computer, and then click COM+ Applications.

  3. In the details pane, verify that Auto Accept Agent is present. If Auto Accept Agent was installed to run as Local System, it will also appear in the Services snap-in.

When Auto Accept Agent is uninstalled from the server, all installed files are deleted, including all configuration files. If the install folder contains no files, it will also be deleted. If you have modified the configuration file, we recommend that you copy the AutoAccept.config.xml file to another location before you uninstall the agent. If you reinstall Auto Accept Agent, you can then copy the customized AutoAccept.config.xml file back to the install folder, and preserve your previously customized settings.

To uninstall Auto Accept Agent
  1. From the server console, click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.

  2. Under Auto Accept Agent, click Remove.

  3. In the resulting dialog box, click Yes to confirm removal.

After Auto Accept Agent has been installed on a Microsoft Exchange server, you can configure the default processing policy applied on the server by editing the .xml configuration file, AutoAccept.config.xml, which is located in the install folder. The default install folder is \Exchsrvr\Agents\AutoAccept.

You can also specify processing for individual mailboxes in this .xml configuration file. Because no configuration data is stored in the Active Directory® directory service, the configuration settings are unique to each server. The following table contains the configuration settings that you can modify in the .xml configuration file. The DeleteAttachments, DeleteComments, RemovePrivateProperty, DisableReminders, and DeleteNonCalendarItems settings only allow modifications to resource mailbox items, and not to items in the organizer mailbox.

Configuration settings in AutoAccept.config.xml include the following.

 

Parameter Description Possible values Default value Scope

DeleteAttachments

Determines whether to delete attachments in an accepted meeting.

True, False

True

Global, mailbox

DeleteComments

Determines whether to delete comments in an accepted meeting.

True, False

True

Global, mailbox

RemovePrivateProperty

Determines whether to remove the private designation on an accepted meeting.

True, False

True

Global

DisableReminders

Determines whether to disable reminders on an accepted meeting.

True, False

True

Global, mailbox

DeleteNonCalendarItems

Determines whether to delete items in the Inbox that are not meetings.

True, False

True

Global, mailbox

EnforceRecurringMeetingEndDate

Determines whether to enforce an end date for recurring meetings. If set to True, recurring meetings with an end date beyond the end of the booking window are declined.

True, False

True

Global, mailbox

BookingWindowInMonths

The number of months ahead that a meeting can be booked. Requests beyond this limit are denied if EnforceRecurringMeetingEndDate is set to True. If EnforceRecurringMeetingEndDate is set to False, requests will be truncated to the limit set by this parameter.

0–36

12

Global, mailbox

RecurringMeetingConflictPercentageAllowed

The percentage of conflicts allowed when accepting a recurring meeting. Requests greater than this limit are denied.

0–100

0

Global, mailbox

RecurringMeetingMaximumConflictInstances

The number of conflicts allowed when accepting a recurring meeting. Requests greater than this limit are denied.

0–n

(no maximum is enforced)

0

Global, mailbox

TraceLevel

Determines the diagnostic tracing.

0–4

0

Global, mailbox

TraceToEventLog

Determines whether tracing information is logged in the application log.

True, False

False

Global

TraceListenerFile

The file to which tracing information is logged.

String

<system drive>:\temp\log.txt

Global

EnableResponseDetails

Includes a description of why a meeting was accepted or declined in the e-mail response. The response may also include additional conflict information.

True, False

True

Global

IncludeDebugInResponse

Includes the response code and agent information in the e-mail response. Regardless of this setting, debugging information is always returned in the category of the e-mail response.

True, False

True

Global

CustomResponseText

A customizable text string that is included in the e-mail response. This text displays after the response details, but before the debug information in the e-mail response. A new line will display in the e-mail response. If the text string is longer than 512 characters, the text is truncated in the e-mail response.

0–512 characters

None

Global

For more details about the configuration of the Auto Accept Agent, see the For More Information section.

For more information about Auto Accept Agent, see the Auto Accept Agent Deployment and Administration Guide.

 
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