SharePoint 2010 Calendar Overlay – Events Showing Free/Busy

Once you’ve overlaid an Outlook calendar on a SharePoint Calendar list (if you want to know how to do that, read this blog post!), you might see the calendar events display as Free/Busy/Tentative:

busyFreeEvents

How would you display the events so that they show more useful information, such as event subject and location?

Turns out that you’ll need to change the Outlook permissions other users have to see more detailed information about your calendar events. Here are the steps to change the permissions in Outlook 2010:

  1. In Outlook, turn to the Calendar view to see the calendar
  2. Under the “Home” tab, click “Calendar Permissions”
  3. In the Calendar Properties dialog box, set the permission level for a user/group to Free/Busy time, subject, location. For example, give the Default users the ability to see the Free/Busy time, subject and location for this user’s calendar appointments by following these steps:
    • Select Default
    • Change the permissions to Free/Busy time, subject, location
    • Click OK

Now when you go back to the Outlook calendar you overlaid in your SharePoint Calendar list, you can see the event information:

EventSubject

Using Calendar Overlay to view your Outlook Calendar in SharePoint

Relates to: SharePoint 2010

In SharePoint 2010, you can now overlay an Outlook Calendar onto a SharePoint calendar list and essentially aggregate multiple calendars into one view! This new functionality is a lot better than what was available in Sharepoint 2007, where users could only view Outlook calendars using the “Outlook Web Access” calendar web part.

In this blog post, I’ll go through how to overlay an Outlook calendar in SharePoint.

Create the Calendar list

Let’s start by first creating the calendar list:

  1. On the site, click Site Actions > View All Site Content > Create
  2. Choose the “Calendar” list template, give your calendar a name and click Create:

Create Calendar

Add the Outlook Calendar

Once the calendar list is created, in the ribbon, click on the tab for Calendar Tools > Calendar and choose Calendars Overlay:

Calendar Overlay

Click New Calendar

Give the calendar a name and choose the “Exchange” calendar type

For the urls you’ll need to point to your OWA and Exchange web service url.  You can use the “Find” option to have SharePoint find the Exchange web service url associated with the OWA url. Here is an example:

Calendar Settings

And here is the result!

Overlay Result

Limitations

  • You can overlay up to ten calendars
  • Calendar Overlay doesn’t work using the v3 UI
  • I can’t seem to figure out how to show another person’s calendar by default, which I feel like you should be able to do! (so if you know, let me know!)

Conclusion

Being able to overlay calendars in SharePoint 2010 allows users to view SharePoint calendar events and Outlook events in one view, which is great for projects and personal productivity in that you can compare your personal calendar to either a team or project meeting schedule immediately! You should try out this new 2010 feature!