0 Replies Latest reply: Sep 23, 2010 12:15 PM by PoorWorkingMan
PoorWorkingMan Level 1 (0 points)
I've seen a few posts of this problem in Apple's forums but all were old and none had a solution.

Problem: In an Exchange 2007 environment, a user with Entourage 2007 EWS receives meeting requests (invitations). These invitations show up tentative and user is given the choice to "accept", "maybe", or "decline". The user also has an iPhone configured to for Exchange 2007 and the same shows up on the iPhone's Calendar app. If the user accepts the appointment on the calendar module of Entourage, it shows up as busy on the calendar. You can verify this fact by using Outlook on a PC or Outlook Web Access (OWA - Webmail client for exchange). But on the iphone, the calendar app says it's still an invitation and it's still asking you to accept, maybe, decline.

In my case, the user is a VP (MBP with Entourage 2007 EWS and iphone) and his secretary, who has delegate access to his calendar, manages his schedule with Outlook 2007 on a PC. The VP relies on his iPhone more then his laptop so this poses a problem.

I've confirmed the consistency of this problem by recreating the entire scenario with different hardware (iphone, MBP with Entourage, PC with outlook 2007, new exchange accounts. iphone firmware 3.1.3 and 4.1 (recent) had the same problem.

I did find one work around for those interested but funny enough it did require me to use a PC with Internet Explorer

My work around was as follow:

1. Make the delegate receive meeting request emails. In Entourage of the iphone user, go to Account Settings, open up the exchange account, go to the "Delegates" tab, select the delegate responsible for managing the user's calendar, click on the Set Permission button. On the new window, add a checkmark to "Delegate receives copies of meeting-related messages sent to me"

2. Remove the Tentative (Maybe) entry in the calendar. You need to access Outlook Web Access Premium which you can only do with Internet Explorer ... meaning you need a PC. In OWA Premium, go to Options, Calendar Options and remove the checkmark for "Automatically place new meeting requests on my calendar, marked tentative". Optional, You may also want to add a checkmark for "Automatically process requests and responses from external senders"

One thing I've notice is that, on a computer, if you accept an invitation from within the calendar (entourage or outlook), the iPhone calendar doesn't update the status of that invitation. If you accept the invitation from the email, on the computer, then the iPhone receives the status update ... sometimes after a delay. The reason for step 2 is to prevent the appointment from showing up in the calendar so no one makes the mistake of accepting the appointment from there. The reason for step 1 is that if a calendar is managed by a delegate, by default they don't get the email and because of step 2, they won't see the appointment in the shared calendar. Managing invitations from the mail client on the computers is the safest way.

I should also point out that even after you make the change in step 2, the tentative appointment still shows up on the iPhone's calendar. When a person accepts the invitation using the mail component of Entourage/Outlook, the iphone will get the update status of the event ... eventually.

This is a work around NOT a solution. My opinion is that there's definitely a bug with the iPhone Cal/Mail app with it's handling of exchange accounts.

My question: Is there a real solution for this issue? Is there a way to have an iPhone accurately reflect an Exchange Server's calendar?