Free busy for G Suite and Office 365 Tenants

Cloudiway’s Free/busy calendar coexistence solution is ideal for company mergers, or for companies that require a long-term solution to interoperability. It’s simple to set up and maintain. Cloudiway provides a cloud-based application that manages coexistence without requiring any software installation or overhead.

Overview:

  1. Free busy for G Suite and Office 365 calendar coexistence with Cloudiway
    1. Which systems can use free/busy calendar coexistence?
    2. Audience
    3. Using this guide
  2. Security during coexistence
  3. Configuration overview
  4. Set up Cloudiway for coexistence
    1. Before you start (G Suite, Office 365, Exchange On-Premises)
    2. Set permissions for the Cloudiway service account (G Suite)
    3. Configure Cloudiway connector
    4. Add users
  5. Contact Cloudiway
  6. Configure remote system settings
    1. G Suite — Enable the URI request in Cloudiway
    2. Office 365 — Configure for coexistence
    3. Exchange On-Premises — Configure for coexistence
  7. Test coexistence
    1. Force an update to the Office 365 global address list
    2. Testing
  8. Add users ready for go-live
    1. Import users via CSV file

Appendix A: Troubleshooting

1. Free-busy calendar coexistence with Cloudiway

Calendar coexistence manages cross-platform communication with no impact on the end-user. It provides a seamless connection between vastly different remote systems, such as G Suite, Office 365, and Exchange.

For example, a G Suite user can check the free/busy time of an Office 365 user using Google’s standard calendar interface. Similarly, an Office 365 user on one domain can check the free/busy time of an Office 365 or G Suite user on an entirely different domain.

To achieve this, each remote system needs to be configured to communicate with Cloudiway, including its own ‘connector’ on the Cloudiway platform. The connector allows queries to each system’s free/busy data and a response, which Cloudiway then returns to the enquirer.

For example, bob@warmsushi.com (using G Suite) wants to know if chloe@drypizza.com (using Office 365) is available for a meeting. Bob checks if Chloe is free by creating a meeting request.

Behind the scenes, an availability query is sent to Cloudiway, which first checks for a connector for redfitness.com, then queries it for Chloe’s availability. Cloudiway sends the query results back to Bob so that he can see if Chloe is available at the specified time.

See the next page for more details.

Using Bob and Chloe’s meeting as an example, Bob opens his Google calendar and invites Chloe to a meeting, then clicks on the Find a Time tab to see her free/busy time.

  1. G Suite received the free/busy request
  2. G Suite detects that Chloe is not a G Suite user, then sends the query to Cloudiway
  3. Cloudiway finds the connector for Chloe’s domain name (drypizza.com) and queries Office 365
  4. Office 365 looks up Chloe’s free/busy Calendar
  5. Office 365 received back free/busy details
  6. Office 365 sends the free/busy response to Cloudiway
  7. Cloudiway sends the details to G Suite
  8. G Suite updates the free/busy display for Chloe in Bob’s meeting request

You can also use coexistence during mailbox migrations, which is covered in more detail elsewhere. Basically, during migration with coexistence, end users can continue working without interruption. When a mailbox is migrated, address books are synchronized, the mail is rerouted, and free/busy time is available at both the source of the migration and at the target.

1.1. Which systems can use free/busy calendar coexistence?

Calendar free/busy coexistence can be implemented between two or more remote systems. Currently, the following systems are supported, including any combination and number of these:

  • Office 365/Exchange Online;
  • G Suite; and,
  • Exchange On-Premises 2013 and later.

If you are using Exchange On-Premises 2010 or any other system, please get in touch with our technical consultants at presales@cloudiway.com to discuss how coexistence can be implemented with your combination of remote systems.

1.2. Audience

This guide is aimed at system administrators who are capable of connecting to remote systems such as Exchange Online and Office 365 Admin Panel. Coexistence is a detailed setup that requires a high level of competence and experience with PowerShell.

Although we provide support for our products, we do not provide support for third-party products such as PowerShell or server administration of Google or Exchange.

If you are concerned you might have any difficulty completing these steps, please consider a solution with our consulting team, contactable via sales@cloudiway.com. This will ensure a fast, cost-effective, and stress-free implementation.

1.3. Using this guide

This guide covers three different types of connectors for enterprise coexistence: Office 365, Exchange On-Premises, and G Suite. For clarity, this guide uses a different business name for each:

  • Office 365: drypizza.com
  • Exchange: coldburger.com
  • G Suite: warmsushi.com

The screen dumps used in this guide reflect these business names to provide typical examples of data to enter into each field.

In addition, this guide covers calendar free/busy between the three separate systems. You can skip any sections for systems that won’t be used as part of your cross-platform setup.

2. Security during coexistence

We take your privacy and security seriously at Cloudiway, and we have invested significant effort into making our platform and your data secure. Cloudiway provides a cloud-based application hosted on Windows Azure. It means that the software and data are centrally hosted and accessed by clients using a web browser and internet connection. In addition, Cloudiway’s SaaS benefits from Windows Azure’s certifications, ensuring the security of the infrastructure, network and physical security layers of the Cloudiway cloud.

For total assurance, Cloudiway provides auditing tools, secure, authenticated data connections, and a logging system. More specifically:

  • Free/busy queries are performed in real-time (with a 2 min cache implemented);
  • Google and Office 365 free/busy queries are sent over HTTPS to the coexistence platform;
  • Access to the coexistence platform is authenticated and logged.

3. Configuration overview

There are four simple steps to configuring a remote system to coexist with another remote system:

  1. set up the Cloudiway connectors;
  2. contact Cloudiway to activate your connectors;
  3. configure your remote system settings to enable communication; and,
  4. test coexistence, add users and go live.

Each Cloudiway connector requires a domain name as well as security credentials to allow two-way communication. G Suite also requires Service Account details (email and private key) before the connector can be saved.

You can set up any remote system to coexist at any time. However, you must adhere to the order outlined in each section below, to avoid coexistence being activated before all the required steps have been completed.

NOTE: If you configure your remote systems prior to contacting Cloudiway, you risk being blacklisted by Google and/or Office 365.

4. Set up Cloudiway for coexistence

4.1. Before you start (G Suite, Office 365, Exchange On-Premises)

Before you start, ensure you have the details outlined in the following table.

NameDescriptionLocation
Cloudiway loginStores details and provides communication between the systems you already use.https://portal.cloudiway.com
Knowledgebase accessOur extensive knowledgebase is always accessible, with videos, troubleshooting tools, samples and more.https://kb.cloudiway.com
Cloudiway Tokens (name and private access token)These details are the unique identifiers associated with each of your systems.https://portal.cloudiway.com/tokens (or go to Account Settings from your username when you’re logged into Cloudiway).
Your Cloudiway URLCloudiway will assign a URL to your profile for coexistence (eg, coexistence.cloudiway.com).Usually, this is coexistence.cloudiway.com, but for larger projects, you will be given a dedicated environment. Please contact Cloudiway for further details.

G Suite

There are three simple steps to implementing coexistence with Google:

  • set permissions for the Google service account;
  • configure Cloudiway and G Suite communication;
  • enable the URI request in Cloudiway.

The steps should be completed in that order to ensure coexistence only begins when you’re ready. Each step is explained thoroughly in the sections below.

NameDescriptionLocation
G Suite API consoleRequired to enable APIs and to download the G Suite private key. This can be accessed via your Google Admin account.https://console.developers.google.com
Google Admin consoleThe Admin console is where administrators manage Google services for people in an organization.https://admin.google.com
Standard Google user accountA standard G Suite user mailbox with no specific permissions.Every free/busy lookup will be performed with the identity of this account. We recommend using freebusy@yoursite.com.

Office 365

NameDescriptionLocation
Office 365 login with admin accessRequired later on to ensure an admin login has the Address Lists management roleOffice 365 cloud login
Windows PowerShellRequired to access Exchange remotely to set up free/busy requests for resources (users and rooms).https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn975125.aspx
Office 36 standard user accountA standard Office 365 user created in the cloud with an Exchange license and no specific permissions.Every free/busy lookup will be performed with the identity of this account. We recommend using freebusy@yoursite.com.

Exchange On-Premises

Cloudiway is currently configured to work with Exchange On-Premises 2013 and later only. If you’re using Exchange 2010, please contact us. Our technical consultants will be able to discuss your plan and advise you on additional setup requirements that we can undertake on your behalf.

NameDescriptionLocation
Exchange standard user accountA standard Exchange user with no specific permissions.Every free/busy lookup will be performed with the identity of this account. We recommend using freebusy@yoursite.com.
Port requirementsThe Cloudiway platform needs to connect to Exchange On-Premises securely.Use SSL port 443.

 

4.2. Set permissions for Cloudiway service account (G Suite)

  1. Set permissions for the service account

You can use the Google Admin console to manage the service and its API calls. The following steps show you how to grant access permissions for the service account provided by Cloudiway.

Cloudiway owns a service account that reduces the complexity of having to create your own service account. All you have to do is grant the privileges to access your data.

  1. In a new browser tab, go to https://admin.google.com and log in with your Admin console credentials
  2. Click on Security, then Advanced settings (you might need to click on Show more to see this option)
  3. Click on Manage API client access
  4. Paste in the Client Name: 114818336788408865729
  5. Click on the One Or More API Scopes field and add the following
    https://www.googleapis.com/auth/calendar.freebusy
  6. You can check that the scope was successfully registered by looking for its name next to the client ID you paste

4.3. Configure Cloudiway connector

For Cloudiway to successfully provide coexistence between two remote systems, it needs information from both in the form of the Cloudiway connector. You will need to set up a connector for each domain intended to coexist.

Follow the steps below to configure the G Suite (Cloudiway will route all free/busy requests through a single user on your system. We recommend you create a new user specifically for this (for example, freebusy@yourdomain.com). You will need to add this email address in the steps below.), Office 365 or Exchange On-Premises side of communication with Cloudiway (we will use the Office 365 or Exchange On-Premises standard user account mentioned in the table above).

    1. From your browser, go to https://portal.cloudiway.com and login
    2. Select Project (row)
    3. Go to Connectors in the left side menu
      Coexistence connectors
    4. Click on the NEW button
      New connector
    5. Select GSuite and type a meaningful name in Connector name
      Add new connector
    6. Type your source Domain Names (ie, the Google-enabled domain) and the user login (Admin Email) that will be used to query all free/busy time.
      Note: only free/busy times of users associated with this domain will be looked up: if you have more than one domain, you will need to create a connector for each domain.

      GSuite connector
      GSuite connector
      Office 365 connector
      Office 365 connector

      Exchange connector
      Exchange connector
    7. Click on SAVE

4.4. Add users

Before testing your connectors, you need to add some users. This is a simple task involving a single user associated with each of your connectors (so, a minimum of two individual users). Make sure you have the login credentials for each of your test users.

Please note that any further configuration steps you take after creating your test users may cause you to be blacklisted by Google or Office 365, so please follow the steps below and then contact Cloudiway to confirm you’re ready to test coexistence. Your Cloudiway contact will be in touch after checking over your configuration and will ask you to complete the coexistence testing prior to final activation.

  1. In your browser, go to Free Busy, Free Busy, then in Resources List, click on MANAGE to create (CREATE SINGLE), IMPORT CSV, or EXPORT users.
    Resources List
  2. Click on the SAVE button
    Repeat the above steps so that each of your connectors has at least one associated user.

5. Contact Cloudiway

Now that you’ve set up your connectors and test users, you should contact Cloudiway to activate your account − and your coexistence. Contact services@cloudiway.com to request activation.

Cloudiway will come back to you with information relating to the Cloudiway server URL that you will need to use in the following steps.

Once you’ve heard back from us, we’ll work with you to test your connectors, then activate coexistence. Please note that further configuration at this stage may lead to you being blacklisted on Google and, or Office 365.

6. Configure remote system settings

As soon as the steps below are performed, Cloudiway can complete the configuration so that communication can begin.

6.1. G Suite — Enable the URI request in Cloudiway

For G Suite coexistence to work, you need to enable the URI request in Cloudiway. You will also need the Cloudiway URL that has been assigned to you.

  1. In your browser, ensure you are logged in to https://apps.cloudiway.com
  2. Go to Account in the top right corner of the screen and select Personal Access Tokens (you will need to copy and paste the fields for TokenKey (Name), selected Project, the SecretToken has been sent to you, or you can request it if needed)

    Token
    Coexistence Token Settings
  3. In a new browser tab, ensure you are logged in to https://admin.google.com and from the Home page, click on Apps, then G Suite, then Calendar
  4. Scroll down and click on Calendar interop management
  5. On the empty line below Exchange Web Services URL, type your Cloudiway URL (below is an example for drypizza.com that will not match what you have been given: please use the URL that Cloudiway has assigned to you):

    Google Calendar Interop
    Google Calendar Interop Management
  6. On the empty line below Exchange Role Account, enter your Cloudiway TokenKey (Name)
  7. Click on Enter Password and paste your Cloudiway SecretToken
  8. Ensure that the checkbox for Full event details and Room booking are checked
  9. Click on Save Changes to complete the process

6.2. Office 365 — Configure for coexistence

The configuration of free/busy requests requires an available address space. The ‘add availability address space’ command instructs Office 365 to forward free/busy requests to the Cloudiway platform.

In the steps below, we will create an available address space. In order to create an availability address space, an availability config must exist. The Cloudiway platform doesn’t use this config in any way, but this is required to run the commands.

To connect to your Exchange Online server, you will need to have a basic working knowledge of Windows PowerShell.

  1. Launch Windows PowerShell and connect to Exchange Online: you can download a script to connect here:
    https://kb.cloudiway.com/article/configure-freebusy-office-365-or-exchange/
  2. Before you can create an availability address, you must run the following command at least once
New-AvailabilityConfig -OrgWideAccount limitedUser@company.com

(where limitedUser@company.com is whatever email address on your Exchange server that you want; the Cloudiway platform won’t use this account) The script will output something similar to the text below:

  1. Copy the commands below (also available online at https://kb.cloudiway.com/article/configure-freebusy-office-365-or-exchange/)
    $adminCredsId = "TokenKey" 
    $adminCredsPassword = "SecretToken" 
    $securePassword = ConvertTo-SecureString $adminCredsPassword -AsPlainText -Force 
    $adminCreds = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($adminCredsId,$securePassword) 
    Add-AvailabilityAddressSpace `
    -AccessMethod OrgWideFB `
    -ForestName domainname.com `
    -Credentials $adminCreds `
    -TargetAutodiscoverEpr "https://XXX.cloudiway.com/autodiscover.xml"
  2. Paste the commands into PowerShell, ensuring you have updated the following with your own values: TokenKey (your Cloudiway consumer key, with a slash before the key)
    SecretToken (your Cloudiway consumer secret)
    domainname.com (your destination domain where free/busy time is to be added)
    xxx.cloudiway.com (the server name provided by Cloudiway)If you receive any error messages, check TechNet online (eg, https://technet.microsoft.com/enus/library/bb124122(v=exchg.160).aspx) for more details. If you still need further help, please consider a solution with our consulting team, contactable via sales@cloudiway.com.

6.3. Exchange On-Premises — Configure for coexistence

The steps below work only for Exchange On-Premises 2013 and later. If you have Exchange OnPremises 2010, please get in touch to discuss calendar free/busy coexistence implementation.

  1. Launch Exchange Management Shell to connect to your Exchange server
  2. Copy the commands below (also available online at https://kb.cloudiway.com/article/configure-freebusy-office-365-or-exchange/)
    $adminCredsId = "TokenKey" 
    $adminCredsPassword = "TokenSecret" 
    $securePassword = ConvertTo-SecureString $adminCredsPassword -AsPlainText -Force 
    $adminCreds = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential($adminCredsId,$securePassword) 
    Add-AvailabilityAddressSpace `
    -AccessMethod OrgWideFB `                          
    -ForestName domainname.com `
    -Credentials $adminCreds `
    -TargetAutodiscoverEpr "https://XXX.cloudiway.com/autodiscover.xml"
  3. Paste the commands into PowerShell, ensuring you have updated the following with your own values:TokenKey (your Cloudiway token Name, with a slash before the key)
    TokenSecret (your Cloudiway consumer secret)
    domainname.com (the domain where you’d like the free/busy time to be added)
    xxx.cloudiway.com (the server name provided by Cloudiway)(The Add-AvailabilityAddressSpace command tells Office 365 and Exchange to forward its free/busy requests for the remote domain to the Cloudiway server.)

If you receive any error messages, check TechNet online (eg: https://technet.microsoft.com/enus/library/bb124122(v=exchg.160).aspx) for more details. If you still need further help, please consider a solution with our consulting team, contactable via presales@cloudiway.com.

NOTE: If you use a proxy server with Exchange On-Premises 2010 or 2013, please get in touch with our consulting team to check and resolve any conflicts.

7. Test coexistence

7.1. Force an update to the Office 365 global address list

Office 365 and Exchange can only query the free/busy time of objects that already exist in the global address book. In order to test the free/busy time of the remote system of Office/Exchange, you must:

  • create a test contact from the other remote system (eg, G Suite) in the Office 365 address book;
  • assign an Address Lists management role to an admin user; and,
  • manually force an update to the address book using PowerShell.

The test contact must match the test user that you created for the other connector in section 4.9. Make sure you use the right test user (ie, the one that doesn’t already exist in your global address list).

  1. Create the test user in your Exchange/Office 365 global address list
  2. Login to the Office 365 portal with your administrator account
  3. Go to the Exchange admin center, then click on permissions and the admin roles
  4. Click on the plus sign (+) to create a new role
  5. Give your group a name and assign it the role of Address Lists, then add an admin user to the group:
  6. Click on the Save button to save your group
  7. Open PowerShell and use the following commands to login to Exchange Online
    $UserCredential = Get-Credential
    $Session = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/ -Credential $UserCredential -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
    Import-PSSession $Session
    
  8. Run the command get-addresslist and verify that it’s working
  9. Run the command Set-AddressList -Identity “All users”
  10. Check that the global address list now contains the test user

7.2. Testing

At this point, your system configuration is complete and you’re ready to test coexistence with your test users.

To test, log in to each of your source systems with your test user credentials (for each test user you set up in section 4.7 and open each test user’s calendar. Verify that each test user can see the other’s free/busy time. You should be able to see free/busy time in both directions.

8. Add users ready for go-live

Once you’re satisfied that coexistence is working as expected, you can import your remaining users and go live.

8.1. Import users via CSV file

The easiest way to import all your users is via CSV upload. The Cloudiway platform provides an interface for CSV uploads. The CSV file needs just two columns:

UserEmail;SourceName

where SourceName matches the name of the corresponding Cloudiway connector for each user.

  1. On the Coexistence area of the Cloudiway platform, click on Free Busy then Resources List, MANAGE, you can IMPORT CSV

  2. If required, from the Upload popup, click on Download sample CSV and add your users to the CSV file using the sample headers (UserEmail;SourceName), it is not possible at the moment to upload resources.
  3. When you have a complete CSV with all your  file with the correct headers, click on the Upload button
  4. Locate your CSV file within your own file system, and double-click on it to select it.

Upload CSV

The Cloudiway platform will process your CSV file. You can check and activate the status of each connector associated with a different user.

Remember, Office 365 and Exchange can only query free/busy time of objects that already exist in its global address book.

Appendix A: Troubleshooting

Cloudiway provides an extensive knowledge base with many resources, including common error messages, video guides, and downloads.

The knowledge base also contains information on how you can ask for further support, should you require it. Please visit the entire knowledgebase here (where you can search for keywords or read through topics): https://kb.cloudiway.com/

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