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Integrating with Calendars

Each Agent in NetHelpDesk gets their own Calendar. This is unique to them, and you can view multiple Agents NHD Calendars in the Calendars feature on the main Home ribbon option.

To see Calendars, make sure that it is added as a Feature Visible for that Agent, and the feature is switched on in the Main Configuration.

Calendars 1
Calendars 2

Each Agent's NHD calendar appointments can then be sent to either their Exchange/Office 365 account, or Google account Calendar, and/or their smartphone calendars. NHD creates a two way sync between the NHD calendar and the external calendar. If one is updated, it will reflect in the other.

Additionally, it is possible to bring in their external calendars appointments/meetings into NHD as well, to ensure full visibility of their availability. This is only switched on if required, and not switched on by default.

Any concerns about calendar entries added to the external calendar, simply mark as Private, and the time will still be shown in NHD, but the content will not be.

There are three instances when an Appointment can be created against an Agent's Calendar in NetHelpDesk:

    A - When a job is scheduled, using the Set Planned Date action, an appointment can be created using the planned date field and the estimated duration field within the request.

    B - When any action is added, NetHelpDesk can create an appointment using the Action Done At and Action Time Taken fields in the action that is being added.

    C - When an appointment, or multiple appointments, are created against a request, for one or multiple Agents.


Outlook Calendar Appointments using Exchange Web Services

Exchange Web Services can be used which does not require Outlook or any MAPI tools to be installed on the server.


Setup for EWS

The first step is to ensure you have a user with the Application Impersonation role enabled in exchange. (click HERE for the Microsoft documentation)

    1. Go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Calendars and Appointments > Click Outlook > Pick EWS from the drop down > Enter the details required and test.

    2. Now go to each technician profile in N > Setup > Main Configuration > Technician > Edit the technician and scroll down to Calendar and choose Always or Ask (explained further down).

    3. The last step is to ensure that the Agents have the correct email address against their profile as this is used to access the correct account.


Outlook Calendar Appointments using MAPI Profiles

MAPI profiles can be used for the Calendar integration feature. Previous configurations using the FQDN strings to connect are still possible, but profiles is easier to setup and maintain.


Creating the MAPI Profiles

    1. Make sure that the machine where NetHelpDesk is installed does not have the MAPI CDO Client installed. If it is, uninstall, and restart the machine before proceeding.

    2. On the machine that will be running the NHServer program, go to Control Panel > Mail > Add Profile and enter the information required to access the mailbox of the Technician who you want to create appointments against.

    3. Now open Microsoft Outlook and connect with this profile. You may be asked to enter credentials. Enter the correct password and click Remember Password.

    4. This will need to be done for each mailbox you want to create Calendar appointments in, and bring existing appointments from their Exchange calendars.

    5. Then go back to the NetHelpDesk main Windows application, and go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Agents and put the MAPI profile name against each Technician’s account, as necessary.

    6. If you wish to use Technician specific settings to control whether the program will create appointments or not, please specify when it is required for NetHelpDesk to create an appointment for the Technician.


Option

Description

Never

Will not ever create an appointment in Outlook Calendars, even if they are present in NetHelpDesk Calendar.

Always for Appointments

For any request that has a ‘planned date’ set, an entry will be created every time in the Technician’s Calendar that is assigned to the request.

Ask

Will prompt for permission before adding an appointment from the NetHelpDesk Calendar into the Outlook Calendar.


    7. Change the NetHelpDesk.udl file path to have ‘(Path to udl) ONCE BLANK BLANK BLANK MAPINTSERVICE’ for this to work with a scheduled task.


Calendar Integration Configuration

Now the Technician accounts are connected to their MAPI profiles, NetHelpDesk knows where to put their individual Calendar Appointments outside of NetHelpDesk. We now want to switch the feature on, to complete the setup configuration.

    1. Now, go to N > Setup > Main Configuration > Calendars / Scheduling.

    2. The screen looks busy, but information for this area is important, so will need to be followed carefully, to understand how it will all come together.

    3. Choose Exchange, if you are working with MAPI profiles, or Google Calendar, as necessary.

    4. Select When to Create an Appointment, from the drop down menu:


    Option

    Description

    Never

    Will not ever create an appointment in Outlook Calendars, even if they are present in NetHelpDesk Calendar.

    Always for Appointments

    For any request that has a ‘planned date’ set, an entry will be created every time in the Technician’s Calendar that is assigned to the request.

    Ask

    Will prompt for permission before adding an appointment from the NetHelpDesk Calendar into the Outlook Calendar.

    Use Technician Level Setting

    Will use specified option setting from the Technician’s account.


    1. To create appointments for any action, (using action date and action time taken fields), ensure to check the Show Checkbox – Automatically creates a Calendar Entry for Actions option, to allow the “Add to Calendar” button to show on all actions in NetHelpDesk.

    2. Import Technician Appointments from Exchange and show in Calendar checkbox allows for anything in the Technician’s personal calendar to be pulled into NetHelpDesk. If the appointment is marked as private, the time will be marked in NetHelpDesk with the term “Data unavailable” as it is restricted from view.

    3. Select how many days in the past, and in the future, to bring into NetHelpDesk on a calendar sync, which is run during a typical NHServer scan.

    4. Extra Details section is there for backwards compatibility. It’s not preferred to use this for new users.

    5. The option to send e-mails from NetHelpDesk to Technician’s specified e-mail addresses is available, which can be useful if you have a central team co-ordinating Engineers, for example.

    6. Estimate – Default Value allows for a specific amount of time to be automatically allocated to a Calendar entry that is added as an appointment.

    7. Today’s Planned Requests has a colour scheme chooser, so you can in the calendar view the entries that have been automatically generated as part of a schedule.

    8. The NetHelpDesk Calendar Display allows you to set the working days’ time and active time, in much the same way you can with Microsoft Outlook.

    9. The Appointments Interface – Calendar Format allows control of what information goes from the appointment and/or request, into the Calendar entry in the external Calendar.


Calendars and Scheduling Appointments

To help organise teams and individual Technician’s time can be a thankless, laborious task, and if you have ever used Excel spreadsheets to manage this, you will be all too aware of the importance, but logistics of the managing a team’s time. NetHelpDesk goes the extra mile to make your lives easier, by having a central calendar function. Each Technician login has its own calendar, and calendar colour.

The central calendar feature can separate out each Technician’s calendar, or can group all of the entries into one group calendar. The option to set the number of days to appear, time intervals on the calendar, and to include pertinent data are available from the main Calendar screen.

To make it even better, NetHelpDesk can interact with your calendar or calendars that are used outside of NetHelpDesk, such as on Exchange in their individual Outlook accounts, Google Calendar, or Office 365 calendars. It will intelligently push data out to the calendars, adjust external calendar based on changes in NetHelpDesk, and push to NetHelpDesk any changes made in the external calendar.

PLEASE NOTE: NetHelpDesk works with “Appointments” in Calendars, not “Meetings”. Whilst the appointment can go into several calendars at once, it is not meant to invite people to via e-mail, similar to that used in Microsoft Outlook. It will still use reminders with pop-ups.


Setting up NetHelpDesk to process Calendar Entries

Please refer to the Integration with Calendars section above, in this guide. The setup is simple, but will require some basic technical knowledge to link with your existing Calendar setup. Should you need any assistance, our support team are available to make it as hassle-free as possible. The usual issues with Calendar integration are related to permissions, so it is advisable to have someone technical available.

The NHServer program will need to be running a scan, to process anything in and out of the database, such as email. It will also need to be switched on for Calendar syncs. Go to HERE to see the guide of setting up NHServer to run as a scheduled task.


Creating an Appointment in a Request.

If available, there is a tab within each request view called “Appointments”. The view shows:

    1. The subject of the appointment.

    2. The start date.

    3. The start time.

    4. The end date.

    5. The end time.

    6. The drop down for assigning the appointment to a Technician.

    7. The Note section for the appointment.


Additional Calendar Functionality

The entry on the NetHelpDesk Calendar has two options to adjust the entry if necessary.

In the screenshot, the blue box highlights the left hand part of the entry. There is a faint line just slightly in from the edge. Hover over this until you see arrows pointing in four directions. This allows you to move the whole appointment.

In the screenshot, the red box highlights the bottom part of the entry. Hover over this unti you see an arrow pointing in 2 directions. This allows you to adjust the end of the appointment, either lengthening or shortening the appointment, as necessary.

Speak with anyone at NetHelpDesk should you need any further assistance, by clicking on contact in the main menu of our website.


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