Outlook: Using the Auto-Date Add-in
In GroupWise there was a feature called "Autodate" that allowed users to send out recurring appointments that were not in a specific pattern (i.e. Every Wednesday, Third Thursday, etc). By default, Outlook cannot send out appointments that are not part of a consistent pattern. Therefore, to enable this functionality in Outlook ITS has found an add-in that works much like the auto-date functionality that was available in GroupWise.
This add-in does the cost the College on per user basis so we are not opening up the installation of this add-in to everyone on campus, but instead on a request basis. If you would like to have this add-in installed on your computer, please notify the ITS Helpdesk by sending an email to HelpDesk@messiah.edu stating that you would like to this plugin installed.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware the Auto Date add-in is not designed for Windows 7 and the developer has not said anything that would lead us to believe he ever intends to change that (there are no other products like this on the market for Outlook --- Microsoft doesn't even make one nor do they recognize this one!). This add-in is also not designed to work with Outlook 2010 or higher. If Microsoft makes a change or pushes an upgrade patch that effects Outlook, it may stop working correctly and there will be no solution. For these reasons, it is recommended that users not request or become dependent on this add-in if they can function without it.
Creating a meeting that does not follow a consistent pattern
1. Click New Meeting from the Home ribbon of the Calendar that you wish to send the appointment from (if you want to send this appointment from an account that you have delegated to you be sure that you are in the calendar of that account)
2. Enter the names of the people, location, subject and body of the (much like you would if you were sending a single appointment
3. Now click on the Addins Ribbon at the top and choose WS:RA-II (either one of the two icons)
4. Now the Autodate add-in will open (this add-in is formally called WS:RA II). Click on the tab called Repeat Group Dates
5. You will notice that this screen looks very similar to what the GroupWise Autodate screen looked like. You can choose the dates from the left side by double clicking on them. Once a date is double clicked it will add it to the list of appointments items on the right side. You may add as many dates as you would like to.
6. One great feature about this addin is that you can change the appointments to be at different times (this was not a feature available in GW Autodate). To do this be sure you have added all of your appointments (dates) to the list on the right then just click on the appointment that you want to change and go to the top and modify the time and click on Apply
7. Once you are done adding all the meeting dates and times. Click on Update.
8. After clicking on update you will come back to the original meeting request (as you left it in step #2 above). This screen will not show you the meetings (dates/times) that you just entered into the Autodate add-in. Since the add-in is not an officially embedded feature in Outlook, Outlook does not "know" how to display the dates that you choose in it's Meeting window. Rest assured those dates are all still there and will send out when you click on the button.
***If you are at all hesistant about the process or would to verify that you are doing the process correctly. Feel free to try sending them to a test account (such as Departmental or Co-worker's account)
Additional Notes about the Autodate Add-in
1. When meetings are sent out via the Autodate add-in they are no longer seen as "connected meetings". Therefore, if a location change (or another type of change) is needed for all the meetings, this update will need to be made on all of the meetings seperately.
2. If you would like to schedule a meeting that is not either on the :30 or :00 time, you will need to change the initial meeting time in step #2. This change will apply you to choose the :15 or :45 times in the Autodate add-in.