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MS Exchange / Office 365 Calendar synchronization

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Description

Microsoft Exchange/Office 365 calendar sync helps you coordinate your work schedule with two-way synchronization between Visma Severa and Microsoft Exchange/Office 365.

Once the sync has been established for an organization, individual users enable and initiate the sync in Visma Severa.

Activities made in Visma Severa will be retrieved for use in Microsoft Exchange/Office 365 and activities made in Microsoft Exchange/Office 365 will be sent to Visma Severa.

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Notes before start

  • The Activity management add-on is required in order to use Microsoft Exchange calendar sync.
  • Activate Exchange calendar sync add-on with administrator access rights via Upgrades. See country specific contact information from support.severa.com home page for support and activation of the add-on.
  • Email addresses used in Visma Severa must be the same as those used in Microsoft Exchange for the sync to work correctly. Email address used in Severa can be primary or secondary in Exchange.
  • If user has also other syncs at the same time (for example between Outlook and mobile phone), user should be carefull with the sync settings to avoid duplicate entries. In case it is not possible to disable the mobile phone sync, we recommend that mobile phone is set to manual sync.
  • We recommend that duration of recurring activities is not more than one year. Keep recurring rules as simple as possible meaning NO never ending recurring activities make for one year forward etc.
  • We recommend that when the calendar synchronization is enabled, all users in the organization use it.
  • If the exchange version is changed to another for example from mx exchange to O365 the sync will reset the settings and the start date.

NOTE: We have verified that implementing sync works with the scenarios described in our Setting up instructions. Possible scenarios that might cause issues with the implementation:

  • Multiple domains
  • Accounts that have been migrated from one server to another

In these scenarios Customer Support can check the error message seen on our error logs but troubleshooting should be done by the service provider or Microsoft. We don't provide support for Microsoft Exchange environment management.

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What types of Exchange servers are supported?

My company has it's own Exchange server

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2010, Exchange Server 2013 and Exchange Server 2016 are supported.
  • The Exchange Server system administrator needs to confirm that Exchange WebServices (EWS) support has been installed on the Exchange server.
  • The Exchange Server system administrator creates a delegate/impersonator user in the Microsoft Exchange Server in order to configure and sync calendars between Microsoft Exchange and Visma Severa.

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My company's Exchange is hosted

  • Hosting Provider needs to allow use of Exchange WebServices interface (not everyone is willing to do this) and hosting provider needs to create proper impersonator user for customer organization (not everyone is willing to do this either)

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Hosting providers who support Visma Severa - Exchange calendar sync

Are you a hosting provider and want to be on this list? Contact Severa Customer support by email severa.support ( at ) visma.com

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My company has Office 365

  • Supported versions are where you can managed roles and create Delegate user.
  • Administrator user of Office 365 creates a delegate user with impersonator role in Office 365 in order to configure and sync calendars between Office 365 and Sever

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How to setup the calendar sync?

Follow the quick links for detailed instructions of how to set up the sync on server side and in Visma Severa settings

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How does it work?

This is a two-way server-server sync. Activities from Visma Severa calendar are synchronized to Exchange server and vice versa. Recurring and private/personal activities/entries are synced too.

Initial sync

Initial sync tries to match existing entries based on subject/activity name, start date, start time, end date, end time and recurrence. In the initial sync the sync is set to start from current date minus one day and older activities are not synced. With recurring activities sync works that activity with main rule plus the individual entries from this moment onward are synced. After the initial sync, only changes are synced.

Triggers that activate sync

Synchronization is triggered by certain actions in Visma Severa. If user is not logged into Severa, synchronization is not started.

  • Synchronization is started after login and will sync automatically when moving around in Severa (NOTE: If user does not work in Severa, sync is not activated)
  • When calendar entry is modified in Visma Severa
  • When sync icon is pressed in Visma Severa's My activities section

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What activities are not synced?

There are couple of situations where activities are not synced.

  • If activity date/time is corrupted
  • If activity sync fails to error regarding users mailbox. This error happens when user used to have another email address for example matt.johnson@testcompany.com and address has changes to matt@testcompany.com.
  • Past activities where end date and end time is before current date are not synced. Exception for this is if the past activity is moved to future, it will be synced.

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How to manage what is synced?

Restricting what is synced

It is possible to limit what activities are synced from Severa to Outlook based on activity types. Setting up -article describes how to make the restriction in Visma Severa. No such restriction can be made for entries coming from Outlook to Severa. Entries coming from Outlook will get the default activity type in Severa. Default is set up in Tools > Settings > Activity types

Private/Personal entries

Personal entries in Severa are marked as private in Outlook and vice versa. When entry is personal/private no other user can view the details of the entry. If there is no activity type “personal” in Visma Severa’s activity type settings then default activity type is used when entries are synced. Notice that this will make private entries public and visible to all users.

What fields are transferred

Compare the two images below to see what fields are matched in the sync.

outlook_entry.PNG

Severa_activity.PNG

Participants

There are 4 types of participants in Visma Severa and depending of what kind of participant is, the activity/entry and email notifications behave differently.

Visma Severa users: Visma Severa users are your co-workers, they use the same Severa and Outlook environment as you. Severa users can be added as participant/attendees in both systems and entries are updated in both calendars.

Contacts from Severa account card: In Visma Severa it is possible to attach activity to an account or a case. When account is added for the activity, also contacts from that account can be added as participants. Account contact is visible in the participants list in Severa, but this information is not transferred to Outlook calendar. Neither account nor account contact is visible in Outlook’s entry. Also note that no message about the calendar entry is sent to your account contact.

Reservations: In Severa it is possible to add reservations as participants for an activity. Reservations are managed in Tools > Settings > Reservations. Reservation is visible in the participants list in Severa, but this information is not transferred to Outlook calendar. Read more about how to use reservations in Severa. In Outlook, when invitation is send to Resource calendar to book a meeting room, resource calendar is shown as participant in Severa.

External contacts: When an external attendee (= a person not using the same Visma Severa as you) is added to an entry in Outlook, he gets email notification about a new calendar entry. When entry is synced to Severa, external participant is displayed on the activity participant list as “Firstname Lastname” or “email@address.com” and the participant colour is black. If entry is updated or deleted either in Severa or in Outlook, also external attendee will be notified. If external attendee declines meeting invitation, he is removed from the participant list in Severa.

Activity owner

When Microsoft Exchange calendar sync add-on is in use, activity owner can not be changed for saved activities. When creating a new activity, owner can be changed before activity is saved. This is to prevent errors in the sync and conflicts in the entries. Activity owner is always added as participant of activity. 

Outlook notification emails

Outlook sends notification emails for attendees about new, modified or deleted calendar entries. Usually user can choose if he/she wants to send an invitation or an update etc. When the sync between Exchange and Visma Severa is enabled, following should be noticed when it comes to Outlook sending notification emails.

  • When activity is created/changed/deleted in Visma Severa, notification is send via Outlook to Visma Severa user participants and external participants.
  • If Activity type, Account or Case is changed or activity is marked as completed in Visma Severa, no notifications are sent via Outlook. In Visma Severa the activity is updated and users can see the changed details.

 

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Situation when we inactivate sync automatically?

  • If user get's error f.e. "There was an error processing the request" for several times, sync will be disabled automatically for the user.
    • To fix this issue is to contact customer support (see country specific contact information from support.severa.com home page for support)
  • If delegate credentials runs into authentication error several times sync will be disabled for the company and all users.
    • To fix this issue is to check delegate-user credentials. If password is expired, it need to be changed in Office 365 and saved again in Visma Severa, instructions what do do in Visma Severa (administation).
    • Check also that user are able to login in Office 365 calendar. If password is expired, it need to be changed in Office 365. After password is changed, every user need to activate sync in Visma Severa again, instructions how to activate sync for user.
  • If users credentials runs into authentication error several times sync will be disabled for this user.
    • To fix this is to check that user are able to login in Office 365 calendar. If password is expired, it need to be changed in Office 365. After password is changed, every user who are experiencing same issue need to activate sync in Visma Severa again, instructions how to activate sync for user.

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Possible errors in sync

  • There was an error processing the request
    • To fix this issue is to contact customer support (see country specific contact information from support.severa.com home page for support)
  • Authentication faild for given credentials. Error code: ErrorNonExistentMailBox The SMTP address has no mailbox associated with it.
    • Make sure that email addresses is same for both systems. Email addresses used in Visma Severa must be the same as those used in Microsoft Exchange for the sync to work correctly. Email address used in Severa can be primary or secondary in Exchange.
  • Authentication failed for given credentials. The autodiscover service couldn't be located.
    • Check that the delegate user has correct role and change the password.
    • Login to Microsoft Online portal and logout once with this user to activate the user account.
    • Use the new password in Severa Tools - Settings - Microsoft Exchange to authenticate the sync.

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