Resource Management in Zimbra Collaboration Suite

    Originally created for the organization of communications within enterprises, modern collaborative platforms are now able not only to provide employees with access to e-mail, calendar and other collaboration tools, but they can also perform a number of other tasks. For example, such platforms are often assigned the task of managing some of the resources of an enterprise. Let's look at how the resource management functionality is implemented in the Zimbra Collaboration Suite.


    The main features of the resources that a collaboration system is capable of managing are that they are accessible to several employees at once, but at the same time they can be used by one person. These include, for example, meeting rooms, company cars, audio and video equipment and a number of other things. In those cases when the management of such resources is left to chance, unpleasant situations are possible, when the meeting with the client appointed by the manager is postponed or even disrupted due to the fact that his colleague occupied the only free negotiation. That is why through the collab-system, as a rule, resources and equipment are booked, due to which a schedule for using the resources of an enterprise is automatically formed, allowing you to avoid such situations.

    Resource management in Zimbra Collaboration Suite is implemented through the so-called "Resource Accounts", which are mailboxes with their own calendar, to which users can add their own events. A server administrator can create a resource account in the User Management section of the Zimbra admin panel. In the process of creating such an account, he can specify:

    • Type of resource: can be a thing or a room
    • Booking policy
    • Address for sending copies of invitations
    • Resource description
    • Contact information (As a rule, contacts of the responsible person are usually indicated)
    • Location information (for example, the number of the call, the address or building in which it is located, as well as its capacity)

    After creating a resource account, a folder is created for it on the LDAP server and users can send it invitations to their events. How the resource account will respond to such invitations depends on the booking policy. The administrator can choose from five types of policies:

    • Auto decline all recurring appointments - This booking policy automatically rejects all recurring appointments. This policy should be included in cases where the resource can be scheduled only for one meeting at a time.
    • Auto accept if available, auto-decline on conflict - With this policy, the resource automatically accepts the meeting if it has not been booked before and automatically rejects if there is a conflict. At the same time, users will be able to view the schedule, and the administrator will be able to change the automatic rejection rule to accept some meetings, even in cases where they conflict.
    • Manual accept, auto decline on conflict - When choosing such a policy, the account will automatically reject all conflicting invitations. All invitations that do not conflict will be marked in the resource calendar as tentative and must be accepted manually. When using such a policy, it is strongly recommended to set up an email address to which copies of the invitation will be sent for their further approval. In addition, it is possible to customize the algorithm for rejecting conflicting invitations.
    • Auto accept always - The resource account policy is configured to automatically accept all invitations. In this case, the employment information is not saved and therefore the resource can be scheduled immediately for several meetings simultaneously. Typically, this policy is used for sites located in areas adjacent to buildings.
    • No auto accept or decline - It is recommended to use such a booking policy with full manual resource management. The responsible user must log in to the resource account to accept or decline invitations.

    In addition to the reservation policy, the administrator can fine-tune the work with conflicting invitations for those resource accounts whose policies support automatic rejection and acceptance of invitations. For such accounts, you can set the amount of automatic acceptance of conflicting invitations. The value can be specified both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the total number of invitations. In the event that you specify both limits, the automatic acceptance of invitations will stop after the first value reached.

    Also in the settings of the resource account calendar, you can find the item " Allow only", which allows you to limit the number of users who have the opportunity to book and use the resource, as well as specify the e-mail address to which all invitations to the resource account will be redirected. For example, you can assign some negotiations to the sales department, allowing only retailers to reserve them and some only for the department of customer service. In addition, it is possible to transfer the management of the resource account calendar, anyone with managerial rights.

    resource accounts that You can create and command-line interface. To do this, you must first create a new account on the server zmprov ca resource@zimbra.local resource , and then convert it to a resource with the commandzmprov ma resource@zimbra.local + objectClass zimbraCalendarResource displayName "resource" zimbraAccountCalendarUserType RESOURCE zimbraCalResType Equipment . You can check the success of creating a resource account using the zmprov gacr command , which displays the calendars of all resource accounts.

    You can turn the resource account back into normal using the command zmprov ma resource@zimbra.local -objectClass zimbraCalendarResource displayName “user account” zimbraAccountCalendarUserType USER -zimbraCalResType Equipment .

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