O365 and OWA: Room Listing Display Limitations

Modern-times-lego

 

Although quite versatile and feature-rich, Exchange Online does have certain limits that distinguish it from on-premise Exchange.

For example, if you’re accustomed to booking rooms via OWA hosted from an on-premise Exchange organization, you expect to see a list of all available rooms.

In Exchange Online however, there’s a default system setting (which, as of this writing can’t be changed) that limits the number of rooms displayed to 100.  In large enterprises, this can cause some user frustration.

One work-around is to use the scheduling assistant to search for the room you want.  This is helpful, but may not satisfy all users’ needs.

Another method – which I consider to be more elegant – is to create room lists.

Room lists organize room resources into a specific type of distribution group that contains, well, rooms.

This is obviously very useful for large, geographically distributed firms that have many locations and far more than 100 bookable rooms.

So for example, to create a room list for all bookable rooms in the New York office you could issue the following PowerShell command (when connected to your tenant via a remote PowerShell session):

New-DistributionGroup -Name “New York Meeting Rooms” -RoomList

And to add rooms to this room list you’d use the following cmdlet:

Add-DistributionGroupMember -Identity “New York Meeting Rooms” -Member room120

Of course, some amount of planning and thought is needed to organize your rooms into these groups so your users can make sense of it all.  But once you’ve done that background work, room lists will make life much easier for people who access Exchange exclusively through OWA.