When a Team is created an Office 365 group is also created behind the scenes. This also means a number of other workloads is provisioned, including a Outlook group calendar. On many occasions I’ve been asked how to leverage this calendar in Microsoft Teams, since there is no default view of this calendar in Teams.
In several cases I’ve configured the solution below and even though it’s not a perfect solution, it mostly fulfills the desired needs my customers asked for.
What is the “Solution” ?
As mentioned above, several workloads is provisioned in the creation of a team in Microsoft Teams. In this solution we will use the following solutions:
- The group calendar belonging to the group inbox also created in Outlook.
- The SharePoint Home page (or additional page created) from the auto created SharePoint site created.
- The “Group Calendar” Webpart
- A SharePoint tab in Microsoft Teams to visualize the webpart on the SharePoint page
Using the above we can add a tab in Teams that shows the Group Calendar webpart. This webpart is not a full featured calendar view but it has the capability to show the next 10 future events/meetings as well as past events. There is also an option to add an event to your own personal calendar, as well as click a link to open the calendar in Outlook in a browser to add/change/delete events and meetings.
Another great aspect of using this is that guests in Microsoft Teams can view this webpart and sync it to their calendar. Normally a guest in Teams can’t access the group calendar since they have no Exchange license provisioned.
How do I do this?
I have a team named “Events” in Microsoft Teams. I go in to the channel in which I want to add the tab to view my group calendar events. I add the tab by clicking the + button. (See picture)
Next I choose the SharePoint tab. By selecting this I get below prompt. I get two options on the Pages tab: “News” and “Home”. Select “Home”
You will now have you SharePoint start page as a tab in your prefered channel in Teams. Rename the tab to something like “Calendar”
Next, we want to edit this page to only contain the group calendar webpart! To get to the SharePoint page itself to do this, click the “Go to website” button in the upper right corner in Teams while the tab is selected (See picture)
Click “Edit” in the upper right corner of the SharePoint page. (See picture)
You will now have the possibility to customize this page. You can remove/add any web parts you want or do as I and remove all web parts. To remove any default web parts on the page, select it and click the trash bin icon to the left (See picture) Do this or customize the page to your liking.
I removed all web parts and now clicked the little + icon on the top of the page to add a webpart. Scroll down til you find the “group Calendar” webpart and select it. (See picture)
You will now have the webpart on the page visible. To customize the webpart click on the little pen on the left of the webpart. You can here select what calendar you want to show (Default is the corresponding calendar to the Site, which we want here) and the number of events you want to show on the webpart (Maximum of 10) Don’t forget to publish the changes!
Now go back to Microsoft Teams and reload the tab. You will now only see the Group calendar webpart. It’s now empty so let’s add an event!
Since a while back, both the group inbox and the group calendar are hidden from Outlook when you create a team in Microsoft Teams. This change was made to make users less confused what to use or not to use for collaboration and since the workload provision was initiated from the Microsoft Teams application, Teams was probably the wanted tool for the user.
Why is this important??
Before the new Outlook experience rolled out and became the default one, you could still access the group calendar by clicking the calendar link in the group calendar webpart. As for today, you will just end up in your own outlook calendar in the browser.
If I click the link to the calendar from the web part a browser will open up and direct me to my own calendar. No sight of the group calendar. (See picture)
So, with the new Outlook experience, we need to unhide the group in Outlook. A side note to this is that once it’s visible in Outlook the inbox is also visible to all the members of the group (Includes the Team), so communicating this to everyone to avoid confusion is recommended.
To unhide a group from Outlook you need to use Powershell.
- Start off with connecting to exchange online:
- Run the command:
Set-UnifiedGroup “name of group including domain” -hiddenfromexchangeclientsenabled: $false
Set-UnifiedGroup firstname.lastname@example.org -hiddenfromexchangeclientsenabled: $false
Now when you click the link in the group calendar webpart you will now see the calendar:
This calendar can now be viewed both from the Outlook desktop client as well as online by any internal user, and they can start adding events and meetings.
Let’ start adding an event:
Click the link named the webpart in Teams or go through the Outlook application to reach the group calendar. Click on any timeslot to add an event. A window will open. (See picture below from Outlook on the web)
Add any details and click send.
Reload the calendar tab back in Microsoft Teams and you will now see the event. I’ve created three of them:
By clicking on the title you get more details and see the whole description. You can also add the event to your own calendar. (Great for guests who cant access the calendar in Outlook)
This is it! It takes a little extra time to configure the visibility in Outlook with powershell the first time, but once you get the hang of it, 10 minutes is all it takes to set this up!
If I’ve missed anything or you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me!