Free/Busy information

You can use the Free/Busy search for meetings to determine the availability of invitees.

In addition to the standard meeting scheduling tools, you can use the Free/Busy view to check whether people are available in advance. The Free/Busy feature is normally a function of dedicated groupware servers such as Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise. However, you can also publish Free/Busy information online, and access Free/Busy information published elsewhere. If not everyone you collaborate with publishes Free/Busy data, you can still use meeting invitations to coordinate schedules with other people.

To access the free/busy view:

  1. Click File ▸ New ▸ Meeting.

  2. Click Add to add the email addresses of people you want to invite.

  3. Click the Free/Busy button on the toolbar, or click Options ▸ Free/Busy.

  4. Adjust the meeting time, either by dragging the meeting borders or by using the Autopick buttons to choose a time automatically, then click Close. Attendees on an Exchange server have the appointment updated automatically; others receive email notification of any change in plans.

  • Attendee List:

    The Attendee List shows the people who have been invited to the appointment.

  • Schedule Grid:

    The Schedule Grid shows the published Free/Busy information for the people you have invited. This is where you compare schedules to find free time to schedule the appointment. Individuals have visible scheduling information only if they use the same Novell GroupWise or Microsoft Exchange server you do (that is, if they are in the same organization as you), or if they publish free/busy information at a web address (URL) that you can reach and you have entered that web address for the specific contact in the Contact Editor under Personal information ▸ Web Addresses ▸ Free/Busy.

You can publish Calendar and Free/Busy information to a WebDAV server, FTP server, a remote machine through SSH or to any other web server with HTTP PUT support.

In corporate environments you can publish Calendar and Free/Busy information to an Exchange or Groupwise server. Note that you must use the top-level Exchange calendar if you want others to be able to access your Free/Busy information when inviting you to a meeting.

The default server can be defined under Edit ▸ Preferences ▸ Calendar and Tasks ▸ Publishing Information ▸ Default Free/Busy Server.

Accessing Free/Busy Data Without a Groupware Server

If individuals give you a URL for Free/Busy data or for their web calendar, you can add the URL under Personal Information ▸ Web Addresses in the Contact Editor. Then, when you schedule a meeting with them,Evolution looks up the schedule and displays it in the Free/Busy data.