On MS Exchange and meeting rooms

In the current job, I’m dealing with Microsoft-based administrator more than I ever have before. I don’t mind too much, it gives me a few more skills, and another bullet point or three on the resume. Today, however, Exchange has been driving me batty.

We have Exchange 2003 – it’s not bad once it’s had all of the service packs applied. We also, until today, managed our meeting rooms on a bit of paper. This morning, the request came through to investigate the use of Exchange as a meeting room management tool; shouldn’t be too hard to do really, and it isn’t.

  1. Create a new Active Directory user, and stick it in a service account OU.
  2. Assign the user a rather long password, it’s only going to be used on occasion.
  3. Create a mail profile for Outlook, and log in to the meeting room account.
  4. Configure the account to automatically accept meetings and cancellations, and also provide conflict detection. Oh, don’t forget the rights for Authors and Editors (create/edit own and edit all respectively).
  5. Log back in to a regular Exchange account, and schedule a meeting, with the meeting room as an invited attendee.
  6. Remember to throw the flag that says the meeting room user is actually a resource. Every. Single. Time.

It’s step 6 that gets me – why can’t I tell Active Directory, and thus Exchange, that I want a new object of type resource, rather than new object of type user? Why do I have to remember to change that flag for that user every time?