Microsoft finally brings a Shared Calendar app in Teams, letting us add a Calendar TAB in any team channel! Shared Calendar will bring a new dimension in Teams meeting booking and viewing since we can now easily create and view events for a specific team.

Let us have a quick overview.

Scenario

  • Repeating team meetings such as sprint planning, daily scrum…
  • Business holiday and statutory holidays
  • Project roadmap and meetings
  • IT system update, maintenance, and products deployment date
  • Birthday calendar
  • … a lot more!

Installation

First, go in the teams/channel you want to add a calendar and hit the "+" button to add a new "Tab." Then search for "calendar" and pick the Channel calendar app provided by Microsoft.

If you do not see the option, ask your IT department to allow it.

Click add, choose a name and push the "Add" button."

Voilà! You now have a channel/Team related calendar.

User experiences

When you create a new event, a conversation in the channel that belongs to the event is created. The conversation will let all users know about an upcoming meeting to start chat to get ready or @mention to get attention.

By default, only added attendees would receive an email invitation. If a user wants to receive a notification even if they weren't added as attendees, they will need to follow the group mailbox manually. I do not want to go in deep on that now, but here a short link to access the group mailbox if needed. https://outlook.office.com/owa/?path=/group/Demo-SharedCalendar@yourtenant.onmicrosoft.com/action/EmailSettings

Remember, if the user follows the inbox, he may receive more emails than only the one generated when creating an event. Using the same approach, you can also ask a group owner to use the "Edit group" option on the right and check the "Send all groups conversation and events to member's inboxes. They can stop following this group later if they want to."

It may sound stupid that the user did not receive an email, but if we get rid of email and use Teams as our primary communication platform with a Team, we should also advise users to read the message post in the Teams channel as they do with email.

From the user's perspective, they will have to click the event and add it to their calendar manually to appear in their calendar

Q&A

Answer based on available feature as of January 2021.

  • Can we book a channel/team event from Outlook?
    No

  • Can we view the channel calendar in Outlook?
    Yes, you can see the Teams calendar in Outlook, but you will have to enable this by PowerShell on a Teams basis using the "Set-UnifiedGroup -Identity 'Demo-SharedCalendar' -HiddenFromExchangeClientsEnable:$False."
    No, you will not be able to display the only event from a specific channel, meaning that all events from all shared calendar tab will be shown as a single view from your associated M365 group calendar.

  • Can we add more than one calendar per Team?
    Yes, you can have multiple calendars per Team but only 1 per channel.

  • Who can update the meeting created?
    By design, only the meeting organizer in Teams, but look at the next question below.

  • What if I want to modify or delete an event created by someone else?
    First, it is essential to know that the calendar events are saved in the M365 underlying group calendar. This means that all members (even non-owner) can view, create, update, delete any entries from this calendar. But first, you will need to unhide the M365 Group from the Exchange client using the PowerShell command show here above. Once done, navigate to your Group Calendar using outlook.com and voilà!

  • Will the event I have created from the "Calendar app" in teams appear in the channel calendar?
    Yes, all previous and future meetings created within the Calendar App and associated with a "Channel" will be shown in the channel calendar.

  • Will all users belong to the Teams will receive notification?
    Like, mention before, no until the user has been @mention, added has an attendee or if the user follows the group mailbox.

The missing part

Since this is a good MVP now allowing us to have teams calendar accessible in teams, it still misses some features to make it even more useful. Here is some I've noticed as the writing of this article:

  • The private channel doesn't support this new app channel."
  • Shared Calendar is not accessible to Guest users
  • Mobile apps don't support the app yet.
  • Whiteboard and meeting notes usually associated with the meeting are missing.
  • We cannot use additional "Tab" like we recently been able with "Forms" and other apps.

Conclusion

This was a tremendous first MVP from Microsoft and let us hope they will bring more integration soon, such as Outlook and FindTime. Remember, voting for your favourite feature on Microsoft User voice worth it, even if it may take time!

Want to learn more? Feel free to read these blogs from MVP Steve Goodman, Tony Redmond and Matt Wade.