Last updated September 18, 2005

Using Schedule+ to share agenda's on a network.


When you use Schedule+ and you're on a network with some colleagues, it's not all that complicated to set up things, so that everyone can view (and manipulate if desired) each others' agenda's.

To accomplish this, Schedule+ uses some of the 'build-in' Email-features of Windows. (Microsoft calls this 'MAPI', or 'Messaging Application Programming Interface', where Messaging is a fancy word for the combination of fax and the various types of Email.)
The central place where all agenda's will be stored, is the 'WorkGroup PostOffice' (or WGPO), a smaller version of an MS Mail PostOffice. To install the necessary MAPI buildingblocks, you simply install the 'Windows Inbox'.

Remark: It seems to be possible to use Novell GroupWise instead of the MS Mail PostOffice.


  1. Install the WGPO (on one PC)
  2. Make a mailbox for each user that will share his/her agenda
  3. Install the Inbox (on all PC's that need to share their Schedule+ agenda)
  4. Configure the Inbox so that it can find the WGPO
  5. Install Schedule+
  6. Configure Schedule+ to put (a copy of) its' agenda on the WGPO
  7. Force Schedule+ to synchronize the 'local copy' to the server
  8. Change the access-rights for your agenda (only if you want other people to be able to view or even work with your agenda)

'In extenso'

It's not absolutely necessary to follow the order of the above list, but it prevents some undesired side-effects, such as programs asking questions that you may not know the answer to.

Because Schedule+ uses the 'Inbox' for many of its' agenda-sharing functions, I'm lucky to be able to link frequently to 'The Microsoft Exchange User's Handbook' by Sue Mosher.

A (WorkGroup)Postoffice is nothing more than a specific directory-structure with a lot of (tiny) files. This directory-tree can be used by the 'Inbox', Schedule+ or Outlook9x to exchange Email-messages. And agenda's (to some extent). To make such a directory-structure and to manage a WGPO (add or delete mailboxes), you need some small program-files.
There are 2 steps involved:
  1. Install the software to make and manage the WGPO,
  2. Make the actual WGPO.
Step 1: On some Windows95- and all WindowsNT4-computers, installing the 'Inbox' is enough to install the PostOffice-software with it.
However, on PC's that came with Windows95 pre-installed, often specific versions of Windows95 were used, called 'OEM Service Release 2.x' or OSR2.x. These Windows95-versions often don't install the WGPO-software, when you install the 'Inbox'.
I'm not sure whether the installation of 'WMS.EXE' on a Windows98-PC adds the necessary programs for a WGPO, as I don't have Windows98 (to test it) and I can't find any documentation on this subject.

For these computers I made 'WgpoAdmn.ZIP' (39 kB) containing the necessary files.

(Thanks to Mike Schrauder for the tip.)

Remark: Something strange happend when I tested these files.
I got these files from an 'English-US' version of WindowsNT Server (v.4.0 SP1, to be precise). When I copied them to my Dutch Windows95 OSR2 computer, all questions and explanations were misteriously translated to Dutch.
I haven't got the faintest idea, where these translations come from. If this doesn't work for you, you might try whether installing a translated version of the 'Inbox' helps.

Step 2: 'Making the actual WGPO' means making the directory-tree. This is done automatically by the 'PostOffice-software', as soon as you tell it in which directory (and on which disk) the WGPO should be made.
Before you act, you should probably think about where to put the WGPO: for instance, on which computer? As this PC will have to be running, whenever someone wants/needs to work with someone elses' Schedule+-agenda. This and other considerations are described here.
The directory mentioned in the example (C:\Windows), is probably the most inappropriate place to put a PostOffice. If you have a PC with 2 or more (logical) harddisks, a directory that's not on the 'C:\'-drive (for instance on 'D:\') would probably be best.

Follow this procedure to make some mailboxes.
It may be usefull to make only a few mailboxes at first, get these people going (which may require some testing and fidling around) and only then go for the whole bunch.

The program I call the 'Windows Inbox' is available in several versions and goes by different names (such as 'Exchange', 'Exchange Client' and 'Windows Messaging') on different Windows-versions, but they all display the 'Inbox'-icon on your desktop.
Basicly, it's an Email-program which you can use to send and receive messages from all kinds of sources.

To install the program, use this procedure. This works both in Windows95 (all versions) and WindowsNT.
However, in Windows98 and Windows98 Second Edition, the program is not listed on the [Windows setup]-tab anymore. Instead, you need the Windows98(SE) CD-ROM (as described in KnowledgeBase article Q235713).

If you install Schedule+ from its' 'Setup'-files (for instance when you use the v.7.0a-setup from MS' FTP-site), you almost automatically install a version of the 'Inbox'-program. However, as described in this 'Special Note'(in the gray box), on the one PC from which you will manage the WGPO, you will still have to install the 'Operating System client' first and overlay it with the 'Exchange Server-version' (the one from the FTP-site) later.

Although, as mentioned in the title of this paragraph, you will have to install this program on all PC's eventually, it may be usefull to install it on only a few at first. Start by testing, and only when things work properly, install the program on the other computers.

The 'Inbox' is an extremely flexible program. In order to make this possible, Microsoft invented the system of 'messaging profiles'. Such a profile is a list of options you select when you configure the program.
Each profile should contain 3 things:

For all 3 of these, the 'Inbox'-program has various options, depending on the Email-type and version of the program. When you follow this description, you can use these choices: My advise is to not select other options, unless you know what you're doing, as they will make things more complicated.
For an elaborate description on how to configure the MS Mail-'service', follow this procedure.

When you configure the MS Mail-'service', you will need the name of the computer and the 'share' that the WGPO is on.
By default will the name of the share be the same as the name of the directory that is shared. So, if your PostOffice is in the 'D:\Mail\Wgpo0000'-directory, the share-name will be 'WGPO0000' (unless you change it).
For instance, if the computer-name is 'PC-5' and the 'WGPO'-directory is shared to the network as 'EMAIL', you must use '\\PC-5\EMAIL' as the 'PostOffice'-directory.

For a description of where to find and how to install the various Schedule+ v.7.x-versions, read the FAQ-item's 'How can I get Schedule+ version 7.0, 7.0a, or 7.0b? What new features are in these versions?' and 'Schedule+ v.7.5'.

If you install Schedule+ from its' 'Setup'-files (for instance when you use the v.7.0a-setup from MS' FTP-site), choose the 'Work primarily from local copy'-option. Put the 'local copy' of this '.SCD'-file either on the harddisk of your PC, or on your 'homedrive' on the server. It may be usefull to give it your own name, i.e. the local Schedule+ file of mr. John Doe could be called 'jdoe.scd'.

When you start Schedule+ for the first time after you installed the 'Inbox', you're presented with some questions. Choose 'Group enabled', check the box 'Do not ask me this question again' and click [OK].
Have a look at this FAQ-item for a further explanation of these answers, and what to do, should you have chosen the wrong options.

This is about the time to make a test-appointment in the new agenda. At least one appointment is necessary, to make Schedule+ synchronize with the server (MS KB-Article Q170605). You can delete this appointment later, if you wish.

When Schedule+ runs in 'MAPI-enabled'-mode, as it should be doing by now, it shows an extra 'tab' in the [Tools] [Options]-menu called [Synchronize]. On that page is a check-box called 'Synchronize with server'. When you check this box, this name changes to 'Synchronize with server every ... minutes' and a box appears, where you can put a number (default is 15; keep it that way).
Check the box 'Allways Synchronize upon Exit'.
If the option 'Work Primarily from Local File' is not checked, do so now. Schedule+ will ask you for a place to store the local '.SCD'-file: follow the directions in the first paragraph of this topic.

If you're not already there, in the [Tools]-menu select [Option] [Synchronize]-tab. Click the [Synchronize Now]-button at the bottom to force Schedule+ to

This is actually enough to share Schedule+-data on a network. You can view the 'Free/Busy'-times of your colleagues, you can send and answer 'meeting requests', etc. However, in most offices some people find it usefull to be able to view and/or actually work in each others Schedule+ (i.e. plan meetings for someone in his/her own agenda). For instance, managers and their secretaries often use these options.

If person A wants to open the agenda of person B, two things need to be done:

  1. person B must give person A permission to view (or do more) his/her agenda,
  2. person A can then open B's agenda

For 'Step 1' you go to the [Tools]-menu and click the [Set Access Permissions...]-option. There you can set specific access-rights to (the various parts of) your Schedule+ agenda. Or you can give (some) access to all your colleagues.
Some advice (a lesson learned from long-time experience, by a lot of mail-administrators): no matter how much you trust all your co-workers, it may not be a good idea to give 'Everyone' the right to make changes in your Schedule+-file. 'Read'-access, where people can only watch and not tamper with your planning, should probably be the most you give to 'all'. Extra permissions should only be handed-out to specific people.
Mosttimes nobody will deliberately try to sabotage your agenda, but anyone can make a mistake. And a meeting is easily removed from an electronic agenda, without leaving a trace.

Step2: You can use the addressbook of the PostOffice to open someone else's agenda. In the [File]-menu select [Open >] [Other's Appointment Book]. Select the correct name from the list and (if all goes well) the other's Schedule+ agenda should pop open on top of your own.

Update: Use Novell GroupWise instead of WGPO.
Some time ago Jeremy Marten informed me of a plug-in for the 'Inbox', that will make it work with GroupWise, the Email-system from Novell. Apparently, such a configuration would make it possible to synchronize and share your schedule without an MS Mail (WorkGroup) PostOffice, but to use a GroupWise server instead.

The necessary file(s) can be downloaded from Novells FTP-site.

Jeremy points out, that the installation-program must be started from a Command-prompt ([Start] [Run] 'CMD.exe'). Then, answer 'Yes' to the install and the files will be extracted. Go back to 'Explorer' and install 'ntwms.exe'. (MS says this instal will not work, but it works just fine). After install, double click the 'Inbox', point to the (GroupWise) PostOffice to re-associate the existing account. Fire up Schedule+, choose group enabled, and point to your account/files.
This installation will probably only work on WindowsNT4, -2000 and -XP.

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