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GeorgePryor-5733 avatar image
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GeorgePryor-5733 asked GeorgePryor-5733 commented

Outlook forwarding external meeting invitations to internal recipients as plain text

Hello,

    Our organisation is using Office 365 Exchange Online.

Scenario: A user receives a Teams meeting invitation in their mailbox from an external sender. They forward the email to the room mailbox of one of our Teams (MTR) conference units. The meeting cannot be joined from the conference unit as the invitation has been forwarded as plain text. The unit requires the invitation to be sent with its original formatting in order to join the meeting.

In Outlook on the PC of the user trying to forward the invitation, if we untick "When sending meeting requests outside of your organization, use the iCalendar format" in Options, then the meeting gets forwarded with its original formatting and works.

This is not a solution however, because 1. we want to keep this option enabled for when users actually are sending invitations to external recipients, and 2. this option shouldn't be affecting these forwarded invitations because they are being forwarded to internal recipients.

I believe it may be that Exchange has to send some information back to the external meeting organiser when forwarding the invitation to an internal recipient, thus Outlook detects the invitation being sent externally and converts it to iCal.

I was wondering if anyone had found a way around this? It drastically impacts the functionality of our Teams meeting room environment.

Thank you.

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@GeorgePryor-5733

According to your description, your issue is not in Teams scope, so I will remove teams tag from your thread. Thanks for your understanding and patience!

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Hi @GeorgePryor-5733,
It has been a while, how is everything going?
If you have any update about this issue, please feel free to post back.

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JeffYang-MSFT avatar image
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JeffYang-MSFT answered GeorgePryor-5733 commented

Hi @GeorgePryor-5733,
Thanks for your update here.
May I know what's the version of your Outlook? (File > Office Account > About Outlook). Please make sure you have upgraded your Outlook to the latest version.
Here is some information about my tests:

  1. Using Outlook desktop client Version 2008(Build 13127.21348) to manually forward external meeting invitations(HTML format) to internal recipients, with "When sending meeting requests outside of your organization, use the iCalendar format" Option unchecked, the internal recipient receive emails like below, seems normal and can successfully join in the meeting via the join link.
    81038-02.png

  2. Using Web mail to do the same thing, the internal recipient receive emails like below, different from the link above but can still successfully join in the meeting via the link.
    81074-01.png

So, how does your issue look like? Similar as the situation 2? Please make sure you have updated both your Teams and Outlook to the latest version and see if the issue has any difference.


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01.png (60.0 KiB)
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After installing the latest updates for Outlook today it looks like invitations from external senders that we forward to internal recipients are now being forwarded with the original formatting, even with the "When sending meeting requests outside of your organization, use the iCalendar format" option enabled, which is ideal. Thank you very much for the detailed investigation you performed for this issue, it's greatly appreciated.

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JeffYang-MSFT avatar image
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JeffYang-MSFT answered GeorgePryor-5733 commented

Hi @GeorgePryor-5733,

Welcome !

According to your description, sounds like the the plain text issue might be the key of your issue here, right?

In order to further confirm your issue, I tried similar tests in my Outlook, unchecking the "When sending meeting requests outside of your organization, use the iCalendar format" option on both devices and trying sending and forwarding Teams meeting invitations between external users and internal users. However, as the test results show, when unchecking the option mentioned before, the Teams meeting invitations will be send in HTML format by design, and the recipient can successfully join the meeting via the link in the HTML invitation. If I manually change the email format as Plain Text, then meeting link will be useless. Failed to reproduce your issue.

So, would you mind providing us with more information related to your issue:

  1. How did you finish the forwarding operation, manually or automatically via Outlook rules?

  2. Does this plain text only happen to external recipients? What if you forward the same invitations to internal users?

  3. Have you configure any format-related setting on your Outlook desktop client side?

To confirm if this is a client-only issue, it is also suggested for you to forward the same invitations via your web mail and check the if the issue would have any difference.

Any update, please feel free to post back.


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Hi @GeorgePryor-5733,
Just checking in to see if above information was helpful. If you have any further updates on this issue, please feel free to post back.

1 Vote 1 ·

Hi there, thank you very much for taking a look at this.

I can confirm that when we disable the "When sending meeting requests outside of your organization, use the iCalendar format" option the meeting is forwarded in its original formatting. We would rather not disable this option but it looks like it's necessary to do so, because when you forward a meeting invitation from an external organiser then Outlook has to send an update back to the organiser about it, so it detects that you're sending the invitation to an external recipient even though you're forwarding it to an internal recipient. This happens in Outlook web view as well. It seems to just be a flaw with this particular Outlook feature, where it's not smart enough to distinguish between an external meeting being forwarded internally and an invitation being sent externally. Hopefully Microsoft will address it in the future.

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