This guide outlines the functionality available in Learn for the Exchange Connector. The Kallidus Exchange Connector has been designed to enable bi-directional communication for Kallidus Learn LMS to a Microsoft Exchange server, for the purpose of event management.
The connection enables the status of a learner to be updated automatically on an event in the LMS or Learn based on the learner's response to the calendar invitation, without the need for a Learn administrator to manually update the system.
Kallidus supports the following versions of Microsoft Exchange:
- Exchange 2013
- Exchange 2013 SP1
- Exchange 2016
- Exchange Online (Office 365)
Switch on Exchange integration
You can switch on the Exchange Connector functionality by going into System configuration>Email. This is available from the main Admin page of the system.
CAUTION! We recommend you read the rest of this guide first before attempting to switch on this functionality.
Functionality overview and setup
The Exchange Integration works in 2 parts.
The LMS calls Exchange Web Services (EWS) to use a service account to create an appointment in the service account calendar and send invites to attendees. The Kallidus Exchange connector connects to the mailbox via EWS and monitors responses to the invites, updating the attendee status in the LMS accordingly.
The Exchange connector uses Exchange Web Services (EWS) to connect to your Exchange server, Exchange EWS must be configured to use basic authentication or OAuth2 and be accessible from the internet on an SSL connection, Port 443. (We recommend using OAuth2 for O365 as Basic authentication will not be supported after 13th October 2020).
Note: The statuses which are communicated from Exchange to the LMS are Tentative and Cancelled. Learners who ‘decline’ the meeting invitation are marked as canceled immediately. Those learners who reply as tentative remain booked onto the event.
There are 3 elements that require setting up to enable the Kallidus exchange connector. They are:
- Service Account
- Exchange settings in the LMS/Learn
- Mailbox monitoring service
The Exchange connector requires a service account on the Microsoft Exchange system with the following settings.
- Mail enabled account with an Exchange mailbox
- A non-expiring password
- A suitable display name and Email address. – *Note* the invites to end users will be received from this address/display name.
No enhanced permissions are required and the mailbox must not be used for any other purpose as this can cause undesired results.
The service account mailbox must be configured with the following automatic processing settings:
The integration process only requires a single user account to be set up to act as the service account - you might choose something like "Serviceaccount@<yourdomain>.com".
The permissions set up would allow the integration access to edit the calendar and mail of that account only. It uses username & password authentication to access that account so it would in no way have access to manipulate other mailboxes in any way.
The following settings are required to set up the Exchange connector on the LMS/Learn using Basic authentication. The details of your service account and your company email server need to be entered in the relevant fields. (Please note the Kallidus examples)
You can choose to use two different types of authentication for Office 365:
Basic – we will support this till 13th October 2020 when Microsoft ends support for this.
OAUTH2 – we recommend that you use this authentication method. To use this authentication method you will need to provide the client id, client secret, and Authority base URL. To do this, register the application in your Azure AD.
For full steps on the setup for OAUTH2, see the attached PDF at the end of this article
Kallidus will automatically install and run a service that will monitor the mailbox configured in the Learn and process responses to the Event invitations into the LMS/Learn. After processing the meeting responses, the Mailbox monitor deletes the item from the inbox.
Further Useful information
Timing of your switch on of the Exchange connector
Any events that exist in the system prior to the setup of the Exchange connector will not use the exchange connector. In order that all events are synchronised with Exchange, it is essential to create all of your new training events after completing your exchange integration.
Time zones and use of UTC
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) UTC is the Universal Clock used to synchronize clocks all over the world. It is the most accurate time setting as it is based on an International Atomic time. As a result, UTC is a default setting in Exchange that Kallidus has no control over. This is a Microsoft setting managed by the exchange server.
You will see UTC appear in all calendar invites when exchange is integrated with LMS/Learn. This will appear alongside local time for outlook. So, for example, if you have an event on the 22nd July 2017 at 10:00 am in the UK, this will appear as follows:
- UTC : 22nd July 2017 09:00 AM – 11:30AM
- BST: 22nd July 2017 10:00 AM – 12:30 AM
Some emails from Kallidus do not use the exchange connector. For these emails, you may wish to set up your Event organiser Email address to the match the “From” email address you intend to use for the LMS. If not, Exchange integration emails will come from a separate email address and this can be confusing for your learners.
EWS is fundamental to the Kallidus Exchange connector and needs to be configured as described in the compatibility section. For further advice on how to configure EWS please refer to Microsoft documentation online. Please note that unfortunately, Kallidus cannot provide guidance on specific configuration settings of EWS.
You can check EWS is responding by using free tools such as EWSEditor.
Need help? If you need help with any of these changes please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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