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How to Enable E-mail Invitations in Lion’s iCal Server

Unlike previous versions of Mac OS X Server, Lion Server does not let you administer iCal Server from Server Admin; it’s all done from the Server app. The Allow Invitations Using Email Addresses check box in the Server app’s iCal pane enables the sending and accepting of meeting invitations by e-mail.

This feature is available for users who don’t have an iCal Server account, but not for those who do. Users of iCal in Mac OS X 10.6 and later use iCal client for sending and accepting invitations. Basically, the hostname of the attendee’s e-mail must be different from the hostname of the iCal Server.

The way this works is that when an iCal user invites someone who is not an iCal user, the iCal Server sends an e-mail to that person. When that person responds, she sends an e-mail to the iCal Server’s e-mail address. Thus, in order for the iCal Server to send and receive e-mail, it must have an e-mail account itself.

So a prerequisite for turning on iCal’s e-mail notification feature is having your own e-mail server (either hosted in Lion Server or elsewhere) or e-mail with your domain, where iCal Server has an account (such as iCalServer@acme.com).

Then, back on iCal Server, you have to tell it what the POP/IMAP and SMTP server information is — just as you would when setting up a user’s e-mail client software. This is exactly what you do to enable iCal e-mail notification. Here’s how:

  1. Make sure that you have turned on the iCal Server.

    In the Server app, click the iCal icon.

    Click the big switch to the On position.

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  2. In the Server app’s iCal Server pane, make sure that the check box next to Allow Invitations Using Email Addresses is checked.

  3. Click the Edit button next to Allow Invitations Using Email Addresses.

    The Configure Email Address dialog appears.

  4. Type an e-mail address that you’d like the server to use to notify users of invitations and then click Next.

    The Server Email Address dialog appears.

  5. Enter the name of the incoming POP or IMAP mail server and the username and password and then click Next.

  6. Enter the name of the outgoing SMTP mail server, select an authentication type (Kerberos, CRAM-MD5, or none), and enter the username and password; click Next.

    A summary screen shows you the configuration you just entered. You can click the Back button to make a correction or click the Finish button. iCal Server will restart after you click Finish.

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