From Day One, we’ve only supported Exchange delegate access for our Microsoft customers. One of the reasons is that it’s more secure than Exchange impersonation, but it does come with some shortcomings on the features side of things. We now support both options, so you can choose what’s best for your company and employees.

The choice between delegate access and impersonation is usually part of your EventBoard account set up, during onboarding. It’s not something you toggle on and off on a whim.

Here’s an analogy of how they each behave. Suppose you are going out of town and ask your friend to watch your house and feed the dogs over the weekend.

  • Exchange delegate access – You ask a friend to come to the house to feed the dogs while you’re gone. You give them a key, they open the front door, walk in and feed the dogs. The dogs know it’s not you, but they don’t care, they just wanna eat. Your friend sees a trickle of water coming from the fridge but doesn’t know how to fix it, so it just leaks. Your friend locks the door and leaves. You’ve delegated this person to do something for you, so they did exactly that – and nothing more.
  • Exchange impersonation – You ask a friend to come to the house to feed the dogs while you’re gone. You give them a key, but you also give them your car to drive up in, your clothes to wear, and a mask with your face on it. When your friend comes to your house, the dogs don’t even know it’s not you while they’re getting fed. Your friend knows all the nuances of the house and sees that trickle of water coming from the refrigerator and knows just how to fix it, so they do. How nice! The friend doesn’t take advantage of anything, but in the event that something happens, they can help.

So how does this impact our product?

We find that some of our enterprise-level customers with strict security protocols prefer delegate access. But it does have one downside when it comes to using our EventBoard conference room displays: it means you can’t use the event check-in feature. Here’s why.

Say that one of your employees sets up a meeting on their Outlook calendar and attaches a room. The room has an EventBoard display, and the meeting wraps up 15 minutes early. There is no ability to “end meeting” from the display because the room calendar is not the host of that meeting – the person who set up the meeting is the host. In other words, the display can’t edit the event because the room is not the organizer.

However, if you use impersonation, when that meeting wraps up early, anyone can just tap “end meeting” on the display. Then it will do just that: change the end time of the event, so the meeting space can be used by someone else.

To summarize: As of this writing, there aren’t any other major EventBoard platform features that are unusable with delegate access.

Rest assured that both options are secure for the 99% – otherwise the choice wouldn’t even be offered. If you’re a security-first organization and can do without event check-in, opt for Exchange delegate access. If you’re more focused on turning rooms over and getting the most out of your real estate – goals where check-in can really move the needle – use Exchange impersonation.

Noah Singer has been running product development for the better part of a decade. He joined EventBoard in early 2016 to help a crack team of developers ship the most valuable product to the most people possible.