One of my customers is a small, but worldwide company. They use Exchange 5.5 on a server in the US to provide e-mail to all locations in the world. This server is connected to the Internet.
Local businesses pick up their mail through Netscape Communicator (Messenger) or through Outlook Web Access (pointing the Netscape browser to a secure page on the Internet).
One of the local units asked me to see if they can start sharing calendars (only for that location), using the software that is available to them now. Given that they can get at their e-mail using Netscape Messenger, Outlook 97 is an alternative option for e-mail client and calendaring: they all have Office 97.
Can this be achieved without help/intervention from the people that run the Exchange 5.5 server in the US? If so, how? Upgrading Exchange Server to 2000 is not an option; upgrading to Office 2000 or any of its components is not an option either.
It should be achievable: calendaring is a native feature of OWA and OL97.
For using shared calendars, OL97 will certainly support access to public folders, but OWA does not—at least not in Exchange 5.5.
However, I’m going to suggest a third-option. Netscape offers a free Calendar Server application at their Web site. Users register and can save their calendars to that site, and naturally you could share that free calendar among a group.