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In Ben’s previous post, he spoke about sharing a calendar via e-mail. Many people correctly commented that sharing a calendar via e-mail does not support subscriptions and that for items that changed regularly, it was difficult to use. Can Comertoglu (our Calendar Sharing Program Manager for Office 2007) spent some time with Ben to put together this guide on how he uses the Office Online publishing features of Microsoft Outlook 2007 to manage a soccer team.
In order to be able to field a cohesive team on a regular basis, Can juggles times, locations, and team players. Can’s soccer team’s schedule changes week to week and the players are from all over Seattle, so Can needs to be able to create a team calendar that can work for everyone and be updated unobtrusively. For example, the calendar must be usable by a combination of different calendaring clients, besides Outlook 2007Like most soccer teams, Can’s team gets together at least twice a week for regular practices and then irregularly for matches, and he needs to be able to communicate these scheduling changes to everyone on the team as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
Like the example that Ben provided last week, Can is able to maintain a separate team calendar in Outlook 2007 for his soccer team. He uses Outlook 2007’s Office Online calendar publishing features to share his soccer calendar with his team. By publishing the team calendar to Office Online, he can make frequent changes to the schedule without having to send out a new copy each time. Team members that use ICalendar compatible clients have the option to subscribe to the calendar and receive automatic updates. Players that do not have software that supports this standard can still view the team calendar using the Office Online web site.
We have made a sample soccer calendar available on Office Online so that you can see how this functionality works. Here is how we did it:
Create a new calendar.
Select “File + New + Calendar” and then enter the name for the Calendar.
A separate calendar will now be created.
Publish the calendar.
Right Click on the Calendar and select “Publish to Internet + Publish to Office Online…”
The “Publish Calendar to Microsoft Office Online” dialogue is now displayed. This allows you to select what is published, the time span that will be published, and who has access to it as well as additional options such as a description and the publishing frequency.
Please note that in order to use Office Online you will need to have a Windows Live ID. You will be prompted for credentials when publishing.
In our example, we chose to publish everything in this calendar to all users except for private data and to allow Outlook to automatically handle uploading of the calendar data to Office Online.
Send a notification message.
Once the publishing process has completed, you will be asked if you want to send a notification message to let people know about the calendar you published.
In our example, we selected yes and typed a brief notice to let our team members know about the calendar.
You will not need to send out another notification.Users who subscribe to the calendar will automatically receive the latest updates.
Any application that can read an .ics file can subscribe to the calendar. Users that do not have an .ics aware mail application can view the calendar at Office Online in a web browser.
We are now done and have published our calendar. Any changes we make to the calendar will be pushed up to Office Online the next time Outlook performs a “Send and Receive” operation.
Viewing the calendar data.
Attached are some screenshots of the calendar data as seen through different clients such as Outlook 2007, Windows Calendar (available in Windows Vista), FireFox and Internet Explorer.
Office Online in Internet Explorer Office Online in FireFox Outlook 2007 Windows Calendar
ICalendar Compatible clients.
Here is a short list of popular clients that implement ICalendar functionality. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and that there are many other applications that provide this functionality.
Open Source Applications Foundation
Novell & GNOME
iCal and iCal Server
The Kontact Team
Sun Java Calendar Server
Zimbra Collaboration Suite
We hope you enjoy this feature as much as we do!
Can ComertogluOutlook Program Manager&Benjamin GayOutlook Software Design Engineer in Test
[content update 8.9.07] We've made a change to this post so that the table at the end is now clickable and not a static graphic. Thanks!
How can I have WebDAV support on my own calendar website? Are there any APIs to use on ASP.NET? // Johan
You can enable WebDAV through the Internet Information Services Manager tool on your server. For Windows Server 2003, click the Web Service Extensions node for the server, select WebDAV, and then click Allow.
You will need to enable Write access on the folder where you want to be able to publish your calendar, and need to make sure that the appropriate users have file system permissions to write in that location as well.
Since WebDAV is just an extension to the verbs supported by the server, you could theoretically support it through ASP.NET as well, but it’s better to use the built-in support from the server instead of rolling your own implementation.
How often does the Office Online calendar update? The settings say "Update this calendar with the servers recommended frequency". What is the recommended frequency?
Great program! One question - when I publish my Outlook 2007 calendar, the recipients (subscribers) lose the color-coding that I have attached to each event/appointment category. On my side, I've assigned different appointments into different color catories, but when they view the calendar through Outlook 2007, the events are always pale green. Any ideas about this? The color coding really helps for our organization. Thank you very much for your insight! -Nick
My calendar only shows 12PM - 11PM and most of our events are a.m. events....
Hi, This is an off topic question for this blog post. I am curious to know the size of the outlook team ? How many
1) Program Managers (and their feature area) ?
3) Test Engineers,etc and how many of you involved in this team blog ? Thanks in advance
Answer for Lea: To change the window of times you can see on your calendar - 1. Go to the Tools menu. 2. Select Options (the last item on the drop down list)
3. Click on Calendar Options…
4. Look for Start Time and End Time. Change to the time you want to have. My day runs from 7:30 to 5, so that's what I put in. 5. Click OK in the Options window and in the Tools windows. That's it. Now when I view my calendar it shows me from 7:30 to 5.
Running an Oracle Application Server with webdav enabled, would this functionality be available as well?
Botzy: We haven't tested this feature with Oracle Application Server, but if it supports write functionality via WebDAV, it should be compatible. You just need to use "Publish to WebDAV Server" option instead of publishing to Office Online.
Catching up on replying to comments... Nick S: The color coding for categories is a personal setting, which is tied to your account. Those colors are not shared with others when using Outlook's sharing features. David Rettig: The calendar updates with a frequency provided by the server. Usually it's in the range of 20 minutes, but it can change based on server load and other factors. This interval applies to both checking for updates in the calendar for subscribers and publishing changes from your calendar to the server. --Ryan
What's the deal with ICS versus VFB files? We've got some folks publishing from Outlook 2007 to a WebDAV site and it publishes OK, but Outlook 2003 subscribers to that ICS file can't actually display the free/busy info. If I publish from Outlook 2003 it produces a VFB file and both 2003 and 2007 seem to be able to read that. It'd be nice to be able to have access from both versions of the client without having to run a server-side process to convert the ICS to VFB when it gets updated.
Seth: You can publish the VFB information from Outlook 2007 using the same mechanism you use in Outlook 2003; this functionality has not been removed. The ability to publish your calendar to Office Online or a WebDAV server is not designed to replace the capability provided through Internet free/busy. While the two features are similar, you cannot use the new capability in Outlook 2007 in conjunction with Outlook 2003 clients to show free/busy for other users. --Ryan
Can the calendar that's published on Office Online website be refomatted into something that can be incorporated into an existing website? What would be great is if you could alter the contents of the calendar via CSS or at least provide a month overview or list of upcoming events that you could include on your website. Being able to do that with the ease of publishing from a shared community calendar within Outlook public folders would be fantastic.
Hi - Thanks for the blog post. A few questions about internet calendars in Outlook 2007: 1 - Can I specify a different color for an internet calendar to which I am subscribed? If I go Tools -> Options -> Calendar Options to change the background color, it only affects my main "Calendar". 2 - When I open Outlook into the calendar view, can I have my subscribed internet calendar shown by default? Current behaviour is I exit Outlook with my internet calendar in view (checked), but when I restart it's unchecked and not shown. Would be nice if that was either a saved state or configurable. Thanks,
Hi when i am publishing calendar using WebDav , it gives me error like "Access to the resource was denined.If you have signed into and saved your Windows Live ID with a Web site,sign out of that web site, and then try this operation again" can any body suggest me an idea what should i do Thanks