Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oracle Calendar Migration: ICS vs UNICPOUTU

We've been asked why we don't just migrate out of Oracle Calendar using ICS format.

We could, but the results are way better using UNICPOUTU.

Let's look at Jimi Hendrix's meeting with Jerry Garcia and John Lennon in ICS format. The meeting title is "Jimi, Jerry, John"

You'll notice that any of the recurrence pattern syntax is absent, as is any concept of the meeting ATTENDEES. Yes, you can take this and you can insert it as is into Exchange or any other calendar system that reads iCalendar. BUT without recurrences, attendees (and therefore attendee response status) and with no connection to managed conference rooms or resources.

It is very easy to insert this way -- but it is also less functional when it arrives at the target system. Users will need to add back all their guests and send invitations, which the guests then need to respond to. And don't forget the great conference room land grab that's going to happen the second your people get wind the conference rooms are not yet booked on the new system.

And let's look at the same meeting in UNICPOUTU export, Oracle Calendar's own format.

It is CRUCIALLY better because while we are (still) lacking the recurrence patterns (don't worry, we re-create those), we have the attendee list and the attendee responses! This means we can re-create the full state of the meeting and make it live in Exchange. This also allows us to re-create the status in conference rooms.

Yes, this means in a system like Exchange that we need to re-propose the meetings and respond to them. But the results at the end are much more seamless and require less user interaction to get back to its previous state. After doing this for almost nine years though we think we've gotten good at it.

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