Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meeting Maker / Oracle to Google Calendar

The calendar elves have been working on a few things to move data from Meeting Maker into Google Calendar, and we thought we'd update you. It's not perfect yet, but it's well within striking distance. This will work for Oracle as well of course.

First let's take a look at a typical Meeting Maker 7 calendar (sorry, the company really won't sell us version 8 anytime soon so we're left with the trial version we've been using since 2001).

And here, using our current zinsert to create ICS files is what this looks like via an import in Google Calendar.
First thing to notice: the old MM DST code causes a shift (which if you update your server or get us to rebase your data will not happen), and banners are a little off (we can fix this).
But the good news is that it involves WAY less work than our previous versions.
This does work client-side (we're working on the XML for server-side, but we've gotten no pressure for it yet so it's just simmering away).

On MAJOR ICS datafiles (in this case 2.5 Mb), we've been getting this warning:

But all the data seems to go in. Our test was simple: is the last object in the file inserted? If so, we're fine, and it was.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Removing Outlook Holidays Server-Side

We get all kinds of requests on the Holiday insertion application.

One of the more recent ones is interesting enough to blog about.

The subject is the holidays Outlook client can insert for you and how to remove them SERVER-SIDE.

Turns out that the old Exchange 2003 Utilities could handle this as a matter of course, but our new version did not until last week.

Here's the slightly longer technical story about what's happening: The Outlook holiday capability inserts client-side and helpfully includes the Category "Holiday"

That's good - because I have no idea what corporate or university user needs to know when Groundhog Day is (who put this list together, a grade school teacher?).

Looking at it in OutlookSpy you can also see why the terminology "Keyword" got applied to this early on and stuck.

Anyway, in Exchange 2003 the Sumatra Utilities used only the Keyword field, but to be safer in Exchange 2007 when we moved to EWS we also used a couple of hidden fields including Mileage (not as uncommon a technique among calendar applications as you might imagine).

So we expanded the concept of UNDO to be both for Category only or Category AND Mileage.

The good news, we fixed it so if you want to remove data server-side you can.

AND REMEMBER: We require keywords so that you do not accidentally remove everything in a calendar. But you WILL remove everything tagged with "Holiday." So be careful! You have been warned.