Review Draft 1.17.07
January 17, 2007
Prepared by: David Fletcher, Chief Technology Officer
Robert Woolley, Chief Technologist and Strategic Planner
This research report was prepared in response to a request for information on enterprise
The State of Utah is looking for a tool to manage and present information related to its
public meetings. These are meetings as defined in Title 52, Chapter 4 of the Utah State
A calendar is a collection of events, tasks, journal entries, etc., such as a person's, group's,
or organization’s schedule, resource availability, and event listings. Electronic calendar
software for use in enterprises is impacted by a number of different standards:
CalDAV is a standard protocol to allow calendaring and scheduling via extensions
to the WebDAV protocol. This standard specifies a calendar access protocol that
allows Calendar User Agents to access and manage calendar data in a calendar
store accessible via a calendar service. The specification also defines how
Calendar User Agents perform scheduling operations via a calendar service.1
iCalendar is the Internet Calendaring and Scheduling Core Object Specification is
an IETF standard for a text representation of calendar data.2
vCalendar is a text representation of calendar and scheduling data created by the
Versit consortium. The iCalendar specification is based on the work of
There are many other related standards such as RSS, and iMIP (iCalendar Message-
Based Interoperability Protocol) but these three represent the major standards
components of open source and commercial calendar systems.
CalDAV Standard at http://ietf.osafoundation.org/caldav
McCullogh, Jeff, Calendaring and Scheduling Glossary of Terms, CalConnect.org, October 12, 2006.
Review Draft 1.17.07
This research review is primarily concerned with calendar solutions that could support
the needs of a central calendar and event management function for the State of Utah.
The focus of this report is constrained by the specific requirements that have been
identified as needed by the Governor’s Office and PIO Council.
Calendar Product Requirements:
• Clearly defined guidelines and standards from the Governor’s Office on the definition
of what meetings should be posted, what information (minimally) should be included
in the meeting description, when meetings should be posted, and a password/login
• A defined format for submitters to use to provide public meeting information.
• Ability to provide all required information about the meeting/event, including all
GRAMA required information.
• Ability to identify end date and recurring events and to archive and/or post
• Ability to attach files (data and audio).
• Ability to link to other sites (agency web site, agency calendar).
• The solution must be user-friendly and not require technical expertise to post
• The solution should interface to agency calendars so that PIOs don’t have to post
• Ability for multiple submissions but controlled posting (so that agency leaders can
submit public meeting information to PIOs, but only PIOs can post to the calendar).
• Ability to download meeting information to personal iCal.
• Ability for public to subscribe to the calendar to receive notifications for meetings and
for changes to meetings to some to all meetings.
• The calendar should be prominent and easy to find from utah.gov.
• Ability to designate another person to post when the PIO is not available.
• Ability to review submissions and approve and post them from a blackberry.
• Must be compatible with GroupWise.
Standard Calendar Features
• Initial filters
o Featured events
o New events
o All events
• Event attributes
o Categories - multiple, hierarchical, metadata, etc.
o Type - lecture, film, concert
o Recurring - regular, irregular
o Sponsor(s) - university, department, organization
o Recurrence (multiple, irregular, infinite)
• Event search
o On any attribute
o Free text
• Browse views
o Featured events
o Day (all)
o Three days
o Mini navigation calendar
• Personalized selections stored for future
o Based on network ID
o Integrated with RSS feeds/bulletins
o Browse views
o Other (trifold, bi-weekly)
• Contextual help
• Access keys
• Export to
o Web page
o HTML snippet
o Tab text
o To self
o To friend
• RSS feeds of updates (for news readers and aggregators).
• iCal (RFC 2445) subscription available per group.
• CalDAV subscription available per group.
• E-mail notification.
For Authors and Editors
• Simple editing interface.
o Create new event from existing event.
o Add, update, delete, view events.
New events (pre-filled templates for various types of generic events).
Existing events (find by search/filter).
Recurring events (regular plus irregular).
• Multiple events at same time.
• Co-sponsors can be added and removed at will.
• Event approval mechanism.
o Queued events for approval.
o Temporary vacation assignment.
• Approval workflow customizable by group/calendar.
o Multiple approvers possible.
• List of published events/updates (quality assurance for publishers with no approver,
return with suggestions).
• Multiple viewpoints available (for department and organization sites).
o Discrete presentation templates.
o Defined content (by search/filter).
• Content completely separated from presentation.
• Customizable layout (header, footer, colors) by CSS2 positioning.
• Server application for publishing workflow.
• Standards-based data storage.
o Multiple calendars (department and groups).
o Calendar restriction by user or group.
• Server application for aggregation and syndication.
Data Storage Standards
o iCalendar (iCal)
o Calendar Access Protocol (CAP) (no longer active).
o CalDAV Proposal (ext version of iCalendar - recurring events, multiple
o Calendaring and Scheduling Group (http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/calsify-
• Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium
o Participants: Oracle, Lotus, IBM, Microsoft, OSAF/Chandler.
o Focusing on event publishing systems.
o Working on CalDAV.
• Via portlet standard.
• Oracle Calendar transfer (via API).
• Resource25 transfer.
• SAP transfer.
• Palm sync.
• PocketPC sync.
• Export/live feed of events to RSS.
• Export/live feed of events to vCal, iCal files.
• Export events to XML (can be customized).
• Meaningful URLs.
User and Groups
• User authentication via internal database or external via LDAP .
• Administration of events, users, groups, workflows.
• Administration of distribution options.
For Calendar Administrators
• Create and manage users and groups.
o LDAP (DND) plus internal database.
• CAP-style access rights for publishers.
• Access rights for viewers.
• Assignment of keywords and synonyms for calendar search.
• Assignment of multiple classification models.
• Integration of external RSS feeds, per group calendar.
For Project Champions and Event Sponsors
• Support for defined organizational entities (via DND).
The State of Utah already has many calendar solutions in place that are being used at the agency
level. All of these are either freely available as open-source software or can be upgraded to an
enterprise license at a relatively low cost. Most of these solutions are also in use by other
organizations where they have been proven and tested.
The Governors Office of Economic Development
and the Department of Community and Culture
have implemented VT Calendar to manage an
extensive set of community and economic
development events and meetings. VT Calendar is
an open-source, web-based event calendar that
allows for decentralized data input and includes an
approval mechanism. It supports calendar hosting
for individual organizations and the forwarding of
events from these calendars to the main event
calendar. It was originally developed as a central
calendar system by Virginia Tech University. The
code for VT Calendar is available on Sourceforge
and is supported by a growing community of open-source developers.
Features of VT Calendar:
• Day/week/month view
• Search for events
• Show events filtered by category
• Miniature calendar for navigation
• Event submission/approval mechanism
• Handling of recurring events
• User authentication via internal database and/or external via LDAP
• Customizable layout (header, footer, colors)
• Customizable event categories
• Customizable event templates
• Customizable search engine (featured keywords, synonyms)
• Import/Export events in several formats (RSS, custom XML)
• vCalendar support (for exporting to other calendars like MS Outlook or iCal)
• Support for multiple calendars (e.g. separate departmental calendars)
• Calendars can be public or private (restricted to certain users)
Utah Interactive has supported a statewide calendar for
over six years. It is a custom-built application that is
used by several agencies to post public meeting
URL (DOPL example):
Department of Human Services
The Department of Human Services uses WebEvent to
present calendar information to its caregiver community.
WebEvent integrates event calendaring and scheduling
into a single enterprise-wide system, providing one view
into a universe of event information. Ideal for universities
and businesses, it simplifies the communication of event
information by enabling users to post events to a variety
of event calendars that can be accessed by internal and
external audiences via a Website or intranet.
Department of Environmental Quality
DEQ uses HTML to produce a simple listing of events.
Department of Natural Resources
The Division of Wildlife Resources uses Extrovert
Software’s low-cost PHP calendar tool, Thyme. Thyme
is a robust, web-based calendar suite. It can be used as
a personal planner, a company or organization's event
calendar, an RSS gateway, an iCalendar service, an
application embedded into your PHP enabled web site
or intranet. It can be purchased for only $50.
a calendar supported by the Division of Enterprise
Technology. The calendar system is BosDates and
provides most of the features generally required in a
web calendar/events manager. The BosDates
calendar has a very nice export capability to a
variety of formats. An enterprise license is already
owned by the State. The DAS calendar includes
subscribable RSS feeds such as this:
The Utah State Fairpark is also using this calendar.
Utah State Office of Education
The USOE is using calendar software from Brown
Bear Software (http://www.brownbearsw.com/).
Brown Bear offers two separate calendaring
products, ical and calcium. Many major
corporations and governmental entities use Brown
Bear’s calendar. USOE also has extensive calendars
The legislature uses a simple, table-driven calendar for presenting their legislative session events.
Utah Travel Council
The Travel Council maintains a list of events.
BeReady.utah.gov uses the VT Calendar system supported by the Department of Community and
UtahStGeorge.com has a very nicely integrated calendar at http://calendar.utahstgeorge.com/.
The calendar features a selection box menu that allows you to see only the type of events that
you are interested in. Each event summary includes a link to a Google map of the event location
for easy reference.
Google offers a robust, full service calendar at no cost to users. The availability of Google Apps
for Your Domain means that the Google calendar could be fully implemented within the
Google Calendar offers several methods for auto-synching the calendar to the user’s mobile
device, all at no cost.
Web Office contains an online meeting tool that promises to change the dynamics of meetings.
The calendar tool is integrated with WebEx’s suite of online meeting products.
Calendar Creation Utility web (CCUweb)
This product was developed by a Novell partner to create multiple HTML Calendars based on
multiple Outlook or GroupWise accounts or add additional events from data files.
CCUWeb includes the following features:
• HTML Web calendar, no server side requirements
• Publish multiple Outlook and GroupWise accounts
• Create multiple Web calendars
• Automatic unattended updating (Auto-Update)
• Import Reminder Notes/ Tasks/ Appointments from a Web site to your Outlook or
GroupWise calendar (Auto-Import)
• Multi-language and date/time format support
• Import entries from data files
• Online resources for National holidays, languages, and custom graphics
There are a wide range of commercial calendar alternatives that have many of the features
required by the State. The vast majorities of these solutions is built upon iCal standards and
provide a range of solutions for user interface and combining disparate calendars. Investment and
licensing for the majority of these solutions is relatively small.
Open Source Alternatives
Open source and general public use calendar solutions have been proliferating over the last
several years and offer a wide range of solutions and capabilities that in many cases equal or
exceed functionality offered by commercial providers. Leading contenders in this space include
VCalendar, Sunbird, WebCalendar, OpenGroupware, ical, and PHProjekt, to name a few. The
range of available server based solutions is substantial, and a number of groups are working on
application reviews. Google Calendar offers an open interface approach that relieves agency
hosting management. Yahoo calendar also offers some similar features. Are these open source or
commercial calendars. They are available for free public use and certainly should be evaluated
alongside commercial solutions. Google Calendar offers some very easy to use functionality for
Post and Update Event
X X X X X
Calendar Subscription for
X X X X X
Multiple Calendar Views and
X X X X X
Event Calendar Integration
with Personal Calendars
Flexible Combined Calendar
Event Export X
Searchable Calendars X
RSS Feeds X
UMD Integration Capabilities
Ability to embed graphics and
links to events
process for event posting
Calendar Data Import/Export
Custom Event Fields
Intuitive User Interface
Source Code Access
Cascading Style Sheet
GroupWise Integration import
Event Calendaring Features
Post and Update Event Add, modify or delete calendar information using the browser of
Information Online your choice
Public users can subscribe to e-mail reminders about upcoming
Calendar Subscriptions for
events and e-mail notifications when events are added, modified or
updated or schedule details change
Multiple Calendar Views Choose to view calendars in list or grid format by year, month, two-
Event Categories View and filter by category or key word to easily manage large
(Customizable) numbers of events. These categories can be customized for your site.
Event Reminders and Receive email notifications automatically when new events of
Change Notification via interest are added to a particular calendar or when changes are made
Email to existing events.
Event Calendar Integrate with the Meeting Maker personal and group scheduling
Integration with Personal solution to add published WebEvent events directly into your
Calendars personal calendar. Click here to learn more.
Flexible Combined Combine two or more calendars on the fly into one view to create a
Calendar Views unique calendar view
Your audience can select any particular event and, with a point and
click, export it into any personal desktop calendar application, such
as Meeting Maker or Microsoft Outlook, using the industry-standard
Event Submission by Let subscribers submit events to the calendar subject to administrator
Unregistered Users approval
Schedule meetings, tasks, classes, seminars, appointments and more.
Flexible Calendar Entries WebEvent can handle any calendar entry with timed or untimed
Time Scan Search for availability of rooms, equipment or people
Save time by entering a recurring event only once by selecting from
many different repeating event options
Searchable Calendars Search for events matching specific keywords
Click on the "Print" icon from any calendar view to instantly create a
stripped-down ready-to-print version of the current view
Block Scheduling View days and weeks in hourly blocks of time
Users do not need to pay attention to the time zone when creating
Time Zone Support events; they are automatically displayed in the appropriate time zone
for each user
Reserve Rooms and
Reserve rooms and other resources that correspond to your event
Color-coded icons indicate if an event is newly added to a calendar or
recently modified, allowing your audience to notice event changes at
a glance when visiting their favorite calendars
Administrator Features & Benefits
RSS Support Enable RSS on calendars to provide easy access to calendar data
Portal Integration Integrate calendar into the State portal
Authenticate with an LDAP directory, eliminating the need to import
or manually add user information
Scalability Scales from ten to tens of thousands of users
Embedded Graphics or
Ability to add a URL or graphic to any event
Event Submission Ability to restrict users from posting events without administrative
Grant read, write, or administrator access to each calendar to allow
User Permission Settings
users to browse, submit events, edit events, and/or modify settings
Import/export data from multiple events using .CSV files for
Calendar Data Import /
importing/exporting into another calendar application such as
Meeting Maker, Microsoft Outlook, Palm Desktop, or Lotus Notes
Ability to create your own set of calendar data fields, such as event
Custom Event Fields
cost or chargeback code, to suit your exact needs
Calendar Usage Reporting Track calendar usage, subscriptions and more using built-in reports
System can be rolled out to any large community with minimal
Intuitive User Interface training. The user interface is easy to learn so that users are up and
running in minutes
System ships with full source code access, making it highly
Source Code Access
customizable to fit the needs of each individual organization
Cascading Style Sheet Calendar uses cascading style sheets to customize the look and feel
(CCS) into existing Web site or portal
SQL Server Database
Use an existing SQL Server database to store calendars, users, events
Summary and Conclusion
Calendar systems are so prevalent that most users are finding their needs fully addressed with
open source or low cost software. Solutions in this area are sufficiently feature rich to meet or
exceed current requirements that have been identified for a State calendar. Business process
issues for coordinating and managing calendar content need to be addressed. Enterprise
calendaring needs to have broad levels of executive support for calendaring systems to be
effective. Long term vision for calendar functionality is also a factor in choosing a calendar
application. Is it desirable for the calendar application to integrate with a WebEx meeting
function? If this were true, it would constrain calendar choices that support WebEx or equivalent
services, and a long term goal of more effective use of various types of Internet meetings. In any
event implementing an enterprise calendar is not difficult. Successful implementation requires
process, agency buy-in, and a vision of where the calendar application needs to support the needs
of the State today, and in the future.