Review Draft Research Summary Enterprise Calendars January Prepared by
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Review Draft 1.17.07 Research Summary: Enterprise Calendars January 17, 2007 Prepared by: David Fletcher, Chief Technology Officer Robert Woolley, Chief Technologist and Strategic Planner Introduction This research report was prepared in response to a request for information on enterprise calendar systems. 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 Code. 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 vCalendar.3 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. 1 CalDAV Standard at http://ietf.osafoundation.org/caldav 2 McCullogh, Jeff, Calendaring and Scheduling Glossary of Terms, CalConnect.org, October 12, 2006. 3 Ibid. 1 Review Draft 1.17.07 Scope 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 policy. • 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 automatically. • 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 meetings. • The solution should interface to agency calendars so that PIOs don’t have to post meetings twice. • 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. 2 Standard Calendar Features End-user Features Web Interface • Initial filters o Featured events o New events o All events • Event attributes o Date o Categories - multiple, hierarchical, metadata, etc. o Type - lecture, film, concert o Recurring - regular, irregular o Sponsor(s) - university, department, organization o Location o Image o URL(s) o Contact(s) o Cost 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 Month o Mini navigation calendar • Personalized selections stored for future o Based on network ID o Integrated with RSS feeds/bulletins • Printing 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 Print Version • Selectable PDA Interface • Text-only Subscription Services • RSS feeds of updates (for news readers and aggregators). • iCal (RFC 2445) subscription available per group. • CalDAV subscription available per group. • E-mail notification. Production Features For Authors and Editors • Simple editing interface. o Create new event from existing event. o Add, update, delete, view events. o 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. For Approvers • 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. Development Features Architecture • 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 • IETF o iCalendar (iCal) o Calendar Access Protocol (CAP) (no longer active). o CalDAV Proposal (ext version of iCalendar - recurring events, multiple calendars). o Calendaring and Scheduling Group (http://www.ietf.org/html.charters/calsify- charter.html) • Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium o Participants: Oracle, Lotus, IBM, Microsoft, OSAF/Chandler. o Focusing on event publishing systems. o Working on CalDAV. Data Exchange • 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 . Calendar Publishing • Administration of events, users, groups, workflows. Calendar Aggregation • Administration of distribution options. Administration Features 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). Current Solutions 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. URL: http://vtcalendar.sourceforge.net 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 schedules. URL (DOPL example): http://www.utah.gov/cal/event?x=y&pf=&date_y=&date_m=&date_d=&s=&t=&calendar=dccc &action2=view 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. URL: http://www.deq.utah.gov/Public_Participation/Calendar/meetings.htm 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. URL: http://wildlife.utah.gov/calendar/ http://www.extrosoft.com 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: http://calendar.das.utah.gov/rss/Archives.rss. The Utah State Fairpark is also using this calendar. URL: http://calendar.das.utah.gov/calendar.php?calendar=4 http://calendar.utahstatefair.com/calendar.php 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 with WebEvent. URL(s): http://www.schools.utah.gov/online/webcalendar.pl?Op=ShowIt&CalendarName=USOE_Main_ Calendar http://updc.hosted.webevent.com/cgi-bin/webevent.cgi Utah Legislature The legislature uses a simple, table-driven calendar for presenting their legislative session events. URL: http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/cal.asp Utah Travel Council The Travel Council maintains a list of events. URL: http://travel.utah.gov/events_calendar/index.html BeReady Utah BeReady.utah.gov uses the VT Calendar system supported by the Department of Community and Culture. URL: http://beready.utah.gov/calendar/index.html Utah Walks URL: http://www.utahwalks.org/calendar/cal_month_view.php Others 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. URL: http://calendar.utahstgeorge.com Google Calendar 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 Utah.gov domain. URL: 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. URL: http://www.weboffice.com/EN/Services/Workgroup/WebMeetings/ 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. URL: http://www.novell.com/partnerguide/product/101010.html 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 Commercial Alternatives 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 combining calendars. Brown Bear VT Calenda Interactive WebEvent Extrovert Calendar (Thyme) Google Utah Post and Update Event X X X X X Information Online Calendar Subscription for X X X X X Public Users Multiple Calendar Views and X X X X X Formats Customizable Event X Categories Event Calendar Integration X with Personal Calendars Flexible Combined Calendar X View Event Export X Searchable Calendars X RSS Feeds X UMD Integration Capabilities Ability to embed graphics and links to events Administrative approval process for event posting Calendar Data Import/Export Custom Event Fields Intuitive User Interface Source Code Access Cascading Style Sheet Support Database Support 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 Public Users 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 Event Export as Meeting Maker or Microsoft Outlook, using the industry-standard vCalendar technology 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 events Time Scan Search for availability of rooms, equipment or people Save time by entering a recurring event only once by selecting from Repeating Events 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 Print Views 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 Resources Color-coded icons indicate if an event is newly added to a calendar or New/Modified Event recently modified, allowing your audience to notice event changes at Icons 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 LDAP or manually add user information Scalability Scales from ten to tens of thousands of users Compatibility Embedded Graphics or Ability to add a URL or graphic to any event Links Event Submission Ability to restrict users from posting events without administrative Approval approval 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 Export 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 Support 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.