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iCal support in the Events Module

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  • 4/7/2015



iCal support in the Events Module

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The Events module currently supports calendar export using the iCal spec (.ics, RFC5445).

Prior to version 6.0.0, in order to support events that cross a Daylight Saving Time Boundary, a VTIMEZONE is created within the export file. This was based on the Server TimeZone, but was created as 'DNN/LocalDST' rather than any specific TimeZone because DNN did not currently support DST. So it was in effect a best guess, to meet most peoples needs, through did not work for everyone.

With Version 6.0.0 and the introduction of full DST support to the module, iCals can bow accurately represent the dates and times shown in the calendar. All timezones required to support the exported events is represented as a VTIMEZONE using data retrieved from the underlying server. Therefore upto date patching of the server to accurately reflect worldwide timezone changes is vital. These patches are provided by Microsoft via Windows Update.

Events that have been altered from a basic recurrence pattern will appear in the external calendar program as all being linked. They will also appear with the correct event details even if they have also been altered from the base. In essence what happens is:-

  • Loop through all Events in the to be exported, record the timezones used. If any details differ from the original, then output a VEVENT for the single instance with the correct RECURRENCE-ID to link back to the original date/time of the occurrence in the recurrence pattern.
  • If a single event has been deleted (denoted by Cancelled = True in the Event record), record the Original DateTime for output later
  • Output a VEVENT based on EventsRecurMaster (this is where the RRULE created in the RecurMaster changes makes life a lot easier)
  • Output EXDATE attribute if any dates have been deletedFor security purposes there is a new setting in the Module Settings which allows you to disable the owner email address being exported if the exporting user is not logged on.
  • Output the VTIMEZONES for all used timezones.

Attendees are also exported in the .ics via the ATTENDEE attribute. Information exported is based on that defined in the Module Settings for visibility of enrollment data on the Details View (another new feature).

Also the Priority is set according to iCal standards. So Low = 9, Medium = 5, High = 1. Previously these were exported as 3,2,1.

Full Calendar Exports

With version 5.2.0 came the ability to perform full calendar exports. This is controlled by settings in the module to make the icon available on the iconbar, and to control the time period for the extract. Please see here for more details on these settings.
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