I think it should be possible to write a plugin for Outlook that approximates subscribing to an iCalendar. I think such a plugin would be downright useful, and I’ve submitted the project registration to SourceForge for approval to get things started.
Create a plugin for Outlook that approximates iCalendar subscription.
Current releases of Microsoft Outlook support the import and display of iCalendar formatted data, but they do not support subscribing to a remote web iCalendar. Subscribing to a remote web iCalendar is a very useful feature and Microsoft Outlook users would benefit from having this capability.
The web site iCalShare.com lists over 1927 public calendars including US Holidays, schedules for all major sports, meeting schedules for clubs and groups, etc.
The plugin will need to download an iCalendar over HTTP (open an URL), then import the iCalendar into Outlook. The events in the iCalendar will have the source URL inserted into a custom field. A windows event scheduler item will call for an update every hour, and any iCalendars that need to be updated at that interval will be re-downloaded, old events removed and new events imported per above.
A “Subscribe to iCalendar” button in Outlook. Clicking this button will open a dialog:
Importing events into Outlook can be controlled via external code. Events that are imported can be tagged with a Source URL via a custom field. External code can locate all events via Source URL and remove them. The windows event scheduler is capable of kicking off code to initiate the iCalendar update.
I selected the BSD license in the Source Forge application, but I wouldn’t be against multi-licensing the code. This will allow both open source projects and commercial projects to leverage and bundle the features enabled by the project.
What Happens Next?
Well, I’m not a Windows programmer, so I’m actively recruiting for one – or several. 🙂 I’m sure there are lots of folk with VB, .NET and Outlook API experience out there that could do a proof-of-concept for this in a couple of hours – I’d love to hear from you.
I’ll do it if you get to work on you know what!
Funny, I’ve already started on such a plugin – but not open source. I’ll let you know when it’s finished – I’m about 1/4 done.
All the UI is handled I’m just busy working on the subscribe code at the moment 🙂
That would be really usefull. Especially for people who are using a Pocket PC and syncing with Outlook.
Keep up the good work!
And this is why Alex should be elected president. Kudos to whoever gets this done. Not everyone can justify the cost of a Mac, but we’d sure as hell like to have the neat gadgets!
Please post an update if someone DOES create it. Some of us are stuck in Outlook and want the iCal functionality.
Looking at doing something similar at the moment. Unfortunately, Outlook’s iCal support sucks rabid dog tooth. I’ll have a look at a feasability thang in .net and get back to you.
is everyone looking for the same at the same time? 😛
There is an iCalendar .NET component which can open remote iCalendar files over the HTTP protocol and create a full iCalendar object…
This is a great idea, and something I have been looking for for a long time. I would also think that being able to automatically publish your outlook calendar as an ical calendar and send it to a fileshare or via webdav/ftp.
For example, I would like to be able to publish my outlook calendar items based upon the label assigned to them (vacaction or ‘out of office’) to a central calendar (like phpicalendar) so everyone can see when we are in or out of the office.
This is exactly what I have been looking for since I got my first Mac (Mini!).
I’m not sure if I can contribute much, but I would like to help make this a reality. I am a windows admin with a little knowledge of vb/vbscript. Let me know I can be of any assistance.
I’d definitely be into this. I’m heavy into Java but may still be able to help. Let me know if this gets going
Sounds like a good plan! Unfortunately I’m not a .NET programmer 🙁
If it helps, Sunbird imports iCalendars in any format and exports them in a format Outlook can read. If you can put together a plugin to periodically import a local file, that could be the solution everyone’s looking for.
I’m using http://www.mikebaas.[...]utlook2ical/
That does the opposite of what we’re talking about here.
Well…Hi everyone 🙂 …
I was surfing on SourceForge project and I found Alex King’s project…I just wanted to show you my project: RemoteCalendars is a plugin for Outlook 2003 that allows Outlook’s users to subscribe, delete and reload a generic iCalendar…it’s OpenSource and it’s free…I don’t think it’s already perfect, but I’m trying every day to keep it very updated with Internalization, adding features and repairing to bugs…
If you’re interested 🙂
Hope all of you glad it 🙂
Google Calendar and PHPiCalendar
I’ve been experimenting with PHPiCalendar (the site’s currently down, which makes that a bit difficult) for a site I’m redesigning. When used with WebDAV, PHPiCalendar works pretty well with iCal, which is one of the reasons it’…