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Generating Calendar Items from Web Pages

Posted on 2004-10-19
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
This one is probably a stretch, but here it goes anyway. :)

My boss (who wants our website to be "more webbish, but not too webbish") wants to know if I can add a special feature to our events pages on our intranet.  He would like people to be able to click a link for events that automagically adds a calendar item to their Outlook calendars for that particular event.  I was going to just say, no, it can't be done, but figured I'd ask the expert's first.

One of the possible ways I thought of would be to have the link generate an emailed meeting request to the user in question, but I'm really not sure that would be possible since I'm not sure of the format for a meeting request and whether or not one could be generated outside of outlook.  We do identify the users, so is it technically feasible to programmatically insert a calendar event to the Exchange database via LDAP?  If so, some details on what a calendar entry looks like in the database would be nice.

Any other thoughts or suggestions?  I'm not looking for a detailed answer or a complete solution (although that may be worth some bonus pts).  Third party apps are also an option as long as we don't have to rewrite out intranet.

We are currently using ColdFusion for the majority of our site, but we also have some ASP.Net pages for specific applications.

Since I know this question is a bit abstract, I'm hoping to get some brainstorming going with people who have either ventured down this road before, or have given it some thought.  Again, I'm not expecting a detailed solution, but a good idea of what may work.

Thanks!
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Question by:SimmerDown
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Assisted Solution

by:YSkelling
YSkelling earned 250 total points
ID: 12353533
Well,

if security is no object, you could make a VBA script from the server for each date ( dynamically generated or not ) and send it to the user via email...

Then if the script is opened in outlook, it could be creating the appointment without any problem.

If you need VBA to create a an apointment, calendar event, ask here i'll show you.
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by:
MathewSchlabaugh earned 250 total points
ID: 12357248
Remember that although it is on a company intranet you still have security issues to deal with. Well if you are using ASP.NET then you could use the Calendar user control from the Web Forms tab in Visual Studio .NET. To simplify things a bit...

Using Visual Studio .NET add the following COM component
reference if you can find it on your system. Here is where it is located on my system. Look through your references to COM objects on your system. "Add Reference" (Hint: Right Click the 'References' folder)

Microsoft Outlook 10.0 Object Library

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\msoutl.olb


Here is the using statement (Simple):

using Outlook;

Your specifically looking to inherit from the
Outlook.AppointmentItemClass in which you can set them on the local computer. Here are just a few settings for an appointment you can set

Subject
Location
Start
End
Body

But, you will still need to make some sort of interaction between the class that makes the appointment and your calendar class which is also available as a Web Form user control in an ASP.NET application. Hope that get you on a good start so...in other words yes it is possible...very possible bet you wish you didn't have to tell your boss that...LOL
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Author Comment

by:SimmerDown
ID: 12364365
Thanks to both of you for your suggestions.

YSkelling, I would be interested in seeing a VBA script that can create an appointment and be sent via email.

Mathew, I'm not really sure I understand how your suggestion would work.  How would the ASP.Net page create the calendar item in the users calendar?  Would they have to have Outlook open?

Perhaps it would be possible to combine the ideas in a way...use the Calendar control sent via an email message to set the Calendar item.  Maybe that is what you are suggesting?

Again, thanks for the ideas.  Let's keep going with this.
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Author Comment

by:SimmerDown
ID: 12364433
Wow, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best solutions.

We're just going to create calendar items and save them as .vcf files and make the link open the .vcf file.  User hits Save and Close then Bob's your uncle.

I'll wait until I hear back from both of you and then I'll most likely just split the points.  Even though I didn't end up using either solution, it was the combined stream of consciousness that made the idea come to me.

Thanks again.  Please post if you are willing to accept split points.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:YSkelling
ID: 12364968
No problem with me !

Thanks

Yan
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:MathewSchlabaugh
ID: 12366084
The Calendar user control from the Web Forms tab in Visual Studio .NET would be used to link to the page with the appointments for the day.

Remember the only way to get something saved on a users computer is to have software installed on their computer that will perform this operation. Else user has to accept some sort of download. Using the COM component "Outlook" I mentioned above this is easy to do but you would still need to initiate your connection from the client computer to a server somewhere to gather the information to create the appointment. The appointment can be saved in Outlook without even opening it.
VBA's are great but like stated earlier if security is no issue...LOL

Keep the points...not a member anyways...Nice to have chatted...

Respectfully,
Mathew Schlabaugh
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Author Comment

by:SimmerDown
ID: 12374150
Too much work to keep the points.  Thanks again to both of you for your ideas.
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