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Outlook is doing a little too much to an .ics email attachment - can I stop it?

Posted on 2016-10-30
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Last Modified: 2016-10-30
Within my Access database, I have some VBA that generates an .ics file, attaches it to an email and then sends the email (I am using EASendMail). This part seems to work just fine.  However, when Outlook receives it, it automatically tries to create a calendar event.  Whilst, I appreciate that this sounds fine, it does seem to do some funny things (don't always come through on iPhone, time loses hour via DST - but if you send the saved .ics manually it's perfect).  

In short, is it possible to modify the .ics file so that Outlook just sees it as an attachment and doesn't try to get too smart?

Here is the code I am using for the .ics file:

BEGIN:VCALENDAR
PRODID:-//Company//AppName//EN
CALSCALE:GREGORIAN
VERSION:2.0
BEGIN:VEVENT
DTSTAMP:20161030T130845
DTSTART:20161029T213000
DTEND:20161029T223000
UID:D87E5D923AD84087BF8F67AEF8CC146AE8E17B23C0FA41CF8B5F0E032F089C9BB4233B6C1A05429CAB6835AF1FC4E8D5
CLASS:PUBLIC
SUMMARY:Quick test
DESCRIPTION:Some more text
BEGIN:VALARM
TRIGGER:-PT720M
ACTION:DISPLAY
DESCRIPTION:Reminder
END:VALARM
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR

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Question by:Andy Brown
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Expert Comment

by:Gustav Brock
ID: 41865837
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Author Comment

by:Andy Brown
ID: 41865839
It seems like it, but this is actually to see if anything can be added to the ics file that stops Outlook doing over-smart things.
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Expert Comment

by:Gustav Brock
ID: 41865841
I don't think Outlook is acting over-smart, it just tries - lacking timezone info - to guess what could be the time.

Thus, if you don't want simply to convert the times to UTC, which seems foolproof to me, you could try to specify the local timezone:

DTSTART;TZID=CEST:20161029T210000
DTEND;TZID=CEST:20161029T220000

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/gustav
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Author Comment

by:Andy Brown
ID: 41865847
Hi Gustav - It IS trying to act intelligently.  Instead of simply receiving an email with an attachment, it is seeing the attachment as an .ics file and automatically converting it to a calendar event.  Sure the UTC issue is a problem that I'm going to look at again, but it's not the same question.  I really do appreciate all of your help though.
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Accepted Solution

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Gustav Brock earned 500 total points
ID: 41865862
Oh, I see. There may be a setting in Outlook for how to handle the different file extensions.
That, however, may require admin rights granted to the user.

If not, you may have to attach it as a text file and ask the final receiver to save and rename the file.

/gustav
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Author Closing Comment

by:Andy Brown
ID: 41865863
Thanks - Gustav.  I'm going to re-focus on the UTC issue now.
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