- Views(List,Summary or Grid) which has a Date-Time field in its list of columns selected, will have an additional option "iCal Feed" under More Action.
- Once the user clicks the option, a pop-up window similar to Embedding Options will be opened
- In the popped up screen, User will first enable the iCal feed.
- Once enabled, user will get a default feed url
- Options for matching the view columns with the iCal property names will also be shown.
- User can match the fields and get the corresponding iCal Feed url.
- Option of enabling iCal feed will be available only to the owner of the application
- Shared users can get the iCal feed and get the options for matching, if iCal feed is enabled by the owner,
Will the url look like this?
That would enable a live feed to any ical complaint calendar.
We are also planning to introduce the option of enabling it first for all other feeds. Off late, due to the huge surge in traffic for these feeds, it is affecting the general performance of the system, causing slowness to majority of the users. Hence we might bring in a cap of number of feeds one can subscribe to, so that we have some balance. For this we want to first give the option of enabling the feed. Then we will monitor the number of feeds enabled and then arrive at optimal number to limit that will be sufficient to normal users.
For my purposes (not being a "normal user"), I'll be feeding about 8 icals.
Can you give us an update on the progress of our dedicated resource for instantiation of this fist community driven feature? That will be much appreciated.
We are done with the back-end implementation. We have just started on the GUI front. Will publish more details on the implementation soon.
Santa Fe, New Mexico US
As of now the situation is not that bad to be put under once-per-hour or scheduled update of feeds. It will be real time updates only, but you will have to manually enable them. We will also monitor the consumption of such feeds per user level.
We have planned to let users preview the ical feature by next week. Those who are interested for a trial run, can contact Zoho Creator Support with a subject "ICAL TRIAL - <Your Zoho User Name>". We will give more details on this next week.
For ex, the subject of your mail should be ICAL TRIAL - charles
We are yet to update the site with the preview version of this feature. Once updated, we will intimate to all who have signed up for trial.
It's been a week since the community got an update. Have you run into any issues that would benefit a discussion here?
It is taking longer than the anticipated time. We are not running into any issues. So here is a preview on how iCal feed feature will be in Creator.
A typical iCal feed (on enabling it) will look like http: //creator.zoho.com/<App owner
If you access the above url, you will get
PRODID:-//ZOHO Creator//iCal Feed//EN
As you can see, there will be only the default properties here. To get more properties, you need to add them as parameters to the given iCal feed url. For the value, you need to pass on the deluge field name of any of the columns in the view. Zoho Creator will take the corresponding values for those columns and will present as value for the given parameter names.
For example you can configure an iCal feed like this
http: //creator.zoho.com/<App owner name>/<app link name>/ical/<view link name>/ORGANIZER=Name&DTSTART=Starting_Time&DTEND=Ending_Time&CREATED=created_time&SUMMARY=Summary&CLASS=Class&STATUS=status
where Name, Starting_Time, Ending_Time, created_time, Summary, Class and Status are deluge field names of the columns in the view.
And you will get
PRODID:-//ZOHO Creator//iCal Feed//EN
DESCRIPTION:Test ICal Events.
UID:<App owner name>/<App link name>/<View link name>/<Record Link ID>/@zohocreator.com
In case, you do not want the value from view to be assigned for a parameter, you will have to write down in " ", like CLASS="public".
Parameters supported by Zoho Creator will be
DTEND (or) DURATION
Hope you all find this information useful.
I am very happy that Zoho is supporting so many ical tags. But, I wish you also had the category tag. Not a big issue.
So you are moving away form from the GUI "- Options for matching the view columns with the iCal property names will also be shown. "
Yes, we are moving away from the GUI options for matching the columns for the initial version.
Can you provide the community with an idea when this will be introduced? I'm asking because I see lots of new ideas in the forums for a Round 2. Also, I've tasked myself to help Gaev collect the ideas for voting via a Zoho Creator app. We are patiently waiting to Start Round 2...
passing the time....waiting....
The testing phase of the scheduled build which has this feature got delayed. Will be updated in a day or two.
There seems to be an issue when the deluge field name is kept as "DESCRIPTION" . Can you change it and try it? We will fix this in a day or two.
But in the calendar, the "Created By" value is the url above. I has thinking it would be the ORGANIZER?
Please do some testing using Google Calendar.
DTEND:20090710T025959 09-Jul-2009 23:59:59
SUMMARY:A Sample Event
DTSTART:20090709T103000 09-Jul-2009 07:30:00
I think it's due to the feed part saying "CALSCALE:GREGORIAN X-WR-TIMEZONE:US/Eastern"???
I hope this helps!
We will be ironing out these issues in the next update.
- Timezone issue
- DESCRIPTION issue
- If there is an empty value, it is not generating
Right now, it is a generic ical feed. We are also analyzing on including the google specifics into it.
Looking forward to the update,
Please implement a fix for this. We are starting Round 2 for the community driven features and it would be prudent to follow-through with this task.
I made a new ical feed:
And it's not displaying in my g-calendar, although if you past it into a browser, it does generate a page with a text stream.
I have tested the ICal url given in your post with browser and also imported in g-calendar. It works fine. (please refer the attached screenshot).
It would be easier to assist you if you could explain the issue that you faced while importing.
The timezone issue has been resolved in our local environment, which will be available for the users in the next update.
ICalevent_GCalendar.JPGSize : 81.69 KB Download : 934
I'm in New York, but have to set my G-cal time zone to Pacific for the events to show at the correct time. Is that the fix your will provide in the next update?
What Google Uses: X-WR-TIMEZONE:America/New_York
What Zoho Uses: X-WR-TIMEZONE:US/Eastern
That's the problem.
I've begun to use the iCal Feed and am excited by the possibilities but encountered some immediate questions.
I have a lookup field to display available dates but that lookup field is not available as a parameter for the iCal feed. How do I work around that? Additionally, I have a drop down menu to display times since I have only preset times available. How can I concatenate this time to the date (taken from the lookup) into one Date-Time field?
Yes, we have fixed the timezone issue. You can get it from our next update(within a week).
What Zoho Uses: X-WR-TIMEZONE:US/Eastern That's the problem.
G_cal takes the imported calendar in GMT Timezone by default and then changes it to user's timezone settings. In the to-be-updated fix, we are going to convert the time to GMT timezone - which will solve the issue.
What Zoho Uses: X-WR-TIMEZONE:US/Eastern
That's the problem.
Yes, now the ICal feed does not work with lookup(Date_Time) field. Thanks for pointing this issue. We are working on it and roll out the fix in next update(within a week).
Thank You. Please let us know when this the fix is made live.
PS: To all following this feed. If you generate a DESCRIPTION that is an html string, Google Calendar will render it! This is fanatic, and could solve the issue of not having a built-in rich text editor for Google Calendar event descriptions.
We need to have better support for "all day" events in the ical feed. Basically, the ical standard for all day events is to simply list the date without any time information
Since we can only select one DTSTART and DTEND, this causes less flexibility in the feed since these two value will typically be date-time fields in Zoho. Accordingly, I'd like to see some logic on Zoho's side to recognize that if a date-time field is 16-Jul-2009 00:00:00, then Zoho was only pass along 16-Jul-2009. In this way calendar systems like Google, Outlook, etc will immediately render the event in the all day display area.
We have completed the update. Both timezone and lookup field(Date_Time) issues are fixed in this update.
Now even the Date field is formatted as Date-Time. We will change it to just Date format in our next update. That will solve your issue.
Thank you for the updates
Muthuraj: If you change it to just date, will any time information be ignored? For example will 16-Jul-2009 07:00:00 be fed as 16-Jul-2009 or as 16-Jul-2009 07:00:00? I do not want to lose the time information if it's in there, I just want support of all day events (aka "banner" events), which are always reported as two dates without any time information.
May be the reply was not that explicit. It is going to be like this. If the field type is "Date", you will get it in Date Format(16-Jul-2009) and if the field type is "Date-Time", you will get it in Date-Time format(16-Jul-2009 00:00:00 ). So for a field with Date-time type, we will not change 16-Jul-2009 07:00:00 as 16-Jul-2009. That's because, a person for whom an event should begin at mid-night will not get as he intends to.
Please understand this is not a big issue, more cosmetic. It is only apparent for events like holidays, which will be represented like "Tue Jul 21 12am – Wed Jul 22 12am" if we are feeding a date-time field, when it would look better as "Tue Jul 21 – Wed Jul 22". Typically, my calendar data will contain a mixture of all day events and events with starting and ending times. As I am forced to select one field for both DTSTART and DTEND, the result is that all events will have time value attached, like I described. Unfortunately, there's no ical value to specify that an event is all day, or multiple days. This is why I was looking for some logic on the zoho server to recognize that if an event starts and ends on midnight, the time value 00:00:00 will be stripped-out so that the feed only contains date info, and thus rendered in the banner as "Tue Jul 21 – Wed Jul 22" or "Tue Jul 21 – Wed Jul 28", for example.
In that case, I will go for another solution. You decide on the format through the url. We will let you specify how you want the format by adding parameters like DTSTART_TYPE=DATE or DTSTART_TYPE=DATE_TIME . And we will override the actual type with the type specified in the url. I believe that would solve the problem
[Upodate:] And I read through your reply again and found that the above solution would not solve your problem since you will not know in advance what kind of data will be there . Instead we will allow some generic preference like ZC_TRIM_DATE_TIME=true and then trim the 00:00::00 value of the Date-Time. This, I believe, would solve your problem.
I really appreciate your effort in working this out!
Ah-ha! So in my forms, I can have some script to analyze my date-time data for a particular entry. If it finds the text string 00:00:00, then it will set the ZC_TRIM_DATE_TIME=true. Zoho will then only feed date data for that particular entry. That would be very, very cool, Charles! Thank You. Let me know and I'll test it out.
You need not have any additional field and you need not do the check. You just need to add this parameter ZC_TRIM_DATE_TIME=true in the url. We will then check if any of the date-time data has 00:00:00 and then trim them and then give the feed.
Let me know when it's ready to test.
By the way, for those following this thread, if you do have an event starting at exactly midnight (which is unlikely except for vampires, werewolves, and the New York state congress), you can script the date-time field to one second after midnight so Charles' invention will not impact your calendar feed.
I'd like to propose the idea of a Zoho Creator variable in the ical feed, could be ZC_TRIM_DATE_TIME, that if "1" will trim the time (for both start and end date-times), and if "0", will not trim the time regardless what the time sub-string is. The 1 and 0 would be set by the admin's script. This will provide a workaround that is imune to the 00:00:00 and 24:00:00 date-time bugs.
I imagine this should be no more difficult to implement on your side than the original proposal, and gives greater flexibility to the admin.
I've built some icals files from scratch to see how Google Calendar renders them. It turns out that time information is ignored by modification of the DTSTART and DTEND as so:
This effect is reproducible and reliable. For example, to make a "banner" event for one day (July 22), you can use:
...the 08:00:00 and 11:00:00 time parts are ignored in the rendering.
Thus, using the VALUE=DATE: string is the way to go to make banner events appear properly. My proposal in the comment above now even makes more sense rather than Charles' idea. There is no need to clip the time part off, just substitute VALUE=DATE: if the admin specifies a true/false ZOHO variable (like ZC_TRIM_DATE_TIME) in the database for that entry.
ZC Team: Please let me know if this is workable.
We already support VALUE=DATE string. You just need to pass a Date field value for DTSTART and DTEND. That would solve your problem. So for a full day event, you will have to use Date field type and not Date-Time field type.
Charles, I thought this was clear to you. I'll explain again and also quote you:
I read through your reply again and found that the above
solution would not solve your problem since you will not know in
advance what kind of data will be there . Instead we will allow some
generic preference like ZC_TRIM_DATE_TIME=true and then trim the
00:00::00 value of the Date-Time. Please understand that a typical ical "file" will contain a mixture of full-day and finite duration events. Please also recall that I have to pick one variable for DTSTART and one variable for DTEND. With these limitations, how can I possibly differentiate between full-day and finite duration events using your proposal and have it all render properly? Also, since your system does not currently support (bug free) date-times with 00:00:00, I am proposing that your ical parsing routine recognize a new Zoho Creator variable that will tell the routine to pass-thru or cut the time portion of any date-time information prior to generating the ical text file.
Updated: Not cut! I wanted to say, ' insert the "VALUE=DATE:" string'. For example, if this new Zoho variable is true:
If it is false:
I wanted to illustrate the "rendering issue" I have described. Here are some picts when the VALUE=DATE is missing from the ical stream, and why Zoho ical users need control over when this parameter is employed:
Let me know if this will work out for you.
In the url, you will pass ZC_FULL_DAY_EVENT_VAR=<field_name> where field_name is the deluge field name of the field in which you will set true or false. So in the runtime, we will see if there is a parameter named ZC_FULL_DAY_EVENT_VAR and get the field name from which we have to check. We will get the the value of the specified field name from the corresponding row in the view. If it is true, we will append VALUE=DATE . If not, we will not append.
This is the most flexible implementation and the community will be grateful. Please let us know when this is ready for testing.
Will it be ready this week?
Cycle 2 voting will commence after this first community feature is done. Right Gave?
Will be available before this weekend.
I have extended the Suggestions Phase by one week in order to ...
a) have Cycle 1 development completed before Cycle 2 candidate is selected (one week after end of Suggestions Phase)
b) allow for mre suggestions to be made (in case people were on vacation)
c) provide an opportunity to have Voting Application be completed
As Charles mentioned above, Full day event feature is available now on.
Will be available before this weekend
It works as advertised!
I'll test it some more for a few more days before officially calling this completed. In the mean time, Zoho Support should update the wiki entry on this and provide some more details and pictures.
Last night I had a number of my users post events to my web-calendar application, which syncs via Zoho iCal to various Google calendars. Although the sync time from Zoho to Google is not instant, the submissions did show up after a few hours. With this test, I am happy to announce that...
The Zoho Creator iCal Feed Feature is Ready for Prime-time!
This concludes Cycle 1 for the community driven features.
Thank you Zoho Team for turning this idea into an awesome reality!
I have spent a few hours and still cannot import an iCal link from Zoho into Google Calandar.
My test link looks like the above.
The only successful imports I have made are when I only use 1 parameter. As soon as I add a second parameter, I get an error from GCal.
I appreciate any thoughtys.
I'm going to take a guess that the issue is the private link (very long private ID). Under the share tab, make this view public. Then, edit your ical string to remove the private ID part. Add some more ical tags, and then report back.
I have made special public views for all my ical feeds. While updates can take a few hours to propagate, all is working quite well.
Send me an email at webmaster at niskypto dot org for more extensive discussions.
Thank you niskypto. I should have realized a character length issue myself.
I've imported a calendar and am waiting to see when all the details show up.
Additionally, the iCal Feed help page suggest that
I do not think you can have quotes in your ical url string. It will not import.
Also, once my calendar imports to GCal and I click on the event, then click on "more details", the page infinitely loads. Do you just have to wait until the ical feed fully loads?
This morning the "more details" link works. I think there must be a lag time between the initial load of the calendar and all the info showing up?
Yes, it seems Google refreshed the ical feed at least once every 8 hours, but it could be less or more. I have tried to find some documentation on this, but failed.
It sure would be nice of ZOHO Calendar did some of this...you know to keep it close to home. I suspect this is way down the road from now.
I have an events database in Zoho Creator. I want a front-end widget to display the db with a calendar. This process seems super complicated and convoluted. Is there simply a way to attach my creator db with the the zoho calendar widget?
(there should be)
Hoping somebody here can help me!
For a simple calendar, you can user Zoho Creator's in-built calendar . You just need to select the Date component from your form. Click "Create View" and then select "Calendar View", then select the form and then select the date field, based on which you need to create the calendar.
If you want to hook to an external calendar like Google Calendar (Integration with Zoho Calendar is on the way), you have to construct the iCal Feed in Zoho Creator and add it to Google's calendar . Steps for constructing iCal Feed in Creator is given here .
I'm trying to write this url - but I have NO IDEA how to get the deluge names for my columns....is this correct?
I need a Zoho Calendar widget to show the events from my creator database....when will I be able to do this? What's the point of the widget if it doesn't attach to your databases?
The widget that you are referring is for Zoho Calendar Service. As of now, there is no integration between the two. Hence you will not be able to see Creator's form information in that widget.
Integration of ZOHO Calendar and Creator's iCal feed service may be happening soon!
See my post over the the ZOHO Calendar forum: http://forums.zoho.com/topic/zoho-calendar-reloaded
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