vCal logovCalendar Overview

Imagine....

Imagination becomes reality when using calendaring and scheduling applications enabled with vCalendar. Cross-platform interoperability like this is made possible with the help of the vCalendar specification.

Coordination of business schedules was never this easy.

The Versit vCalendar specification opens up a broad range of cross-platform application possibilities to meet the needs of a fast moving business world.

Using Email to Schedule a Meeting

You need to schedule a meeting with fellow employees from several divisions, customer representatives and key vendors. The people you want to invite use a variety of scheduling applications-or different operating systems. You broadcast an e-mail with a vCalendar attachment to all the invitees. Each receives the e-mail, selects the vCalendar attachment, drags the icon and drops it onto their particular scheduling application. Instantly, all of the meeting information-from date and time to location and related events-is easily and automatically added to the invitees' calendar.

Project Management

You are a project leader responsible for an industry-wide project spanning a group of diverse companies. Your team uses a website on the Internet to distribute project information to the team members. Each company has its own calendar application standard and uses a different operating platform-meanwhile, you are responsible for coordinating, updating and distributing the overall project calendar. You solution is using vCalendar in conjunction with the website so project members can effortlessly download individual events and to-do items. And using the vCalendar representation, they can up date their own calendars from the team's master project calendar.

Event Planning

Surfing along the Net you come across a website for an interesting trade show. As marketing coordinator of corporate events, you want to know more about this show and what it offers. Fortunately, the website has a calendar of events including information on trade show registration, travel planning, deadlines for booking either floor space or local hotel accommodations, individual seminar schedules, and other related activities. So you click on the associated vCalendar icon and, in a flash, receive a sequence of calendar events, as well as to-do or action items required to register or prepare for the show as either a participant or an exhibitor. Automatically, the information, in a flexible vCalendar format, is easily integrated into your calendaring and scheduling application. Now, to spread the news, you email the vCalendar object to colleagues who may also have an interest in this event.

Mobile Computing

You are at a business meeting with representatives from various companies. Every imaginable portable computing device is there-PDAs, hand-held organizers, laptops and notebook PCs. Follow-on events and action items are scheduled during the meeting. The chairperson uses a PDA device or laptop with an infrared port to beam the information over to one representatives calendaring and scheduling application and it is, in turn, passed around to the other attendees. At this meeting, you've made contacts, set-up appointments or events and created your own action items. You accomplish this capability by using the vCard and vCalendar cross-platform standards as infrared transport formats. As a mobile user, this information is easily relayed to your colleagues and contacts over your company's network or Intranet via a dial-up connection.

Web Calendar Publishing

You manage the sales of entertainment tickets at a local concert hall. As part of a customer service strategy, your organization has set up a website that contains a calendar of events complete with a list of scheduled artists, performance dates, last minute cancellations or additional events. Your website also offers the option of downloading events, using the vCalendar format, so that web browsers can dynamically update their PIM-based calendars with current concert information. In addition, with the use of the vCard format, they can also download useful ticket information, as well as venue information and travel directions to concert hall events.

About vCalendar

Developed with the cooperation of leading producers of PIMs, group scheduling, enterprise calendaring and scheduling, and Internet calendaring software, vCalendar is an ex-change format for personal scheduling information. It is applicable to a wide variety of calendaring and scheduling products and is useful in exchanging information across a broad range of transport methods. A growing number of vendors are fast adopting the specification because it allows their products to exchange calendaring and scheduling information in an easy, automated and consistent manner. vCalendar is an open specification based on industry standards such as the x/Open and XAPIA Calendaring and Scheduling API (CSA), the ISO 8601 international date and time standard and the related MIME email standards.

The vCalendar format utilizes data normally stored within a calendaring and scheduling application, facilitating the cross platform exchange of information about items such as events and to-do's. An event is a calendaring and scheduling entity that represents a designated amount of time on a calendar. For example, it may be an activity, such as a two-hour project team meeting from 9am to 11am, on Tuesday, January 23rd. A to-do is a calendaring and scheduling entity that represents an action item or assignment. For instance, it may be an item of work assigned to an individual; such as -turn in monthly status report tomorrow.

vCalendar can be used to transport personal calendaring information between applications of your choice whether they are personal information managers, email systems or web browsers. Once the information is on your system, you can share it with other vCalendar-enabled application with desktop interaction techniques such as the clipboard and drag-'n-drop.



For more information on vCard and vCalendar, please contact
the Internet Mail Consortium at pdi-info@imc.org.
More information about the Internet Mail Consortium
is available from the IMC Web site.

vCard and vCalendar are registered trademarks of the Internet Mail Consortium.