Webcal feeds from Serena Calendar Reports Hot

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by Jeff Malin on April 01, 2015

Extend the existing Calendar report functionality and the "My Calendar" view to add a Webcal Feed link which allows a Serena calendar to be integrated into Outlook, Mac Calendar, Gmail, or any other system which uses standard Web Calendars.

  • Along with many clients of Serena, we use Calendar data extensively in a number of solutions - Time Off, Release Management, Change Management, and others. The "My Calendar" functionality allows us to being many Calendar feeds into a single view within Serena, but it does not provide any capability to view SBM calendars alongside external sources. Thus we lack any way to have a consolidated view of all event data, as Exchange calendars remain our system of record for corporate events. One solution is to allow the ability to export an Event in Serena in .ICS format, which can be imported into Outlook, Gmail, or other systems. We built a custom solution for this using AppScript which writes a file in .ICS format, and prompts the user to open it to add to their calendar. This is useful, but it only operates on an item-by-item basis, and requires manual action to add each item to your own calendar. In addition, it does not automatically update when the item dates or other information change in SBM. To more fully solve this need, we created a custom calendar feed solution using AppScript which publishes WebCal feeds (basically, just a collection of .ICS events in XML format). By adding the URL to this AppScript into Outlook or other Calendar-feed accepting systems, we can integrate a mirror version of any Serena Calendar Report within our external tool, which is automatically updated on a scheduled basis (~5mins is the default). The solution I describe using AppScript is acceptible, but has several issues: 1. Security - because we are not using Integrated Windows authentication, our external tools are not able to authenticate to run the script. To work around this, we encode a generic read-only user account's credentials into the calendar URL. This makes reports using (Current User) difficult to use. 2. Field Types - The AppScript which renders the calendar needs to read the report parameters from the TS_REPORTS table and attempt to synthesize the SQL queries which will return the desired results. This is difficult to do for certain fields or field types. 3. Access - We built a custom "menu" of available calendars for users to pick, to add to Outlook. This lives on its own AppScript page and is not obvious to users. It would be much more powerful if there were a Calendar Feed icon on each individual feed. 4. "My calendar" - our current solution interfaces with individual feeds, not at the "My Calendar" level. It would be helpful if a user could import their "My Calendar" a single time in Serena, then manage the component feeds within the system, as opposed to having to subscribe individually to all components (though, this may be preferable for other users - so both should be an option). In speaking with others at xChange we think that this is a feature that would receive a lot of positive attention, so we would like to request that it be considered for inclusion in a future version of SBM.

    Ideas

    Target Release
    1HCY'16
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    For our desired implementations, I would agree with the original poster that "both" would be useful
    Jennifer Redding Commented by Jennifer Redding March 22, 2017
    Top 500 Reviewer  -  

    For our desired implementations, I would agree with the original poster that "both" would be useful

    This has been deferred for consideration in the 1HCY'17 release.
    David J. Easter Commented by David J. Easter February 14, 2017
    #1 Reviewer  -  

    This has been deferred for consideration in the 1HCY'17 release.

    We will put this idea Under Consideration for the 1HCY'16 release of SBM.
    David J. Easter Commented by David J. Easter August 07, 2015
    #1 Reviewer  -  

    We will put this idea Under Consideration for the 1HCY'16 release of SBM.

    The ability to post from SBM to Outlook Calendar would be the best solution for my current employer, and for previous employers I worked at (if we had used SBM there). That being said I'd love to see my Exchange Calendar in SBM and be able to book events, that are then translated back to Exchange.
    Curtis LaPrise Commented by Curtis LaPrise May 21, 2015
    Top 10 Reviewer  -  

    The ability to post from SBM to Outlook Calendar would be the best solution for my current employer, and for previous employers I worked at (if we had used SBM there). That being said I'd love to see my Exchange Calendar in SBM and be able to book events, that are then translated back to Exchange.

    Given the request for the opposite direction (https://communities.serena.com/community/ideas/sbm/sbm-report-3rd-party-feeds-on-calendar), which does the community think would have a higher business priority? Displaying SBM calendar info in 3rd party tools like Outlook? Or displaying 3rd party data in the SBM calendar feeds?
    David J. Easter Commented by David J. Easter April 13, 2015
    #1 Reviewer  -  

    Given the request for the opposite direction (https://communities.serena.com/community/ideas/sbm/sbm-report-3rd-party-feeds-on-calendar), which does the community think would have a higher business priority? Displaying SBM calendar info in 3rd party tools like Outlook? Or displaying 3rd party data in the SBM calendar feeds?

    Owner's reply

    I can definitely see the benefits of being able to source and use 3rd party data from within SBM. That said, I don't think that the two are mutually exclusive. The ability to examine external data within SBM would support processes which take place _within_ SBM. But unless SBM has the ability to schedule meetings, view others' calendars, manage distribution lists, etc... I will have to "live" in Outlook for those sorts of activities. So that's where the ability to see Calendar data from SBM would be beneficial.

    So, sorry to say it but I think "Both" is the answer ;)

     

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