CalConnect Major Work Projects

What we are working on now – major projects underway in CalConnect Technical Committees – become a member and help make these things happen:

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Abstract Calendaring API

Abstract Calendaring API - We need a full "CRUD" (Create/Read/Update/Delete) Abstract Application Programming Interface and Calendaring Architecture for Calendaring and Scheduling.

An Abstract Calendaring API from which fully compliant interfaces can be created will enable "Calendaring as a Platform" -- that is, any process running on a system can use the API to perform calendar and scheduling oeprations against any calendaring and scheduling implmentation running on that system. TC API.


Autodiscovery - "One-stop setup for devices and new service providers for calendaring, e-mail, etc. based on internet standard protocols"

Currently there is no simple, "one-stop" way to set up a collection of internet standard services such as e-mail, calendaring, and so forth. This is an issue when someone starts with a new organization or changes service proficers, and is even more difficult when one acquires a new smartphone. We are working on a new standard protocol to specify how to automatically discover and set up internet standards-based services such as e-mail, calendaring, address book, etc. which can be implemented in a single, easy to use user interface. TC AUTODISCOVERY.

CalDAV Alarms

CalDAV Alarms - "Extend alarm support to allow for cross-device dismissal, proximity triggers based on location, default alarms in CalDAV"

Sharing calendars and tasks across multiple devices is great - having the alarms go off on all of them isn't. This extension to CalDAV (the standard calendar service protocol) will allow for effective user management of alarms, including choosing which device(s) should enable each alarm, and the form of the alarm. TC CALDAV.

CalDAV Attachments

CalDAV Attachments - "Extend the calendaring server to manage attachments"

This CalDAV extension will provide an interoperable and efficient mechanism to allow clients to store and manage attachments associated with a meeting (e.g. copy of a presentation, agenda,...) on a CalDAV server. Beyond the basic storage aspect, the server also becomes responsible for ensuring that only attendees of a meeting have access to those attachments. TC CALDAV.

Calendars and Contacts Sharing

Calendars and Contacts Sharing - "Sharing calendars and contacts between users, on the same system or across systems"

TC SHARING is working on sharing calendars anc contacts between users on a CalDAV and/or CardDAV system by rationalizing and extending current informal specifications. TC FSC (Federated Shared Calendars) is working on sharing calendars and hopefully contacts across calendaring system, e.g being able to share between multiple systems such as iCloud, Google Calendar, Yahoo!, AOL, and so forth.


CalWS-REST and CalWS-SOAP - "We need to (finally) provide platform and system-independent calendaring and scheduling operations APIs for web services - it's long past time"

Calendaring (and scheduling) should be avaiable as a service on any platform with a calendaring system installed, much like middleware. To make this work and expose the calendaring system to other applications, widgets, and so forth, we need a platform-independent and system-independent API for calendaring operations. CalWS-REST and CalS-SOAP provide both RESTful and SOAPy web service implementations of this API. The work is being done in partnership with OASIS; see OASIS WS-Calendar below.

Consensus Scheduling (VPOLL)

Consensus Scheduling (VPOLL) - " TimeTrade, Doodle, WhenisGood do it, it should be interoperable - scheduling driven by the attendees who get to vote on the best times and locations for group events"

Consensus scheduling involves using a poll-based or vote-based mechanism to determine the date, time, location of an event or a task. This has been implemented by several vendors in their own systems but should be available and interoperable within mainstream scheduling. VPOLL is an additional iCalendar and iTIP component designed to allow the implementation of consensus scheduling with any system and client. TC FREEBUSY.

Developer's Guides

Developer's Guides - Create a "cookbook" guide and other supporting materials for iCalendar and potentially other APIs such as CalDAV.

The lack of useful developer's guides and other documentation about iCalendar, CalDAV, and other specifications is a problem for all current and would-be developers in calendaring and scheduling. TC DEVGUIDE has been formed to address this lack by creating a "cookbook" guide and other supporting materials for iCalendar and potentially other APIs such as CalDAV.

Event Publishing Extensions

Event Publishing Extensions - "Calendaring standards need to support the rich environment of Web 2.0 (and beyond) for the publication of public events - rich text, participants and image support"

Events for publication require more and richer information than conventional meeting events. CalConnect is working on defining some new properties:

structured locations - perhaps as vcards
participants - for example, the team, audience, principal performer, contacts
rich and locale-specific descriptions - allows html and multi-language support



    iSCHEDULE - "We need server to server scheduling between dissimilar systems - we have had client to server scheduling for a long time"

    Scheduling a meeting between co-workers on a single calendaring system has been available for a long time, but trying to schedule with people on different calendar servers has only be available by hooking it onto emails. iSchedule provides a system-independent server-to-server mechanism to allow inter-system scheduling and ultimately "ad hoc" scheduling - the ability to schedule a meeting or appointment with anybody with a calendar and a calendar server, regardless of what system they are on. TC ISCHEDULE.

    Non-Gregorian Calendars

    Non-Gregorian Calendars - "Establish a way for recurrences to work with non-Gregorian calendar systems, in particular lunar/solar calendars"

    We have established the CALSCALE Ad Hoc committee to develop a draft proposal for supporting recurrences for non-gregorian calendars via the CALSCALE parameter in iCalendar and an RSCALE extension to RRULE. The goal is to allow clients supporting non-gregorian calendars to create recurring events without having to implement non-standard mechanisms. At this point the draft has been submitted to the IETF and the discussion is expected to continue on IETF mailing lists; we are not sure what further work will be done within CalConnect.

    OASIS WS-Calendar

    OASIS WS-Calendar - "Working with OASIS to develop their new WS-Calendar standard (scheduling for the Smart Grid), based on xCal, CalWS-REST and CalWS-SOAP"

    We are working with OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Systems) to develop their WS-Calendar standard. It was original intended for the exchange of power information for the smart grid, and is based on xCal (iCalendar in XML) and CalWS (web services API for calendaring) protocols developed by CalConnect. OASIS and CalConnect maintain reciprocal memberships and liaisons between their WS-Calendar technical committee and our technical committees.

    PUSH for CalDAV

    PUSH for CalDAV (and CardDAV) - "Extend CalDAV and CardDAV with standardized support for PUSH notifications"

    At present CalDAV and CardDAV clients have to poll the server at regular intervals to check for changes. To provide a close to "real time" user experience and present updates and notifications almost immediately to the user, a client has to poll at a high frequencies, possibly at the expense of higher consumption of resources like bandwidth and traffic, processing time and battery power. We will define methods to advertise/discover PUSH protocols supported by a server. In addition it will specify a generic PUSH protocol based on existing WebDAV technologies that can be used when no other PUSH method is available. To help implementers we will provide guidelines to PUSH support on servers and clients.

    Tasks (VTODOs)

    Tasks (VTODOs) - "Extend the functionality of VTODOs to support needs such as project management, smart power grids and business task scheduling"

    The VTODO component of iCalendar must be extended to offer functionality for new use cases such as the smart grid, project management, and business task scheduling, in a way that allow a calendaring system to manage the data and calendaring clients to display and change it. TC TASKS is working on extending iCalendar in areas such as project managment, WS Human Task, and smart grid energy management.

    Timezone service and registry

    Timezone service and registry - "Full timezone support via dynamic server calls rather than embedding timezone information in events - no more having event times wrong when timezones change and your software isn't updated"

    Traditionally calendar entries coded in iCalendar have had to include timezone information to allow interpretation of the date and time of an event, and can be incorrect if the timezones have changed since the information was put in the event. Having a separate, online timezone service which can be queried at any time will allow timezone information to be included by reference in events, rather than embedded in them, and ensure correct interpretation of dates and times even if the information changes. TC TIMEZONE.


    VAVAILABILITY - "New iCalendar component to describe availability, to 'condition' freebusy lookup and scheduling (e.g. you may be 'free' at 3 a.m. but you aren't available for a meeting)"

    VAVAILABILITY is a new component for iCalendar which allows an indivdiual to specify when they are available to be scheduled for meetings (As opposed to "busy" when they already have a meeting scheduled, or "free" when nothing is scheduled). VAVAILABILITY will also allow the implementation of "office hours" applications, in particular for academic institutions, and has significant use also in the smart grid work being undertaken by OASIS. TC FREEBUSY.

    vCard Resources

    vCard Resources - "Define the vCard representation of calendaring resources to ease the discovery and scheduling of resources between any calendar client and server"

    In keeping with the goal of TC RESOURCE to develop recommendations for seamless interoperable resource scheduling, we have been working on defining how such resources should be represented. RFC 6350 defines the vCard format which allows the electronic capture and exchange of information on users, devices, and more. TC RESOURCE is working on an extension of the vCard RFC to include all required information for representing calendaring resources.