One of our Danish partners, and Novell Sysop, Tommy Mikkelsen sent me a link to a site over the weekend. It spoke of a Danish effort to consolidate calendars. It is a long standing effort to allow public sector workers to quickly share calendar information. The estimates are that it could save up to $10 million per year if every one of Denmark’s public sector workers saved just one hour over the year when scheduling meetings. This puts a real figure on the amount of time and money we all spend when trying to schedule meetings across company boundaries. I experienced this pain recently trying to set up meetings with three of our partners who where coming into town (actually, it was our admin who experienced all the pain). What this project does is link calendars in Exchange, Notes and GroupWise into a single central site. It uses iCal and SOAP to integrate the calendars.
Tommy wrote the GroupWise connector for the project (he’s a smart cookie – I have used some of his other projects in other roles). He didn’t mention it but I am assuming that he used the GroupWise 7 SOAP interface. Now, my Danish is a little rusty so I can’t tell you what the project sites say but the source is available out there.
This cross boundary calendaring is a major feature of GroupWise Bonsai, which really validates the goals of the project. Bonsai will allow users to subscribe to external iCal calendars so that they can view that calendar alongside their own in the client. Users will also be able to publish their own personal calendars using the Calendar Publishing Host. The Calendar Publishing Host creates an HTML version of the users’ calendar and publishes it to a website that your company hosts. It also provides an iCal interface to the same data so that external users can subscribe to it. Finally, Bonsai will allow your users to publish their own Free/Busy information, as well as busy search any external users that publish their own Free/Busy information.