CalConnect welcomes Software AG as a member of The Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium. Software AG, headquartered in Darmstadt, Germany, is a worldwide provider of ERM, Business Process Management, and related software and services.
Earlier this week, Jason Snell posted an article on Macworld titled Why Aren’t Digital Calendars Smarter?. From CalConnect’s perspective it is particularly notable that, although many of Jason’s suggestions have been implemented in one product or another, they are not common features across many products, and certainly not standardized. Even when a function is implemented in more than one product, there is usually not much commonality in how it’s done and how it looks.
In some of these areas, CalConnect is already working to provide standards-based mechanisms which can be used to implement these and other capabilities in an interoperable way. For example, meeting overload could be a logical extension to VAVAILABILITY, which allows you to control when you are available to be scheduled, and vary when you are available by who is trying to schedule with you. Travel time and locality are both related to work we are scoping on Travel Itineraries and will be discussing at our next meeting in June. We have started looking at regenerating tasks (“Why is this a surprise?”), and extending the capabilities of tasks is a variety of ways.
For those interested, a list of what we’re currently doing is at CalConnect Major Work Projects.
Jason has also identified some things we hadn’t thought of, and which we will look at adding to our future plans. Our thanks to him for an interesting and thought-provoking article.
For anyone who did not see the original announcement, on April 13th Microsoft announced EAS, its Exchange ActiveSync Logo Program: http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2011/04/13/announcing-the-exchange-activesync-logo-program.aspx “to establish baseline for EAS functionality in mobile email devices . The program is designed for device manufacturers that license the EAS protocol from Microsoft for use in mobile email clients that connect to Exchange.” This includes a test plan which must be successfully demonstrated to qualify a device for the plan.
As ActiveSync is broadly implemented upon mobile devices, many of which support calendaring services, this is clearly of interest to those in the calendaring and scheduling space.
Microsoft is a member of CalConnect, and we have in the past conducted ActiveSync-based interoperability testing between multiple servers and devices using ActiveSync. While CalConnect is unlikely to figure as part of the EAS program, we expect that our interoperability testing and Mobile Calendaring Interoperability Test Suite will provide a useful adjunct to EAS participants in the futre in validating their complex calendaring interactions.
Oracle recently announced the release of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 1 at Oracle Open World in San Francisco. Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite (formerly Sun Java System Communications Suite) is a carrier-grade, highly scalable, secure, and reliable messaging and collaboration platform. It enables service providers to quickly bring to market a full-featured communication platform—one that takes advantage of existing and emerging standards, includes innovations in message management, and better enables cost-effective communication.
Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite 7 Update 1 includes the Oracle Communications Calendar Server that is based on CalDAV and related Calendaring and Scheduling standards. It enables users to manage and co-ordinate appointments, events, and tasks, on any CalDAV-compliant client. It has a rich feature set, a highly scalable and flexible deployment architecture and seamless integration with other suite products.
See http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/173777 for the release announcement and http://www.oracle.com/us/industries/communications/communications-calendar-server-066178.html for further details on Oracle Communications Calendar Server.
Newspapers looking to enhance communications with their customers and draw more readers to their advertisers are using a new Internet-based calendar communications network as a solution to event publishing and information sharing. dotCal.com (dotCal) is working with many community newspapers to enhance marketing and communication strategies for local meetings, restaurant openings, special events, and other time-sensitive information.
See http://dotcal.com/news/Newspapers-Adopt-New-Cost-Effective-Event-Publishing-Technology for more information.
Apple has inaugurated a beta program for their new MobileMe Calendar, which uses the CalDAV protocol. A browser-based web client is offered, in addition to support in iCal and on the iPhone and iPad. Apple also says that support for Microsoft Outlook is coming soon.
CalConnect is expanding the Member News service on our blog. The addition is a Member Focus service—a short introduction on the blog to a specific CalConnect member. It will include links to more information about the member, and possibly a significant press release or set of releases about a topic of interest to our members.
As with Member News, the Member Focus service will be calendaring-related. In the case of some of our members, that is very easy to do. In other cases, such as academic members or large vendors with a suite of offerings, the short piece will highlight the member’s tools or services related to calendaring.
The intent is for the introduction posted on the blog to be quite short—no more than a paragraph or two at most—but provocative enough to interest someone to click through.