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Click to Add Event to Your Calendar

By on Feb 5, 2009 in Tutorials, Web Applications

You can create a link that will add events right into your users calendar. The vCalendar file format is a simple text file containing all the details of an event. Create one of these and link to it from your event site, and you get a large wow factor for little effort. Here’s how.

The vCalendar format is a file standard understood by most major calendar systems (Outlook, iCal, Entourage,…). A vCalendar file is just a simple text file with the following contents:

BEGIN:VCALENDAR
VERSION:1.0
BEGIN:VEVENT
DTSTART:20090207T000000Z
DTEND:20090207T023000Z
LOCATION;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:Planet Granite
DESCRIPTION;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:Tomorrow is the first Friday of the month,
so a bunch of noobs are going to come and try to get their climb on. Come along
with us to laugh at them!
SUMMARY;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:Git yer climb on with da noobs
PRIORITY:3
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR

These lines of text contain the start and end dates, title, location, summary, description and priority of the event. The text portions are self explanatory. The dates are in the format:

YYYYMMDDTHHMMSSZ
YYYY = the four digit year
MM = the two digit month
DD = the two digit day
T = just a “T”, this separates the date from the time
HH = hours
MM = minutes
SS = seconds
Z = Z is for Zebra

The times should be in Military Time, GMT. At first GMT seems cumbersome (you have to do math), but it means that anyone who adds this event to their calendar will be scheduled at same universal time. Also, don’t forget to put zeros in front of single digit values (02 for February).

References

vCalendar White Paper
Creating Clickable Appointments

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