Thursday, 15 February 2007

Shared calendars - how hard can it be?

Not been very much of note going on this week, mostly moving some of my little applications over to our Mancunian installation. I have now moved over our R&R invoicing system, the SMS system and our Pub facts, these are all little Flash applications now running on AMF and served up over the VPN.

One big movement this afternoon has been with our company calendars, for the last few days we have been evaluating Outlook 2007 to see where its new Ical support is worth us spending the money for an upgrade on our Head Office PC's. Compadre Rob has been less than impressed - click here for his frank evaluation. Officially we have a support contract but according to Microsoft our Small Business Server license does not entitle us to an outlook upgrade until exchange 2007 is out which conveniently might be after the contract runs out. If anyone ever offers you a Microsoft support contract tell them to pound it, if they brought the software out on time it would be fine but they don't and its more trouble than its worth.

Enough of that or I'll get all angry.

So we have been using exchange for about 18 months now and it is less than impressive when you have a mixed network as support on the Mac's is poor so we are desperately trying to extract ourselves. Moving the email back to POP3 is easy but we still need to be able to share calendars. One thing we have been looking at quite seriously is using Google calendars but in order to have your calendar offline you need 3rd party software in the shape of Spanning Sync on the Mac or Syncmycal on the PC, both of which seem to work but we have tried so many other pieces of calendar syncing software in the past that I would be very nervous of recommending it.

So given the new Ical support in Outlook we are looking at the simple option of Webdav and Ical/Outlook. I have dusted off my old Pentium 3 based server called Chubba and given it an install of fedora core 5, setting up webdav on Apache is easy thanks to this rather niffty tutorial. The only thing we need to sort out now is whether Ical can cope with 12 calendars, it used to cope with about 10 but ironically it was an upgrade to Tiger which caused major problems. Seeing as all our Mac's are now core 2 I have high hopes that they will have sufficient cojones to keep everything synced up. If they struggle it will have to be Google calendars and plug in hell! No offence Bill but exchange is going and that's that.

Still loving the Mac by the way, must have quicksilver, Neo office and synegy if you have another machine though - again I will point you to the bug for a good post on stuff you need on your Mac.

1 comment:

Lisbet said...

Good for people to know.

A view from the rack is the personal blog of an IT manager who works for a pub company - hence beer