Appointments Booking + iCal Sync - Use Case - How to Export Calendar to Google/Windows/Apple Calendar And More


Use Case - How to Export Calendar to Google/Windows/Apple Calendar And More

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Note: This guide covers features from:

Introduction

CM Booking Calendar allows your manage and display multiple calendars with open spots for visitors to book. 

The iCal Sync add-on allows you to create an iCalendar feed for your calendars. In short, this allows you to share your calendar with other people and applications. 

What is iCal/iCalendar Sync?

Technically, iCalendar is a file which allows users to share calendar information in a standard format. This file can be opened by different programs, such as calendar software and e-mail readers. 

One example: a dentist can integrate his calendar "Appointments" with his Google Calendar account and share it with his assistant.

Additional resources

One-Way Sync

This add-on exports calendars, but does not import them. Let's consider: Internal Calendar (the one from the Appointments Booking plugin) and External Calendar (for instance, in Google Calendar).

  • Available: Export the Internal Calendar to another software. Every booking will automatically become an event in the External Calendar.
  • Not available: Changes in the external softwares will not be reflected in the calendars in the plugin. In other words, if you edit the External Calendar, the Internal Calendar will not be updated.

Use Case Front-End

Use Case Assumptions

Want to Learn From The Start?

If you still haven't configured the your first calendar, check the use case: 

Appointments Booking - Use Case - How to Create a Calendar Booking System in WordPress

In this example use case guide, we'll cover how to grant calendars to each WordPress user. We consider that you have already bought the CM Booking Calendar and installed it, but not installed the iCal Sync add-on

It follows:


Installing The Add-on

The process is the same for all CM plugins and add-ons.

  • Download the plugin from your customer dashboard
  • Log in to WordPress and navigate to the WordPress Admin  → Plugins settings
  • Click on Add New
  • Activate it and add the license

Setting Up Calendars Recap


Enabling the iCalendar Feed for a Calendar

By default, calendars' feed is turned off. You should enable it for every calendar.

This is easily seen in the calendars management screen, which can be reached in the path CM Appointments Booking ProCalendars:

A new column, "iCalendar Feed", appears, as highlighted:

Enabling and Disabling the Feed

When creating or editing a calendar, the option "iCalendar Feed" will be available at the ending of the page, as shown:


Exporting the iCal Feed to Another Software

TIP: Is My Software Compatible?

Some of the most popular calendar software with iCal support:
  • macOS /iOS Calendar
  • Facebook Events
  • Google Calendar
  • Most native Windows calendars

Check the full List of applications with iCalendar support - Wikipedia

Once the iCalendar Feed is enabled for a calendar, you can export it to different software. This means you can view events, but not edit them.  If you still have not enabled it, check the guide Enabling the iCalendar Feed for a Calendar.

To export the iCal feed, first you must fetch the feed link and then input it into the desired application.

Example: Calendar in Google Calendar

Fetching the link

 There are two ways to get the feed link for a calendar.

1) The "iCalendar Feed" Column

When managing the calendars, the iCalendar Feed column will show the links for the enabled feeds. To retrieve it, simply click the respective link, as highlighted:

2) The Feed URLs List

 You can find the list of feed URLs with every enabled feed in the path CM Appointments Booking Pro → Options → iCalendar Feed tab. An example is shown below:

How

Importing the Link Into Another Software

This process depends on the software used and, for in-depth information, you should refer to its own documentation. The basic outline is to import the calendar as a feed URL.

Example: Google Calendar

  • Open Google Calendar.
  • Next to "Other calendars" on the left, click the Down arrow and select "Add by URL".
  • Enter the calendar's address (iCalendar feed URL) in the field provided.
  • Click Add Calendar. The calendar will appear on the left side under "Other calendars".
  • Now your calendar can be accessed from Google Calendar!

Managing iCalendar Feeds

To manage see the list of feeds and easily get their URLs, head to Admin Dashboard → CM Appointments Booking → Options → iCalendar Feed.

In this screen you can fetch the URL of each calendar and also invalidate them (see below). 


Invalidating feeds

The Appointments iCal Sync Integration Add-on allows you to invalidate iCalendar feed links. 

Invalidating vs. Disabling

Invalidating a feed is different from disabling it. 

When a feed is disabled, the calendar can't be accessed anymore by other applications. Any information that they imported from it will remain in there, but the calendar will not be updated. By enabling the feed again, the application will return to retrieve the data normally. If the feed were a shop, for instance, it would have been closed.

An invalidated feed, on the other hand, is still open but receives a new link. The applications will also lose access to the calendar and its updates. In order to grant access to it, it's necessary to input the new links into the applications. If the feed were a shop, it would have changed address.

How to Invalidate a Feed

Follow the path CM Appointments Booking Pro → Options → iCalendar Feed tab. Click the "invalidate" link.

You will receive the following prompt:


End Result

Following instructions found in the plugin and guides, you should be able to export calendars to external software.

Use Case Front-End


More information about the CM iCal Sync Appointments Booking Add-on

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