Introduction to Internet Calendars
Internet Calendars are calendars that are shared through the Internet. Internet Calendars are based upon a global Internet standard that allows calendar information to be exchanged regardless of the application that is used to create or view the information. Internet Calendars use the iCalendar format and the .ics file name extension.
Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 supports two types of Internet Calendars:
Calendar Snapshots This Internet Calendar is sent in an e-mail message. It is not linked to the source calendar and is not updated automatically.
For example, you might be working with someone at another company who does not have access to your Microsoft Outlook free/busy information to know when you are available to meet. In this situation, you can send an e-mail message with a Calendar Snapshot. If you are using Office Outlook 2007, you can send your calendar information in an e-mail message.
When the recipient opens the e-mail message, your calendar information is displayed in the body of the message. If you are both using Office Outlook 2007, when the recipient opens your e-mail message, your Calendar Snapshot can be opened as an Outlook calendar.
The advantage of opening your Calendar Snapshot as an Outlook calendar is that the recipient not only can see your calendar information, but also can drag items, such as appointments, from your calendar to his or her calendar. The Side-By-Side and Calendar Overlay features in Outlook Calendar can help the recipient find free time on your calendar quickly, because scheduling conflicts are easy to spot.
When you send Calendar Snapshots of your primary calendar, any recipient who is also using Office Outlook 2007 can see your free/busy status.
Calendar Snapshots are customizable. You can choose the amount of information that you send to the recipient, including the date range, your busy status at a particular time, and the details of your appointments during both your working hours and nonworking hours.
Tip You can also use Calendar Snapshots as a way to back up your calendar information. The Save As command (File menu) allows you to save your calendar to your computer in the Internet Calendar format.
Internet Calendar Subscriptions Internet Calendars, whether created in Outlook or in another e-mail application, are downloaded from a calendar publishing service or special Web site where people can host and subscribe to calendars. To use these Internet calendars, you need to subscribe to them and configure Outlook to download the calendars and to query the Web site for updates. Unlike a Calendar Snapshot, an Internet Calendar Subscription is periodically synchronized with a calendar that is saved on a Web server. Any updates to the Internet Calendar are downloaded automatically into Outlook.
You might discover an Internet Calendar Subscription on a Web site that you visit or on Microsoft Office Online. These calendars are dedicated to a variety of events, such as birthdays of famous people, upcoming music or movie releases, or a sports team schedule. You can also create and publish a calendar to which other people can subscribe. When someone updates an appointment or event in the Internet Calendar on the Web server, the updates are downloaded to your Internet Calendar Subscription when Outlook queries the server for updates.
When you subscribe to an Internet Calendar, an additional calendar is created in Outlook. You can use many of the calendar features in Outlook, such as Side-By-Side view and Calendar Overlay, to work with these two calendars. You can also drag appointments from the Internet Calendar Subscription to your primary or other Outlook calendar.
Another way to find out about Internet Calendar Subscriptions is through e-mail notifications. When you or someone else publishes a calendar to Microsoft Office Online, you have the option to allow everyone to see the calendar or to restrict its access to people with Windows Live ID accounts. If you restrict access to your Internet Calendar, you provide the Windows Live ID-enabled e-mail addresses, and an e-mail message is sent only to these e-mail addresses to inform the recipients that they now have access to a published Internet Calendar.