In search of an ICS publishing component for Exchange

As part of my project in community calendar syndication, I would like to find a way to push an Exchange calendar to a web-accessible ICS file. Although that isn’t a native function of Exchange, I’m sure it can be accomplished by way of the Exchange API, as an add-in or a scheduled server process. For maximum breadth, I guess the relevant API would be Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) rather than the newer Exchange Web Services.

I asked some folks on the Exchange team and none were aware of a component that does this. So I’ve set up an Exchange server in my lab, rolled up my sleeves, and am ready to dive in and see what can be done. But it never hurts to ask. Have I overlooked an existing off-the-shelf solution?

10 Comments

  1. Good ol’ copy-paste onto a Google or Remember The Milk property. Like you said, they’re pretty keen (Keene?) on interpreting what data is there.

  2. Are you sure about CDO? I see that the library is no longer shipped with Exchange 2007, instead it’s available as a separate download. I guess this means it’s unsupported.

    I’m currently working on a similar task and the web services seem to be the best bet. The whole SOAP thing is very clumsy to work with and it lacks a proper managed wrapper. The documentation is also scarce, but there is a good book on it that partly compensates.

    I guess it’s better than nothing.

  3. I looked into this last year some time and the best I could find was a very ‘alpha’ plug-in.

    There seemed to be a couple of commercial offerings but I wasn’t confident that they’d do the job.

    I’ll be interested to see what you come up with.

  4. Funny – I *just* started using plaxo as a service for allowing me to sync my icalendar in sync with our university’s exchange server. So far, so good – it is working well, and I can now keep my iPhone calendar up-to-date. Worth a try, at least

  5. Jon,

    I have published an Outlook Calendar to a website in .ics format over WebDAV. It took some configuring but it worked. I was able to pull that calendar into iCal on the Mac whenever the Outlook publish ‘cycle’ occurred. I think I put it at the longest possible time interval, otherwise it tries to publish every 5-10 minutes which really SLOWS down Outlook. I realize this isn’t the same thing you’re trying to accomplish, but if the codebase to publish to .ics over WebDAV exists in Outlook doesn’t it seem like there’s some .dll or frameworks that can be adapted between Outlook client and Exchange server?

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