How to Upload an Outlook Calendar as a Webpage in Joomla

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Adding the functionality of importing an Outlook calendar into a Joomla! website isn't just a good idea. For some sites, it's an absolute necessity. Businesses, schools, and other institutions want constituents to see upcoming events, so they want the process of syncing calendars to be as quick and seamless as possible. There are two ways to do it.

Using Google and iframes

  • Export your Outlook calendar in iCal format (or .isc). In Outlook, go to "File"-->"Import/Export" and choose "Export as a File" and then choose iCal (or .ics) as the format you'd like. Click "Export" and choose the desktop as the location.

  • Import the .ics file into a new Google (Gmail) calendar. It's a good idea to create a new calendar for just this information. In this Google Calendar, click "add" underneath the "other calendars" box on the left-hand side of the screen. Choose "Import Calendar" from the choices in the pop up window. Browse for the file you exported from your Outlook calendar, and select it. Click "Import."

  • Go to your "Settings" page for your Google calendar. Now that your Outlook calendar has been uploaded, you must then bring it into your Joomla! site. In "settings" click on the "Calendars" tab. Then, click on "Shared: Edit Settings." Make sure the "Make this calendar public" button is checked, and finally, click on the "Calendar Settings" tab.

  • Copy the iframe code (HTML) that you should see midway down the page under the "Embed This Calendar" section.

  • Create a new article in Joomla! and click on the HTML button. Paste the code from the Google calendar, and your Outlook information will be displayed. Alternatively, you could use the "Custom HTML" module under "New" in the Module Manager to add a calendar module, but you'd have to really tweak the size, otherwise it would expand your sidebar to take over the page, or disappear off to the right beyond the normal viewing window.

Using Extensions to Display the Calendar

  • Export an iCal (.ics) file from Outlook as explained in the section above.

  • Download the iWebCal from extensions.joomla.org. Go to your Intall/Uninstall page once logged into the backend (administration) for your Joomla! site. Browse to find the .zip file you downloaded, and click "install."

  • Go to "Components"-->"iWebCal"-->"New Calendar." Name the calendar, browse for and select the exported Outlook file and click "Upload." iWebCal creates a new menu item under your main menu or any other menu you choose, and when you click on the new link, a simple calendar appears with the Outlook calendar items in it.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also download commercial calendar extensions like jEvents, jCal Pro, or Zap Calendar. The money spent on these extensions will probably make up for the time lost configuring and fighting the limitations of the others.
  • Getting the Outlook calendar to fully "Sync" with your Joomla! calendar is difficult. The easiest way is probably to sync it with the Gmail calendar, and then using the iFrame method on the Joomla! site. Otherwise, you're stuck doing periodic Outlook exports.
  • Photo Credit calendar image by Aleksey Bakaleev from Fotolia.com
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