21. iCal Integration [8:25]

Description: This video provides an overview of the “out of box” iCal unidirectional integration features built into the Core3 CRM.

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Let’s take a look at the iCal integration features now available in the Core Version or later. To be clear on the out-of-box features available in the Core3 related to iCal integration, let’s discuss some of the functions of the iCal integration.

  • We perform a uni-direction data exchange with iCal.
  • Pushing each user’s events and tasks from the Core into iCal.
  • The events and tasks get pushed into a specific calendar in iCal.
  • Recurrences and pulling are not currently supported. However, these can be added in as a customization depending on your needs.

0:57 Let’s first begin by navigating to my Mac desktop. Here we can find the iCal Manip zip folder. Before we open the Core, we first need to install the actual plug-in into my FileMaker Extensions folder. That’s done by downloading the iCal Manip folder here, navigating to the Plug-in folder, and locating the actual iCal Manipulator plug-in as shown here. I’m simply going to select Copy. Go into my Applications folder, select my FileMaker version, select Extensions, and then I’m going to paste the iCal Manipulator into the actual Extensions folder of FileMaker. Now that I have the plug-in installed, let’s open up the Core3 solution.

1:43 Here I can see splash screen, and this splash screen for the plug-in will disappear once we actually register our licensed version of the iCal Manipulator. I’m going to login to the Core as Melinda for demo purposes here, and let’s go over the setup and functionality. So you’ve downloaded the plug-in from our website, we’ve installed it in our FileMaker Extensions folder, we’ve opened the Core, and the first step is to actually register the plug-in. Let’s go to the Core > Preferences > Global Settings > Plug-ins tab. Here there’s a tab called Register Plug-ins where I can register all of my plug-ins. I’m going to scroll down the list, and locate the iCal Manipulator. I can see that I have version installed, and I’m running in Unregistered mode. You would simply enter some License ID that you’re going to receive from Productive Computing, and select the Register plug-in button. Once you’ve successfully registered you will receive this message, and the plug-in will be running in Live mode. So now that I have the plug-in registered in Live mode – and please note that you certainly could use the demo code and run the plug-in in Demo mode. Just be aware of the demo limitations and timeouts.

3:00 But now that I have registered a licensed copy of the plug-in I’m actually going to my User Settings, select the user (in this case I’m logged in as Melinda so I’m going to select Melinda), and here I’m going to actually specify the title of my calendar that I would like to name in iCal. Now this name can be anything that you like. I’m going to keep it the name of “Core3 Calendar.” What’s going to happen during the push is a new calendar in iCal is going to be created with the title “Core3 Calendar” (or whatever title you put in this box here), and all the events and tasks for the currently logged in Core User are going to be pushed to that calendar. So in this case I’m logged in as Melinda, the Default Calendar is Melinda, and Default Tasks are for Melinda as well. Now these are user-specific settings, so I could navigate to Kevin, and as you could see the events on the Default Calendar for Kevin, and the Tasks assigned to Kevin are going to be pushed to an iCal calendar called “Core3” if I were to log in as Kevin. Indicated in the bottom you can see here in the lower left I’m actually logged in as Melinda. So now that I have this clarified and setup, I’m going to simply select Done.

4:24 Let me navigate to iCal so you can see that I currently do not have a calendar called “Core3 Calendar.” I’m going to navigate to the Calendar tab, select Core, and then Push to iCal. This notification just alerts me that all the events and tasks for my Core3 Calendar in iCal are going to be removed and replaced with events and tasks from the Core3. I’m going to go ahead and click Continue. And then if we navigate to iCal, I can actually see I now have a calendar called Core3 Calendar. I have all my events here on my calendar, and then I have my tasks as well.

5:05 If you wanted to actually find a found set of the events and tasks that would be pushed to iCal I could navigate back to the Core. Go to the Activities tab, and here I could perform a find for all events assigned to Melinda. And then I’m also actually going to perform a new request here to find tasks that are also associated to Melinda since the push pushes events and tasks. So let me go ahead and do my find here for events and tasks assigned to Melinda, and you can see in my found set (if I sort it by type here) I have all of my events and my 3 tasks. And that corresponds to what I have in iCal – all of my events and my 3 tasks as well.

5:50 Something worth noting is that this is a one-way push from the Core to iCal. So on subsequent pushes, this entire calendar is deleted and re-populated. Meaning you don’t want to actually make changes in iCal. You want all of your add, edits, and deletions to be done in the Core3. We can certainly customize the Core to have a bi-directional and a pull in from iCal, and I encourage you to talk to our design engineer if that’s something that’s worth exploring for your business.

6:22 Lastly please note that recurring events are not currently supported, and let me actually go make an event a recurring event so you can see what’s going to happen. Let’s say I do – I’ll make my training event on the 27th here (recurring). I’ll go ahead and have it recur once a week for 10 times. I’m going to go ahead and select OK and done. Now if I were to navigate to my calendar, you can see that my event here (my training event) occurs every week starting on the 27th. I could navigate to October and see my training event recurring there. So let me go ahead and actually re-push these events and tasks back to iCal. Let’s go into iCal, and let’s see how recurring events were handled. So if I were to open iCal I can now see here’s my training, as I would expect, but if I go to October you’ll note that the recurrence did not populate. So currently our push does not handle recurring events. It just pushes the single event on the first day, and leaves off the recurrence as you can see here. This is something we can further develop based on demand, and we certainly can customize as well.

7:38 I hope you enjoy the power of pushing and pulling events and tasks for your users into iCal, giving you more flexibility to take your events and tasks anywhere you like with you on the road. This is just a small sampling of what is available with the Core3. I encourage you to explore this website, review the videos and documentation, and download a demo. If you have any questions please contact us via email, phone, or browse our forum for answers. We look forward to hearing from you and automating your business to operate more efficiently.

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