Set Up an iCalendar Field

How often have you wanted appointment details from your QuickBase application to appear on another program's calendar? The bad old days of copy and paste are over. QuickBase offers integration with iCalendar, a popular standard for exchanging scheduling information. It's a nifty way to make appointment details portable. (Read more about iCalendar.)

When you add the iCalendar feature to your application, users can click an icon to download a set of basic appointment information. It all travels as a package: subject, time, location—whatever fields you want to make portable. Users can save it to disk as an .ics file (read more about this format) or they can use a program like Outlook to open and save it in their own calendar (see image below). When you email a record that contains an iCalendar field (via a notification or by clicking the record's email button), QuickBase sends the .ics file as an attachment the recipient can save to their calendar.

An iCalendar field appears as an icon on QuickBase forms or in reports. Click the icon, and your browser lets you open and/or save scheduling information.

FAQ - Why is the time in my QuickBase record different than the time that shows up in my Microsoft Outlook calendar?
QuickBase and Outlook communicate on time zones, which may result in this kind of discrepancy. For example, if your company headquarters are in California but you're in New York, your QuickBase billing account's time zone is probably set to Pacific Time. QuickBase passes this information onto Outlook and Outlook automatically adjusts the time to Eastern Standard Time for you. That means if the appointment begins at 10am in QuickBase, that time translates to 1pm in your Outlook calendar.

To add an iCalendar field:

To get this working, you'll follow the steps below to add an iCalendar field to your Tasks or Appointments table (wherever you store scheduling information) and configure it to draw details from fields in that table. Once you do so, the field lets you send that information on the road. You can export it into your Outlook calendar or email it to a colleague.

  1. Open the application which should feature the iCalendar field.

  2. Add an iCalendar field in one of the following ways:

  3. Name the field and set the field type.
    In the Field Label box, type a name for the field (iCalendar is a good name) and then from the type dropdown, select iCalendar. Click Add. When QuickBase prompts you to add the field to custom forms you'll probably want to do so. That way, users can access this new feature. (You can add it to reports later.)

Now, you've got a nifty iCalendar field. But your work isn't over. You must configure the field to collect the information you want.

To configure the iCalendar field:

  1. Open the iCalendar field's properties page.

  2. Associate iCalendar fields with corresponding fields from your table.

    The iCalendar feature contains fields, just like your application table does. You must match up your scheduling information fields with iCalendar's fields. That way, the iCalendar knows what fields to extract and group into its portable format and also what to call them.

    Within the iCalendar field options section, click each dropdown and select a field from your table that contains the corresponding information. You'll notice that not all fields are available. That's because each iCalendar field can only handle certain data types:

    If you don't want to include a field from your table, don't select it. iCalendar won't know it exists. But, you MUST make a selection in any field with a red asterisk (*).

  3. After you've matched up all the fields, click Save.

FAQ - Can I draw my iCalendar field into another table by making it a lookup field?
Yes! The iCalendar field will work as a lookup field. Say you want to add the iCalendar field to appear next to your Task table's Related Project field, so users can easily send or copy the project schedule. To get it there, create a lookup field that displays in Tasks. The iCalendar field functions the same way when it's a lookup field. Users just need to click the icon to open or download scheduling information.

When you're done, don't forget to add the new iCalendar field to any forms or reports where you want it to appear.

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