Free/Busy Calendar for

Tuesday, April 15th 2008 | Ismael Ghalimi

Scheduling meetings is a time-wasting collaborative process that no amount of technology will fix until simple APIs get supported by the most popular calendaring applications. One could use scheduling services such as the newly-released Presdo (awesome job Eric!), but it’s not (yet) integrated with So if you’re like me and are using Marc’s platform to get things done, you might be interested by this little PHP script that a couple of friends wrote for me.

The idea is pretty simple: publish a free/busy calendar using the ICAL format, then display your calendar on a public website using a calendaring application that can consume an ICAL feed, such as Google Calendar for example. The PHP script currently supports two feed formats, the regular ICAL format, which you get by setting the “type” HTTP variable to “calendar” when calling the script, and the (far less popular) ICAL free/busy format, which you get by setting the same variable to “freebusy”. Here is an example of what it looks like when using Google Calendar for display purposes:

To run this script, you will need to get access to a web server configured to run PHP code, install’s PHP Toolkit, and replace the LOGIN and PASSWORD strings with your credentials on Line 5 of the PHP script. The PASSWORD string will actually be the concatenation of your own Password and Security Token. If you need a Security Token, you can create a new one by going to Setup -> Personal Setup -> My Personal Information - > Reset My Security Token.

Granted, this is a bit more complicated than using Appirio Sync for Google Calendar, but the script allows you to finely tune the amount of information you want to share with the rest of the world. In my personal case, all my events are just marked as “Busy”, but I display all-day events that contain the word “Trip”, so that people in my extended network know when I’m going to be in their neck of the woods.

Many thanks to Camille and Remi for their help in developing this cool mashup!

Entry filed under: Office 2.0

2 Comments - Add a comment

1. Chinarut  |  July 23rd, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Just found this post. Wondering how you did this so elegantly.

2. IT|Redux - Looking for Re&hellip  |  February 11th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

[…] that is screaming for automation is the multi-party event scheduling process. While publishing a free/busy calendar makes it easier to schedule events among two parties, something a bit more robust is required when […]

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