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[IP.Services] 4.0 - Improving multiple calendars


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Some sites make use of multiple calendars to help differentiate what type of events are being contributed to the community. You might have a staff calendar that allows staff members to add events and a community calendar for the rest of your users. Or you may have a holidays calendar as well as a gaming "raids" calendar on your community. Individual calendars are a form of categorization in IP.Calendar, and we wanted to bring some enhancements to them in the 4.0 Community Suite.


Colors

You will now be able to specify colors for each calendar you create. The software will automatically suggest a new unique color each time you create a new calendar with several pre-determined colors to start with (and then falling over to randomly chosen colors if you happen to create enough calendars to use these defaults up), but you are able to specify any color you wish for any calendar you create.



(As an aside for developers - you can easily implement similar "color" fields in your own forms using the form helper class IPSHelpersFormColor)


Merged view

If you are familiar with the current iteration of IP.Calendar, you might be wondering what good implementing calendar colors actually does. After all, the software does not show events from different calendars mixed together right?

As of 4.0, IP.Calendar does indeed support a merged-calendar view. In fact, it is the default in IP.Calendar. Your users will see all events from all calendars (that they have permission to view) merged into one view, but can click a menu at the top of the page to filter by calendar if they so desire.



They will see events from all calendars merged together



When viewing an event the calendar it has been saved to is of course indicated here as well.




The merged calendars model is supported for all of the major views in IP.Calendar: the monthly view, the weekly view, the daily view...and the new "event stream" view which we will talk about in a future blog entry (shhh).


Conclusion

We feel these minor changes makes Calendar more intuitive, and especially makes handling multiple calendars within your IP.Calendar installation more practical and useful. We hope you find working with multiple calendars to be easier and clearer with these changes, and we hope you find new ways to make use of the multiple calendar support present in IP.Calendar as a result of the merged views and better calendar differentiation.
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