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Improving the SharePoint Calendar

Posted by workerthread on July 4, 2008


When you show new users the SharePoint calendar options, they start off impressed but soon start asking awkward questions, for example:

Question: Can I roll up entries from several sub-sites into a single view?  Answer: No, not using out of the box functionality.  If you hunt around, you can find some helpful posts which might get you part way there, for example the screencasts available on EndUser SharePoint, or this example using SharePoint Designer.  The problem with both of these is that they don’t let you roll up the calendars into a new calendar view – what you get is a consolidated list of calendar items.

Question: Can I colour-code different calendar items, depending on the category, like I can in Outlook?  Answer: Again, not with out of the box functionality. There is a free colour (color) calendar solution available from Planet Wilson though and it has plenty of fans.  

Question: OK, can I put my calendar into a web part on the site home page, and filter it by category, like I can do with other lists?  Answer: Once again, not with out of the box functionality.  It would be nice if you could filter a calendar web part using a connection from another list placed on the page, but unfortunately you can’t.

So the best solution I’ve found so far is a combination of commercial web parts from Bamboo Solutions.  A combination of their Calendar Plus and List Roll Up web parts will address the shortcomings I’ve listed above.  And the Bamboo Team Blog has a good article on how to filter the Calendar Plus Web Part.

Also, I’ve just noticed that Bamboo have a new Team Calendar Web Part which lets you hook up to both Exchange and SharePoint calendars, and show both at the same time apparently.  More details on this Bamboo blog post.

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