Syncing an Outlook Calendar to the Cloud


A reader named Todd commented on my post Exporting Email Info for Panic’s StatusBoard saying

David I would love to try something similar to create an iCal export at timed intervals to the cloud and then use that in Google calendar now that the sync function is not supported in google calendar….say from Outlook 2010??

Exporting the calendar info in iCal format is surprisingly easy as long as you have Outlook 2007 or later. The export is all handled via the GetCalendarExporter method of any Outlook Folder object that points to a calendar. In this case, I’m assuming that Todd wants to export his primary (i.e. default) calendar. If he wants a different calendar, then that’s possible too, but will require more code. Since Todd wants to schedule the export, I’ve written the solution in VBScript. This allows Todd to create a scheduled task using Windows Task Scheduler that will run the script at whatever interval he desires. Todd didn’t say where in the cloud the export needs to go, so I wrote the solution under the assumption that Todd can reach the cloud through a normal file share. If that’s not possible and the cloud target is only reachable via FTP or something similar, then the solution would require some additional code. Once the solution runs, Todd can subscribe to the calendar in Gmail just as he could to any other internet calendar.
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Automatically Linking to a Meeting Location on Google Maps

I saw this tweet from RussellAllert and was intrigued.

Why doesn’t #Outlook pull in Google or Bing maps when a location is entered. That would be very helpful.

I liked the idea so I tweeted back and asked if the map needed to appear in the body of the appointment or if a link to it would do. Russell replied that having the map in the body would “rock” while a link would “win the silver medal”. I really wanted to be a rock star, but it looks like I’ll have to settle for a silver. Try as I might I could not find a way to have the map appear in the appointment body. The problem, at least with Google Maps, is that including the map in the body requires using an IFRAME which Microsoft does not support in Outlook 2007/2010. Fortunately, linking to the map is very simple. Continue reading