MSR Events in your calendar

In previous posts I described the collaboration with Jon Udell and others to build apps using open, semantic data services.

Here’s an update on another open service Jon helped us design. The basic, practical idea was to provide an iCal calendar feed for Microsoft Research events. The feed could be used to add each event to a calendar or to create a new calendar with all the events. Well, the calendar feed is now live.

There’s a couple of endpoints for the service depending on what you want to do with the events.
1. This endpoint is used to create a calendar of all future Microsoft Research events:

http://research.microsoft.com/apps/tools/ical.ashx

To show how easy it is to consume the above endpoint, all I had to do was click on the link on a machine with a calendar application installed.  In my case it was a Windows 7 machine with Outlook 2013.  Clicking the link opened the Outlook 2013 Calendar and imported the MSR events into a new calendar; which is shown in the screenshot below.

MSR Events Outlook 2013 Calendar

Once the MSR events are imported into an Outlook 2013 calendar; it’s easy to share an individual MSR event.  Let’s say you’re planning to attend one of the Azure for Science training events and want to invite a friend to join you.  All you have to do is forward the calendar item to them and they can add it to their calendar; regardless of the calendar app they use.  In the screenshot below Outlook 2013 provides an option to forward in iCal format.

MSR Events calendar item sharing

This is one of the great benefits from having the event in iCal format to start with.

2. This endpoint is used to create a single calendar item; i.e. if you don’t want to consume all future MSR events:
http://research.microsoft.com/apps/catalog/default.aspx?t=events

Just browse the list of MSR events and click the calendar icon for the one you want to add to your calendar.  It’s super easy.

 

Try the new calendar feeds and let us know how they work for you. Or build some apps using the feeds and send me some screenshots.

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