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iCal Integration with your Trac system - Why is this a one-way relationship?
Posted by Sean Lee on 09 May 2013 02:49 PM

iCal Integration with your Trac system - Why is this a one-way relationship?


The integration is one-way, but it's important that a user understand that two-way integration is not really feasible. 

AdvisorTrac, for example,  allows for appointments to be scheduled between an advisor and a student.  These appointments can be scheduled by the student, advisor, front desk staff, student workers, administrators, or any number of other users in the system.  That means that correct levels of access to the schedule needs to be provided to the proper users.  There are also many other factors that affect the scheduling, including rules for scheduling appointments, individual or group appointments, reasons for appointments, and so on.  The AdvisorTrac system has a record of the advisor and a record of the student and will use scheduling rules and permissions for users to schedule the appointments.  When an appointment is booked in the AdvisorTrac system, the basic information of the appointment (date, time, duration, student, advisor, reason, etc.) is passed in an iCal attachment to the user's Outlook calendar. 

Outlook does not enforce rules or include permissions for many users to search and interact with advisor schedules to book appointments.  When an appointment is booked, Outlook has no idea of who the student is or who the advisor is or if there is a rule that should have prevented the appointment.

 Outlook cannot communicate all of the necessary information, provide the level of access, or follow a basic set of scheduling rules as AdvisorTrac can, so the two systems may not speak directly one with another.

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