2014/05/19

How to share my Outlook calendar with another user?

Share Outlook calendars with others

Someone has recently asked me about “how can he share his Outlook calendars with others?” Of course, you can do it!

Originally, Outlook users can only share their calendars with others if Outlook connects to

an Exchange Server through Microsoft’s proprietary protocol, MAPI. What if you don’t have an Exchange Server running on the backend? Sorry, it is a “no can do” situation.


However, with EVO Collaboration for Outlook, you no longer feel helpless when your boss wants to check your calendars or tasks.

Why share Outlook calendar with other user?


It is impossible to share your calendars and tasks with others in absence of Exchange Server. All Outlook can do is a stand-alone personal organizer on the calendar part.

However, situations do occur from time to time that:

  1. Manager relies on his or her secretary for schedule arrangements.
  2. Manager needs to watch over his colleagues’ progress on certain projects.
  3. You may need to share your schedules with your backup so he knows how to follow up while you are on leaves.

What do you need to share your Outlook calendars and tasks without Microsoft Exchange Server?

You need the following:

  1. Registering a CalDAV account such as iCloud or fruux is not a bad choice or you can host your own CalDAV service, EVO Mail Server for example.

    One thing good about building your own CalDAV service using EVO Mail Server is that you can give viewers a read-only password so that they will not mess around with your calendars.
  2. EVO Collaborator for Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013 add-in, which enables you to perform a two-way synchronization for both calendar and task items between your CalDAV services and Outlook.

How do you share your Outlook calendar without Exchange?

Before you share your calendar and task, you must:

  1. Have username and password of the CalDAV account you previously prepared ready.
  2. Download ECO from EVO's Official Site and install it on viewers’ computer at least in case you add items from elsewhere other than Outlook. For the best result, it is recommended that you also install ECO on your own computer and manipulate your calendar items on-the-fly within Outlook. Another good thing about ECO is that it supports Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo!, OwnCloud, Zimbra, fruux, Baikal and etc.
  3. Tell the viewers to add your CalDAV account into one of the profile within ECO's Configure profile(s). Once the other user logged in your account and items are synchronized, they will be able to view and/or edit your calendars and tasks.

The above three simple steps will facilitate your daily running business with no hassle when it comes to a situation where collaboration between colleagues is involved.

2014/05/14

Transfer contacts and calendars from iCloud/iPhone to Gmail/Android

Transfer contacts and calendars from iCloud/iPhone to Gmail/Android

It’s time to share some new IT stuff with you guys.

A friend was asking me, “Can I Transfer contacts and calendars from iCloud/iPhone to Gmail/Android?”

Of course, you can.

I have done some research on Google and conclude with some solutions below:

Contacts: Users log in iCloud and save every contact into .vcf file and log back in Gmail and import those files.

Calendars: Many different ways of doing it. It is similar to the Contact solution. It has to go through an intermediate account, such as from iCloud to Android or iCloud to iCAL first and then from either Android or iCAL to the destination.

Experienced users must understand how time wasting it is. If there is a way to perform a direct transfer from iCloud to Gmail, then it is nice to have it, right?



Let’s look at EVO Collaborator for Outlook.

This Outlook plug-in enables Outlook’s Contacts and Calendars to be a bridge between multiple cloud services. Through this tunnel, a cloud-to-cloud on-the-fly duplication, moving, or synchronizing now becomes possible.


What is CardDAV and what is CalDAV? CardDAV and CalDAV are standard protocol API by IETF’s RFC for contacts and calendars. Google and Apple are using the contacts API and the calendar API to take care of contacts and calendars at the backend to service their customers’ needs on such information..

How to perform cloud-to-cloud contacts and calendar duplication and transfer on-the-fly? 1. Download ECO from EVO’s official website



Download URL (when you install it, please log in as administrator) 2. Set up Gmail account within ECO’s Configuring profile(s)

a. Go to ‘Configuring profile(s)’ under EVO ribbon








b. Due to OAuth, there will pop up a small browser for Gmail logon. Once authenticated, close the window





c. Once completed, Gmail contact, calendar will be bi-directionally synchronized. Data from Android mobile devices will be sync’d too.

3. Create iCloud profile

a. Repeat account adding like Gmail




b. There will be no OAuth window popping up

c. Once completed, iCloud contact, calendar will be bi-directionally synchronized. Data from iPhone mobile devices will be syn’d too

4. Synchronize contacts between iCloud and Gmail

a. Click on ‘Explore server’ under ‘CardDAV actions for contacts’ on ECO ribbon





b. Click on ‘Profile2’ in the ‘Profiles’ section

c. At this moment, ‘Full name’ in the middle will display all contacts under this iCloud account.





d. Hold ‘Ctrl’ and mouse left-click for selecting multiple contacts

e. Go to bottom of ‘Detail’ tab and click on ‘C2C Cloud to Cloud Copy’




f. In the pop-up box, click on Profile6 to continue duplicating





g. Once completed, a message box appears and inform number of success and failed items


5. For the calendar part, it is similar to step 4. The difference is clicking on ‘Explore server’ under ‘CalDAV actions for calendars’ in step a. Under Full name, all calendar and task will be shown and you can click on either radial button at the top from step c. However, Gmail does not provide Tasks service.










All the tutorials above can also provide synchronization between different other cloud services that run on CardDAV and CalDAV. Also, one easy-to-use alternative choice rather than cloud solution is EVO Mail Server. It has both CardDAV and CalDAV of its own for better performance over the slow and scolded information retrieval from Gmail services on contacts and calendars. Try it out: EVO Mail Server

2014/05/13

Sync Google calendar with Outlook

Synchronize Gmail Contacts and Calendars with Outlook 

Somone has recently asked me about "how can he sync Gmail contacts and calendars with Outlook?" Of course, you can do it!

Since Gmail is a cloud service provided by Google, we therefore should be looking if Google’s Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook provides such feature? However, there is still some limitation for Google’s gadgets to work with Outlook for such integration:

Google only provides Google Apps Sync for its Google Apps customers rather than its regular free gmail accounts. 

What if you would like to sync Outlook with Google Calendar and contacts, which is a very simple and straight piece of mind? Nevertheless, to both Google and Microsoft, this is where the money lies. How can they let you do it so easily and not making any profit off you?

Let's look at a solution from third-party. EVO Collaborator for Outlook is an outlook plugin for CardDAV and CalDAV.
Let’s look at ECO’s size, which is only 7.3MB. Amazingly, when Outlook and ECO work together, Outlook can break the barrier of both MS and Google to sync both contacts and calendars with Google’s CardDAV and CalDAV bi-directionally.

What are CardDAV and CalDAV?



CardDAV and CalDAV are standard protocol API by IETF's RFC for contacts and calendars. Google is using those APIs at the backend to service they customers' needs for such information retrieval.

How do I Sync Google calendar with Outlook

It is easier than a breeze with ECO:
  1. Download ECO from ECO's download page. (when you install it, please run it as administrator)
  2. Open Outlook and click on EVO's ribbon at the top banner.

  3. Click on Configure profile(s)and select Profile #6 with filling in your Gmail account in space below Full e-mail address or username. Then click on TEST at the bottom.

  4. Because GMail uses OAUTH 2.0, you'll see an OAUTH authentication window during the account detection, just authorize it and continue.

  5. When finished, click on Apply and Quit. Then, any newly added contacts, calendar under Gmail folder will be syncing in a bi-directional fashion. Any items that were added on your Android phone will be synced into Outlook.


Besides what we just talked about, as you know that CardDAV and CalDAV are written according to industrial standards, therefore you can expect they work with any other CardDAV/CalDAV services for the same tasks..

Build your own Cloud!

Gmail is a great tool for individuals, but it may not be suitable when it comes down to a company-size environment where lots of information and users are involved. Thus, why not build one for your company itself?


EVO Mail Server plugin
One of the easiest way is your download and install EVO Mail Server along with CardDAV and CalDAV addon (EVO Collboration Add-on). Once we have our own cloud environment ready, all Outlook's contacts, calendars and tasks can be stored on cloud and shared with others. The solution and software I have just mentioned is not a bad choice to choose from.

2014/05/12

Sync Mac OS X Server with Outlook Contact and Calendar

Sync Mac OS X Server with Outlook Contact and Calendar

It's about the time to share some new IT stuffs with you guys

Someone has recently asked me about "How do I sync Outlook Contacts and Calendars with my friend's Mac mini with OS X Server?"




Of course, you can do it!

It would be a happy ending if everyone is using Mac OS X. However, life is not as perfect as you think.

Let say your friend is running a Mac OS X Server and gives you access to the carddav and caldav services his server provides. But, you only have a Microsoft Outlook 2010 or 2013. What can you do about it?

To be honest, I have not found any solution until a few days ago when I was browsing EVO Collaboratorfor Outlook webpage. It adds a new feature of supporting Mac OS X Server's webdav services.

EVO Collaborator for Outlook


From the introduction of ECO of my previous blog about syncing Gmail's contacts and calendars with Outlook, it was quite easy to add a carddav/caldav profile. For adding Mac OS X Server profile, an extra step you need to do is keying in HTTPS and service port number, such as example below:


https://<servername>:8443/

or

https://<ip address>:8443/


Once it is tested and a successful message pops up, it works the same as other profiles within ECO. Now you can sync your outlook’s contacts and appointments with Mac OS X Server.

What is CardDAV and what is CalDAV?

CardDAV and CalDAV are standard protocol API by IETF’s RFC for syncing contacts and calendars. Google and Apple are using contacts API and calendar API to take care of contacts and calendars at the backend to service their customers’ needs on such information.

Hosting your own calendar and contact server with PC

Mac OS X Server is great for hosting your on-premise server. However, what if you do not have a Mac server? Nevertheless, you can still host your DAV server under Windows OS. For example, EVO Mail Server is another good option that it is easy to set up and configure.