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MIS Systems Thread, [PARS][SIMS] Diary Export > Outlook 2007 > iPad in Technical; So I've had a look through here at the various methods through which people have been forcing SIMS timetables into ...
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    [PARS][SIMS] Diary Export > Outlook 2007 > iPad

    So I've had a look through here at the various methods through which people have been forcing SIMS timetables into Outlook.

    And thought "I'm going to test PARS' diary export function instead". And it produces a usable .ics that imports fine into Outlook 2007.

    However, when said Outlook/Exchange calendar is synced with an iPad, the timetable doesn't get pulled in. Events created in Outlook 2007 get pulled in fine and events created on the iPad get pushed back up to Exchange without issue.

    So I suspect that the PARS/Microsoft-based .ics export is missing something that makes it iPad-friendly after reading around that in general the iPad chokes on Microsoft .ics files, but handles others fine.

    Anyone know what the difference is?

    (I'm well aware I've strayed outside the realm of MIS, but I'm hoping another PARS user has run into this).

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Could you export from outlook to another format. Perhaps go out to google and back, or something intermediate. Or just do a straight export / copy to another calendar and test that.

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    Update: it copies items from the School Diary in SIMS (Y8 Hockey Trip in Wensleydale). But it doesn't copy timetabled lessons.

    I'm reluctant to set a precedent of syncing MIS data (even one step removed) to Google and I'm waiting on a Tasc ticket. It appears to be a case of "known issue, needs to be shoved through something else to work (i.e Google)", but I'm hoping to just write a script to parse and fix the broken bits.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Do it as a proof of concept though , plus along the way you might figure out what is wrong...

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    Right, got this sorted.

    When PARS creates the UID: field for an event during the .ics export, it populates every UID as UID:-1. This isn't an issue in Outlook, but an iPad appears to assume (because UIDs are the same) that all events are the same and only imports the last event.

    Searching and replacing the UID field so it increments/is unique for each event and then importing the modified .ics makes events go across without issue.

    Vim method

    Code:
    :let i=1|g/UID:-1/s//\=”UID:1”.i/|let i=i+1
    Tested with a couple of hundred events across two calendars.

    Fix will also be in PARS 5.561
    Last edited by pete; 12th June 2012 at 05:27 PM.

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    vikpaw (13th June 2012)

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Good job

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    It's worth noting that the RFC for the iCalendar spec strongly suggests UIDs should be unique (at least within the same file) and ideally fully unique (since if you were sharing calendars, you might get wierd UID clashes).

    I suggested timestamp+randomnumber as the UID field to Tasc - since it takes very little time to generate, timestamp alone would lead to dupes.

    If I has to scale this past 5 users, I'd amend my method to sling a randomly-generated hash into the UID. Something like First_Last@HASHVALUE-calendar.domain.tld which would avoid issues for UID clashes.

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    ... or just use a GUID generator...

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    ... or just use a GUID generator...
    sounds like an app in the making for you hackathon

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    Haha, ain't touching Outlook, Calanders or Exchange... leaving that for Trolley01. Speaking of which, he should have a release soon...



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