How to Add Events to Your App

What are the Methods for Adding Events to My App?

When creating events in your app, there are two main methods to choose from in the VisitApps MAS. The first is to use an iCal feed to pull in events from an existing calendar. The second option is to manually build out events in the Calendar folder of your app. In this article, we will walk through both of these methods. With this information, you can determine which is the best for your specific use case.

What is an iCal Feed?

An iCal feed is a standard calendar feed structure. It allows calendar data, such as date and time, to be fed from an external calendar into a different application. For your app, this means you can use an iCal feed to automatically populate events by connecting it to an existing online calendar. These calendars include those hosted by a website, Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange, Office 365 and others.

This is a great option to quickly populate your app’s calendar with events. iCal feeds can import the following information for each event:

  • Title
  • Start and End Time
  • Organizer
  • Location
  • Description

Using an iCal feed, your app will sync events from your online calendar one time per day.

How Do I Include an iCal Feed in My App?

You can add iCal feeds to your app using the iCal draggable. If you don’t see the iCal Feed draggable in your VisitApps (Mobile App Studio) MAS, please send a request ticket via the Client Portal.

If you do see an iCal feed draggable, you have the ability to add an online calendar to your app. To embed an iCal feed we need a private iCal link to place into the draggable. Because of this, we recommend having us set up the feed for you. This ensures that we will format the link correctly.

The steps for locating your private iCal link for popular platforms are below. Once you’ve gathered the link, please send a request ticket via the Client Portal.

How Do I Get an iCal Feed From Google Calendar?

To add an iCal feed from your Google Calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Google Calendar
    Under "My Calendars," find your name/account. When you hover over it, three vertical dots will appear on the right hand side of the column. Select the three dots to open your calendar’s options. Then select "Settings and sharing.”

    Click Here for a Demonstration
    Google-calendar-settings.gif
  2. Scroll towards the bottom of the page
    You will see a section called "Integrate calendar." At the bottom of that section, locate the box labeled "Public address in iCal format.” Then, right-click the link and select "Copy."

    public-ical-link.png

    Then, use this URL to send to your Client Success Manager. We will finish setting up the calendar feed for you. You can do this by sending a request ticket via the Client Portal.

How Do I Get an iCal Feed From Microsoft Exchange?

To add an iCal feed from your Microsoft Exchange Calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Microsoft Exchange Calendar
    Locate the calendar you wish to share and right-click on it. Then, select the "Share” option and choose "Publish This Calendar.”

    Microsoft-calendatrScreen.png

  2. Configure the calendar publishing settings
    • Publishing Detail: Publishing detail determines how much information is available in the feed. We recommend selecting "Limited Details” or "Full Details.” "Limited Details” will share event name, date and time. "Full Details” will share event name, date and time, description and location.
    • Publish My Calendar: This determines how far in the past and how far in the future you want events to show. In VisitApp apps, we only show today’s events and future events, so past events will not display in the app.
    • Access Level: You can determine if you want the link to be publicly accessible or restricted.
      Once you have determined these settings, select "Start Publishing.”

      microsoft-start_publishin.png
  3. Copy the iCal Link
    Copy the link provided in the "Link for subscribing to this calendar:” field.

    Microsoft-subscribe-linkS.png

    Then, use this URL to send to your Client Success Manager. We will finish setting up the calendar feed for you. You can do this by sending a request ticket via the Client Portal.

How Do I Get an iCal Feed From Office 365?

To add an iCal feed from your Office 365 Calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Office 365 Calendar
    In the top left corner of the navigation tab, there is an option to "Share” the calendar. Select it.

    365-Click_share.png

    Doing so will open your computer’s default email client as a pop up. Enter your email address and send the link to yourself.

    365-Email.png

  2. Copy the subscription link from the email
    When you receive the email, you will notice several links. The one you need is the last link, that is labeled with "To subscribe to this calendar using an Internet calendar-compatible program…”. Copy this link.

    link-Copy_subscription_li.png

    Then, use this URL to send to your Client Success Manager. We will finish setting up the calendar feed for you. You can do this by sending a request ticket via the Client Portal.

How Do I Maintain a Calendar Manually?

Maintaining a calendar manually means creating an Item for each event in the VisitApps MAS one at a time. Creating an event manually gives you the ability to add more content to your app that isn’t available through an iCal feed. This is a great choice if you want to add photos, registration links and different types of information, depending on the individual event.

Items that have been manually added to a container utilizing an iCal feed will be automatically deleted with the feed refreshes overnight. Therefore, we do not advise attempting to mix manually created events with those created automatically via an iCal feed.

If you would like assistance determining which method of calendar management is best for you, please reach out to your Client Success Manager. You can do this by sending a ticket via the Client Portal.

  1. Add the Events Item
    To do this, drag the Events Item from the Draggables panel and drop it into the content area.

    event-item-draggable.png

  2. Then, open the Item by selecting the icon or ‘New Item’ label.
    Use the fields that display to set the Event’s start date and time and recurrence.

    event-item-date-recurrenc.png

  3. Add Properties to the Item
    Properties are how you add relevant information to your Event. Common event properties are an image, email, phone, rich text (description), and an address.
    To add a Property to your Event, simply drag it from the Draggables box and place it on the Event Item. Then you will be able to edit the information.

    address-event-draggable.png