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Thread: Sharing Calendar as Calendar AND Task list - what do you think?

  1. #1
    KaneNZ is offline Junior Member
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    Default Sharing Calendar as Calendar AND Task list - what do you think?

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm playing around with a Zimbra install using Thunderbird 2.0.0.18, Lightning and Zindus client setup (this is my first post to the forums yay!). I have looked around the forums and cant find anything quite like what I am looking for - so new thread time (sorry if im duplicating another post or am in the wrong place, I dont think I am).

    I discovered something interesting, and I wanted to see what the more knowledgeable Zimbra community thinks on this.

    First off some explanation. In TB/Lightning, every calendar has an associated "Task list". Tasks in the task list and calendar events are distinctly separate. When you link to a remote Calendar on a Zimbra server, Lightning allows you to view/edit the calendar events on the remote calendar. But you can also add tasks to the task list of the remote calendar, which are then not visible to anyone in the webmail view also sharing the calendar. The task list for the shared calendar is visible however to other TB/Lightning clients.

    My understanding so far (unless I have it wrong) - is that to get shared task list in TB you set it up as another remote calendar. SO - if you want to share a Zimbra calendar AND a separate Zimbra task list, you would effectively then have in Thunderbird 2 Calendars - the "calendar" one with a TB task list that is invisible to the webmail view, and the "Task list" one with a TB calendar that is invisible in webmail view as well (you cant specify different URLs for the tasks and calendar parts under one TB remote calendar).

    Then I found that you can actually share a calendar as a task list! (using zmmailbox - i tried and it worked!). This means I just need to have ONE shared calendar, and then just share this as a TASK LIST also, so both aspects can be visible to users in webmail view (the tasks part as the "shared tasks" share, the calendar part as the "shared calendar" share). In TB this would then only be one calendar that pulls through the tasks and calendar items. And everything would be visible in both TB and webmail view. I assume that this means the server is storing both task and appointment items in the same folder, and just showing the relevant items for each 'view' of the share.


    SO - MY QUESTION:

    The above setup means I have shared a calendar as a task list to users who need to see this in web view. Can anyone see any potential problems with this? It seems to work fine, and its benefit is having only one calendar in TB and not having data added by TB users which cannot be seen by webmail users.

    I hope this makes sense to someone, I dont want to deploy the server only to find out problems with this later on, but this approach does seem tidier given the way TB/Lightning calendars work.

    Has anyone else done something similar or have any views to share on this approach?? Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by KaneNZ; 11-20-2008 at 06:02 PM. Reason: (missed a little bit out)

  2. #2
    Rich Graves is offline Outstanding Member
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    It won't work in the web or outlook. The former might change for ZCS 6 (not expected until at least March), but don't count on it.

    You can (should!) reconfigure lightning to default to the "Tasks" folder for tasks. If you can't immediately find how, search the forum/wiki.

  3. #3
    KaneNZ is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Graves View Post
    It won't work in the web or outlook. The former might change for ZCS 6 (not expected until at least March), but don't count on it.

    You can (should!) reconfigure lightning to default to the "Tasks" folder for tasks. If you can't immediately find how, search the forum/wiki.
    Sorry - maybe you misunderstood. Because this setup IS working in Zimbra webmail UI - i HAVE successfully shared the calendar as both a calendar and task list. This is a single user's /Calendar folder, which I mounted (for each sharee) once as a calendar, and once as a task list using zmmailbox. In the web, I can see tasks (only) in the task list, and calendar events (only) in the calendar. In Thunderbird/Lightning, it shows as one shared calendar, and I can see the tasks in the task view and calendar events in calendar view.

    I.e. it is doing exactly what i want - I'm not experiencing any problems, I just wanted some feedback / discussion on what I have done.

    I can mount/unmount/revoke shares just fine so if I/we decide this isnt a good idea I'm OK with changing things and how to do it. My question was whether anyone can forsee any issues with this going forward, or if anyone else has taken a similar approach and has experiences to share etc.

    Also, slightly related - if Zimbra has any intentions to move down the universal folders path (i.e. one folder, multiple item types) or making tasks appear in calendars (see Bug 27613 - Tasks should be integrated into Calendar app) then I think my current setup would be a desirable approach than to maintain two separate folders and share each (i.e. a calendar share, and a separate task list folder share). Also using a separate Zimbra Task list share and Zimbra calendar share means I have to link 2 remote calendars in Thunderbird and potentially end up with hidden data in the webmail view - which is what I have avoided with the above setup (read my first post to understand why this is).


    PS: Im not planning to use Outlook sorry - my setup will only involve Thunderbird and Webmail so Im not concerned with any other clients but these ones for now (and maybe Zimbra Desktop, once it has support for shared stuff).
    Last edited by KaneNZ; 11-20-2008 at 08:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Rich Graves is offline Outstanding Member
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    Interesting. Didn't know that you could mount the same folder twice with different --view.

    Your workaround still doesn't allow the owner of the calendar to see the ToDos in the web client, but for your application that may be fine.

    Bug 27613 - Tasks should be integrated into Calendar app suggests that what you're doing will be supported. The initial suggestion in Bug 30787 - CalDAV vevent collection reports vtodo support when it doesn't would break what you're currently doing, but subsequent comments make clear that it's safe for now.

  5. #5
    Rich Graves is offline Outstanding Member
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    Discussion in 30787 makes it reasonably clear that dual-purpose folders will "never" work for either Outlook or ActiveSync devices (Windows Mobile, iPhone 2.x), but if you're running running pure open-source software that won't be an issue for you.

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    KaneNZ is offline Junior Member
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    Hey thanks for this input, this is the sort of stuff I'm looking for. It's typical that not all applications will do what I'm after, but universal folders has been indicated as a 'desire' by management. Open source is also their preference. I will have a look through the calendar / task bugs in more detail as it seems theres alot in there on where the Zimbra side of things are heading.

    If anyone has more reflection or input to share that would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by KaneNZ; 11-22-2008 at 07:30 PM. Reason: typo

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