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Elettra Collaboration Calendar

Sharing a calendar among colleagues has become crucial.
Hence, a central Collaboration Calendar service is provided for all the "@elettra.eu" accounts at Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste via the MARCoNI-Z collaboration suite.
This service can be used both through a modern web interface and via a client calendar application (CalDAV) like Mozilla Thunderbird/Lighning or Apple Calendar.

Calendar Basics

Every Elettra mailbox entitles to one or more calendars, and every calendar can be personal or shared with other accounts.
All the basic settings and operations (like creating a new calendar, sharing to others, etc.) can be done through the web interface only.
Adding and modifying events in a calendar can be done both via the web interface and via a CalDAV client.

Every event can be Public (the default, all details are available to those the calendar is shared to) or Private (only the creator/owner can see the details).

Web Interface

The Collaboration Calendar can be accessed at the URL https://mail.elettra.eu. under the "Calendar" (or "Agenda", in Italian) tab.


 

Several parts are here displayed:

Toolbar: main, more used, actions are reachable here (new appointment/task, change view to day/work week/week/month, etc.).
Calendars left panel: you can select which calendars to display (here only the default one can be seen, the "Calendar" and the Trash), create/modify/delete calendars, etc., plus a quick navigation through months and dates at the bottom.
Calendar panel: here the selectable view (day/work week/ween/month) is shown.


Common operations

Create a new event

To create a new event it is possible to:

  • click on the "New Appointment" button at the top-left of the screen;
  • double click on the Calendar panel;
  • drag on a day/time on the Calendar panel (the starting and ending times are automatically set this way).
Whatever the method, a "new event" window appears.


 

The usual options for an event are shown and their meaning should be almost straightforward.
When collaborating with other people it is very useful to invite them to events. To accomplish this task it is possible to enter their names/email addresses in the "Attendees" input box. Please note that the "Scheduler" area can help choosing a good time slot (matching with appointments already set in the system).
Two checkboxes are quite important here:
  • Private: if set, the contents of this event are hidden from people this calendar is shared to
  • Email: in case it's set, the Reminder will also be sent via email (otherwise you get a popup in the MARCoNI-Z web page). To configure the notification_address click the "Configure" option.
When ready remember to use the top left buttons:
  • Send: to send email notification to attendees
  • Save: to save the data
  • Close: to exit this screen with no saving

Create a new calendar


The grey gear to the right of the "Calendars" section allows you to create a new calendar.
From there, it is necessary to give a name and a colour to the new creating calendar.

And, voilĂ , the new calendar appears in the calendars list:

Now it is possible to set some properties and eventually share the calendar with other people.
To access all these options, click on the small triangle to the right of the calendar's name:

Note that with Export/Import you can do those operations to/from iCal files (interchangable to Google calendar and many other standard services).

Also, please do not create calendars with spaces in the name (multi-word calendar names) if you want to share it: the CalDAV client application could have problems in dealing with such names.

Share a calendar

It is possible to search for people (or groups!) in the directory to share the calendar with, just start writing down a name to reveal the autocompletion feature.

When a person is invited to a shared calendar it is necessary to accept this share by clicking on the link in the email sent by the system.
This operation is only available in MARCoNI-Z webmail.


To manage (Edit/revoke/resend) any created share, click on the small triangle to the right of a calendar's name, select "Properties". A section "Sharing for this folder" is displayed.

The default settings should be sufficient for most of the needs, so we don't recommend changing these settings. However, for special cases, it is possible to tune the access to any calendar.

Important: do not change the name of a shared calendar, otherwise external calendar clients will need to resubscribe to that calendar
Also, do not create shared calendars with spaces in the name (multi-word calendar names): the CalDAV client application could have problems in dealing with such names.

 


Using an external calendar client (CalDAV)

Depending to the particular application you will need a particular URL for the calendar, which can be one of the following:

  1. Server URL, this is the easiest (e.g. Android with DAVx5): https://mail.elettra.eu
  2. Account URL (e.g. Mac OS/iOS): https://mail.elettra.eu/dav/<name>.<surname>@elettra.eu
  3. Calendar URL: (e.g. Thunderbird/Lightning): https://mail.elettra.eu/dav/<name>.<surname>@elettra.eu/<Calendarname>

How to get a Calendar URL

Log in into MARCoNI-Z webmail, go to "Calendars" and open the Share properties of the chosen calendar (as explained in the "share a calendar" section of this guide). Please note the three URLs at the bottom. Right click on the first link (ICS) and copy the link to the clipboard. Paste it into a text editor, you'll get something like this:

https://mail.elettra.eu/home/name.surname@elettra.eu/WorkingGroup.ics

Now, it's important to operate two changes:

  • change the word "home" to "dav"
  • remove the trailing ".ics" at the end of the URL
You'll get something like this:
https://mail.elettra.eu/dav/<name>.<surname>@elettra.eu/<Calendarname>

In this case, for the "WorkingGroup" calendar, the correct URL is:

https://mail.elettra.eu/dav/name.surname@elettra.eu/WorkingGroup

(with a generic "name.surname")

Mozilla Thunderbird/Lightning

Thunderbird is one of the most popular email clients (or Mail User Agents, MUA) available. It's free, Open Source, multiplatform (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc.).

Lightning is a Thunderbird Add-on that enables integration with a calendar server like the Elettra Calendar. Starting from Thunderbird version 38, this add-on is preinstalled, so it's not necessary to manually install it.

From the main Thunderbird screen it is possible to see the Lightning part (rightmost area, tasks and events, plus the two icons/buttons above it - new event/task).


To subscribe to a calendar of a user of the Elettra Collaboration Calendar it is necessary to start from the "Create a new calendar" feature, then choose the "On the Network" option.

On the next screen, the right option is "CalDAV"; the Location text box is where to paste the calendar's CalDAV URL (obtained following the instructions here above). The "Offline Support" comes in hand when wanting to keep the calendar data even when not connected to the Internet.

The next screen can be used to set the (local) calendar name (WorkingGroup in this example), its events colour, whether to show reminders from Thunderbird and which email address will be used when sending (manual) notifications to attendees.

By pressing "Next" and, then, "Finish", Lightning will configure the subscription to the calendar and ask for the credentials needed to access it.

After that, the calendar will appear in Lightning and can be used as the local ones.



Apple Calendar (iCal)
 

Within iCal, it is necessary to go into System Preferences > Internet Accounts and then click on the Add Other Account... option.

Then choose the CalDAV account option


At this point it's very important to select the "Manual" Account type and input the following data (don't specify any particular calendar name here)


The picture above displays the needed information to be set for the subscription.

Account Type: must be Manual
User Name: your full UniPass account (name.surname@elettra.eu)
Password: your UniPass password
Server Address: this must be the first part of a calendar's CalDAV URL, up to the username:
https://mail.elettra.eu/dav/name.surname@elettra.eu/
After pressing "Sign In", this calendar account will be visible in the Preferences window of the Calendar App.
All calendars available on the server will be linked in one step.

Mobile Clients

Android

For Android-based devices, there are various options to sync the Android calendar to the Elettra Calendar, including:

However, all these programs are not free from the Google Play Store, even if some are Open Source.
Fortunately there are alternative download sites or markets like Fdroid (be sure to check the "Allow Unknown Sources" checkbox under the security settings to install the Fdroid apk):

  • DAVx5 (formerly DAVdroid)
  • aCalDAV (older app, less updates available)

Tests have been successfully performed with DAVx5. To configure a DAVx5 account for your calendars use the "Login with URL and user name" with these data:
option , just use the UniPass credentials and the basic URL

Base URL:  https://mail.elettra.eu/dav/name.surname@elettra.eu/
User name: <name>.<surname>@elettra.eu    (e.g.: zaphod.beeblebrox@elettra.eu)
Password:  <your UniPass account password>

Apple iOS Devices

Apple iOS devices (v4.0 and later) are supported natively by Zimbra for calendars, tasks (reminders) and contacts.

BlackBerry

BlackBerry 10 devices can use the CalDAV and CardDAV protocols, well supported by the Elettra Calendar.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 March 2019 12:44