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Author Topic: One more Wish. A need for a Working solution to a Collaborative Calendar  (Read 542 times)

questorfla

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If anyone has any info of the best place to look.  Or wants a new project that someone would gladly purchase? 

I have a client who desperately needs a simple Calendar format scheduler exactly like found in Outlook.  Which is essentially what they use now but this  "Calendar" is a special one created and synchronized by a client add-in for Outlook called "Workgroupshare".

The problems are all related to "tracking" in a sense.  They end up with many duplicate entries.  Some are real duplicates which can be removed with a de-duplicator.  But others show the same event only it starts and ends by an hour or in some cases even 30 minutes different.  These are therefore NOT duplicates (even though they really are) and de-duplicators will not remove them.  I have found after doing a lot of checking that in some cases, maybe ALL cases it is caused by Outlook and differences in Time Zones of who entered the data. 

Unfortunately, as I mentioned, the developers did not include any means to know who entered what.  It is a shared calendar, that is equally shared with no way to know who did what and when.  This has resulted in a lot of "heated commentary" over who is at fault with no way to know.  The only way this could occur by "human error" is if both people did not "see" the already existing file (which should be impossible with it doing a "sync" every 15 minutes)

Or it is a fully automatic thing where the synchronizing software sees it as it appears with times stated per Outlook's rules for such making it appear one hour off so that the people who are in EST get there on time instead of late (or early) by one hour due to Outlook "helping" by adjusting the appointment instead of taking each as a literal "Item" to be treated as just that with NO changs instead of trying to "help out" and changing it.

Once it shows a different time, it is a completely different entry so it cannot even be removed by de-duplication. 

In other cases.  One person who has two laptops and uses one most of the time may not even turn on the other but once a week.  When they do, it has not been synced to the server for that whole week while many things have changed.  Apparently, the sync software can only tell that this out of date laptop has what it "thinks" are new appointments but they are really ones that have been deleted.  So, it adds them all back.  This has definitely happened just recently.

I am of the opinion that if there was at least some kind of ability to track the changes the software should be able to know that the ones on the laptop which has not been synced are old and should not be added.  The newer data on the server is what should stay and delete those entries.  I have been told that the reason for this is that both laptops have the same email account (they do since they belong to the same person) and therefore the same level of control.  The software has no way of knowing,   if they turn on both at the same time,    which one is the most current. 

Taking this one step further, if Both laptops have been off, both are out of date, maybe one more than the other.  So neither should send anything to the server but instead should only go there to read what the Group's most current appointments are for.  But this is not what happens.  Poorly written client add-ins. 

I can see the problems but I have no idea how to fix them.  I am hoping someone else here has experienced this and maybe knows of a working solution as this is a time critical issue.  If I can buy a working solution "Now", that is what I really need.  While they would like to continue to work inside of Outlook, I am of the opinion that a software written specifically for their needs would be far better off running outside the PST files since they run on POP/SMTP and usually lug around PST's in the multi-Gigabyte range.  (14GB to 19 GB is not the least bit unusual.)  Outlook problems are plenty enough even without this add-in.

Again.  I appreciate any advice.  This Forum has always been a fountain of useful knowledge and One of the best  if not "THE BEST    :Thmbsup:" of any I have ever belonged to.

This is probably out of place in this context       But I wish everyone here a very Happy Holiday Season!    :D