OU Calendar contains some additional tools to help with importing, exporting, and sharing data in the calendar.
This menu contains two sections:
The Filter Link Builder creates a link to the calendar with filters already pre-selected, making it easier to send traffic to a specific set of events. For example, communications from the Athletics department could utilize a link to the calendar already filtered for athletic events.
The fields in the filtered link builder are:
Your Link: The filter link is automatically generated in this field as you change criteria.
Cities: Generated from the locations in your calendar.
Categories: All categories configured in your calendar.
OU Calendar builds an internal database of all the information you enter into the system, including data on events, users, categories, and other areas.
In some cases, database rows may be deleted. For example, if a location is deleted, that database row will be flagged for deletion, but the record still remains. Selecting Purge Deleted Rows permanently will remove the deleted rows from the database. It is recommended you do this periodically to help keep the system running smoothly.
Selecting the Optimize Tables option will refresh the database, updating any information that has been changed recently.
OU Calendar has the ability to import events from an existing calendar or database. Importing events requires you to select a category that will be applied to all those events (as opposed to assigning categories per event), so it is recommended you import events in batches (e.g., import all Science events first, then import all Athletics events as a separate batch).
To import events into OU Calendar:
- Navigate to "Import Events" from the Tools menu.
- Choose "CSV Import" from the Select Import Type dropdown. The "iCalendar" option is not recommended.
- Download and open the import template, located in the right-hand menu.
- Add your events information into the CSV file under the appropriate columns. Make
sure to follow the same format provided in the template, as the import will not proceed
correctly otherwise. This includes:
- Prefacing commas and apostrophes with a backslash, e.g. "We\'re importing data."
- Using HTML tags in the description for formatting, e.g. <b>This text is bolded</b>
- Encoding quotation marks (e.g. "This is a quoted remark.")
- The use of other special characters is not recommended, as it could break the import process.
- Save the CSV file once all your data has been added and close the file.
- Open the CSV file in Notepad, Notepad++, or some other simple text editor.
- Copy the contents of the file and paste it into the Event Data field.
- Select the appropriate category.
- Select Import Event Data. The events will now be added into OU Calendar.
Active calendar event data can also be exported, in various different formats. This can be useful for creating a backup.
To export calendar events:
- Navigate to "Export Events" from the Tools menu.
- Choose the Export Format Template.
- Choose the Delivery Method; you can either download a file or view the information in your web browser.
- Choose the range of dates from which you wish to export data.
- Select at least one category. You can also choose to select or deselect all.
- Select Export Events.
When OU Calendar is implemented, it will already have an import and export templates configured. However, you can also create your own export templates, as well as edit the existing ones.
Whether adding or editing a template, you are brought to the template information page, which has the following fields:
- Name: Give the template a friendly name that identifies it easily
- File Extension: Choose the type of file that the template will export the data as (e.g. .csv, .txt)
- Sort Order: Event output will be sorted by fields in this order of importance
- Group By: The criteria that exported events will be grouped by
- Date Format
The template is structured by listing different variables. Selecting "Show Variables" provides a reference guide of all variables available.
- Header (Optional): If the template exports as a CSV, the header will display as the top row. Order the header by typing in variables, separated by commas but no spaces, and with the  brackets removed.
- Content: Type in the variables you want the template to export. Make sure the order of variables in Header and Content match.
- Footer (Optional): Additional information can be entered here that will display after the exported data
Automated Export Clean Up
Any entries in the Automated Export Clean Up field will be removed from the export. This process matches exactly, and is case sensitive.
An example use case is entering BLANK in the field so empty data fields (which are exported as BLANK) are removed from the export. Null, invalid or otherwise empty data fields are exported as BLANK. To remove this "blank" data from the export all new templates are created with BLANK as a default clean up entry. By exporting empty data fields as BLANK Helios Calendar allows for the clean up any custom formatting from the export.
Note: Clean up entries must each be entered on a new line within the template edit form. Entries are case sensitive and blank export values are always explicitly BLANK.
Ex) This example references a sample template included with Helios Calendar.
If our template content is:
|N ##[date_unique]|N ##[category_unique]|N [event_title]. [event_time_start]. [loc_name], [loc_address], [loc_city]. [desc_notags] [contact_url] [event_cost]
and we want to ensure that any blank category and date lines were removed from the export, and a blank line isn't forced, we would add:
Likewise we can also ensure that any blank Title, Start Time, Location Name or Location City data did not result in stray periods or comas in the exported data by adding:
By preceding these entries with a space we can also ensure the proper space between fields for each export record is maintained. Finally, we can ensure that any blank Descriptions, Contact URLs or Cost fields were filtered by adding:
By customizing the clean up entries for your unique templates you can ensure a more streamlined export process.