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OU Calendar

OU Calendar displays an interactive calendar on one of your website pages, using your website styling. People can submit events to be added to the calendar, and events feeds from the calendar can be displayed on other pages in your site. Events displayed on the calendar not only have time and date, but location. In addition, events can be filtered by categories.

The calendar uses PHP and MySQL for its database and is installed on the production server (IIS and Apache supported). Most implementations of OU Calendar are powered by Helios software. However, if you have an older version it might use Bedework instead. Bedework is not offered for any new implementations.

OU Calendar has a separate administrator log-in and interface from OU Campus. From this interface you can create events, categories, and locations, connect your calendar to social media, and more.

A screenshot of the admin interface for OU Calendar.

This page is a guide to the most commonly-used functions of the calendar. For a full interface guide, see our OU Calendar user guide.

Creating CategoriesLink to this section

Categories are used to sort and filter events, and must be created before you start adding events, so categories are available during the event creation process. Categories can also be nested (e.g. the broad "Arts" category can contain the subcategories of "Theater," "Visual Arts," and "Music.")

To add a category:

  1. Hover over the Events menu in the top bar.
  2. Select Categories > Category Management.
  3. Under "Add Category," type the name of the category.
  4. If you want to nest it under an existing category, select the parent category from the dropdown.
  5. Click "Save Category."

Categories can also be edited and deleted from this screen.

Adding LocationsLink to this section

Like categories, locations are set up before adding events, and are then selected when creating a new event. The new event form has fields for filling out an address, but a location created in OU Calendar has additional options for data that automatically load into the event when the location is added.

To create a new location:

  1. Hover over the Locations menu in the top bar.
  2. Select Edit Locations > Add Location.
  3. Fill out the location details. This includes the location name and any description you want to add. A location can also be set to "Public" or "Admin only" (controlling whether or not public users can pick the location when submitting an event).
  4. Fill out the address of the location.
  5. Enter contact information, if applicable.
  6. You can also add the location to your Eventbrite calendar and get a short URL.
  7. Select "Save Location."

Existing locations can be merged. When merging locations, choose one, and any events using the other locations are assigned to the selected location.

Adding and Managing EventsLink to this section

Events can be created from the admin interface.

To create a new event:

  1. Hover over the Events menu in the top bar.
  2. Select Edit Events > Add Event.
  3. Fill out the event details. This includes the name of the event and any description. Though a cost can be stated, this doesn't affect actual ticketing.
  4. Set the date and time of the event.
  5. Choose the registration method.
  6. Under "Settings," you can set up how the event is displayed, including whether it is featured (granting it more prominent styling) and which categories it belongs to. Multiple categories can be selected. When picking child categories, make sure to pick the parent as well, or else the event won't display.
  7. Enter location information. If you type the name of an existing location, choosing it automatically fills out the location data.
  8. Enter contact information for the event.
  9. API publishing options lets you publish the event to other accounts you configured with your calendar, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  10. Save the event. It now appears on the calendar.

To edit an existing event:

  1. Hover over the Events menu in the top bar.
  2. Select Edit Events > Edit Event.
  3. Search for the event you want to edit. Selecting a category is required.
  4. Choose your event from the search results.
  5. The screen shown has the same options as creating a new event. Make and save the necessary changes.

Events in a search result can also be bulk edited. When editing events as a group, the event information screen for the first event is brought up. Any edits made to that event are automatically applied to the others selected.

Events can be recycled and deleted. Recycling an event creates a new event based on the information of the event being recycled, without affecting the original event. Deleting an event permanently removes it from the calendar, with no way to restore it.

Additional Options

Billboard events are displayed more prominently on the home page; once a Billboard event has occurred, it is removed from the display and the next Billboard event shown in its place. Selecting "Billboard Events" from the menu brings you to a listing of all events on the billboard; they can either be edited or removed from the billboard.

Orphan events are those that are not assigned to at least one category or have no location information. Selecting the "Orphan Events" option from the menu brings you to a listing of any orphaned events; they can be edited, deleted from the calendar, or selected and mass-deleted.

An event that occurs on multiple dates (whether it is a recurring event, multi-day event, or multiple date event) is called an event series. An event series consists of multiple individual event records that are closely related and have been identified by an admin as such.

Selecting "Create Series" brings up the event search page. From the search results, select the events you wish to group together, and select Create Event Series. Those events are considered a series, and can be edited as a group.

Note: If an event is already in a series, adding it to another series removes it from the previous series.

Submitting EventsLink to this section

Visitors to the calendar on your website can also submit events, which then need approval to be added to the calendar. These submissions can be managed, including turning them off entirely, from Settings > Preference > Public Event Submission.

To submit an event from the public calendar:

  1. While viewing the calendar, click the "Submit" button.
  2. If CAPTCHA is enabled, fill it out.
  3. Enter your contact information. If the administrator approving your event chooses, you will be emailed when the event is added to the calendar.
  4. Fill out the event details. You can also add a message for the calendar administrators that won't be displayed on the calendar.
  5. Click "Submit Event."

To approve a submitted event:

  1. Hover over the Events menu in the top bar.
  2. Select Manage Events > Pending Events.
  3. From the list of submitted events, select the edit icon (pencil and paper) for the event you want to improve.
    • Events can be declined by selecting the checkbox and clicking "Decline and Delete Selected Events" below the list.
  4. Edit the event information as desired. You can select a checkbox to notify the submitter by email that their event was approved.
  5. Save the event to add it to the calendar.

Importing EventsLink to this section

OU Calendar has the ability to import events from an existing calendar or database. Importing events requires you to select a category that is 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:

  1. Hover over the Tools menu in the top bar.
  2. Select Import Events.
  3. Choose "CSV Import" from the Select Import Type dropdown. The "iCalendar" option is not recommended.
  4. Download and open the import template, located in the right-hand menu.
  5. 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 won't 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. &quot;This is a quoted remark.&quot;)
    • The use of other special characters is not recommended, as it could break the import process.
  6. Save the CSV file once all your data has been added and close the file.
  7. Open the CSV file in Notepad, Notepad++, or some other simple text editor.
  8. Copy the contents of the file and paste it into the "Event Data" field.
  9. Select the appropriate category.
  10. Select "Import Event Data." The events are added into OU Calendar.

UsersLink to this section

Because OU Calendar uses a separate interface from OU Campus, the users are managed separately as well. The only types of users are either administrators or public users. The system also keeps track of users that have signed in to the public calendar via other supported networks.

Admin users have potential access to all of OU Calendar, depending on their account permissions. They can make and approve events, create categories and locations, and other administrator functions. To create a new administrator:

  1. Hover over the Users menu in the top bar.
  2. Select Administrators > Add Admin User.
  3. Fill out the user details and email notice settings.
  4. Choose which account permissions they have.
  5. Click "Save Admin" to create the user.

When OU Calendar is connected via API to other accounts, such as Facebook or Google, users can sign into the public calendar via an account in one of those supported third-party systems. Once signed in, event submissions are assigned to their account, making future updates easier for both the user and the admin.

Select Users > Public Calendar > Manage Users to manage public users. They can be edited, banned (or unbanned), and deleted. Banning a user prevents them from interacting with the system; deleting them removes their information, but does not prevent them from being re-added.

Connecting to Social MediaLink to this section

OU Calendar can be integrated with two third-party APIs: Google Maps and bitly. Manage these from Settings > APIs > Third-Party Services.

Under "Maps," you can choose Google to set up a map that displays with your calendar, marking event locations. You have the option to input a localized Google Maps URL and the version of the Google Maps JavaScript API to use.

bitly is a service that creates shortened URLs for events, for ease of remembering and typing, or simply to take up less visual space on a page. The bitly API key is provided with a bitly account.