Auto-provisioning calendar data/shared calendars
I'd like to pre-fill the Zimbra calendars of our 2200 students and faculty with their class schedules. I've munged the schedule data into iCalendar format, or I could use Zimbra native/csv format if that's a little more efficient. So how do I get the data to the user accounts?
Obvious approaches include:
1) Stick each course's iCalendar data on a web server and automatically subscribe the users thereto. How? Would this store redundant data, or pointers?
2) Shove the iCalendar data into each individual calendar. Probably easiest, but would that store a lot of redundant data, or just pointers? And how would I synchronize changes? Students add/drop courses a lot during the first few weeks of the term.
3) a) Create all the course calendars within a system account, b) automatically set share permissions appropriately (and regularly update them as enrollments change), c) make those calendar shares appear for d) Outlook and e) webmail users, f) make sure that the right things hapen when courses drop/permissions revoke (i.e., no dangling share pointers in either Outlook or webmail), and g) make those calendars show up as "busy" in user free/busy lists.
I'm guessing that #3 would be most efficient, but I do not know how to do any of 3b-3g.
Oh, and ideally, this should all work for iSync/iCal/Zimbra Mobile users, too. Does that suggest #2?
So, we'll be auto-provisioning course calendars this summer/fall...
So, at long last, we've made a decision to license Zimbra for our 3000-some users, just as UW-Milwakee did for their 65,000 users. See https://apps.carleton.edu/campus/its...dar_Report.pdf and https://www4.uwm.edu/imt/about/news/zimbra/index.cfm
Carleton College will be engaging Zimbra's professional services team to, essentially, determine the "right" answers to the various questions posed in this thread. To the maximum extent possible, all work done will be released under licenses at least as liberal as Zimbra itself. Everyone benefits when common solutions can be adopted.
Our likely strategy will include designating our Moodle installation as the authoritative source and/or aggregation point for all course-related calendar and task data, so that professors need only make changes using appropriate Moodle tools, and the changes will cascade to each student's Zimbra calendar using iCalendar or XML protocols chosen with Zimbra professional services' help. There's some likelihood that some small amount of new code will need to be written on the Zimbra side to handle course adds, drops, and changes. That code probably won't be appropriate for general distribution along with Zimbra, but we won't consider it proprietary.