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Emerging calendaring and scheduling standards

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1 Author(s)
Dawson, F. ; Lotus Dev. Corp., Raleigh, NC, USA

Calendaring and scheduling products are well established, but they have one significant drawback: they are usually limited to exchanging information among users of the same system, usually within the boundaries of a single organization. Thus you cannot use them to schedule a meeting with some one who uses a different application. Currently proprietary standards exist to structure some types of calendaring and scheduling information, but no single, open specification comprehensively addresses the needs of collecting and communicating information across many channels, such as phones, e-mail, and face to face meetings. However, important progress has been and is being made in standardizing both the format and exchange of this inherently complex information. The group working on bringing standardization to calendaring and scheduling applications-a working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)-is nearing the final stages in developing standards to enable different products to interoperate and to work across organizational boundaries. These standards-which include iCalendar, iTIP, IMIP, and iRIP-will be published by the end of the year (1997). The benefit of standardizing such interoperability is clear: users will be able to communicate calendaring and scheduling information among different applications by using a variety of communication protocols. The applications that will benefit from these new standards include familiar mainframe products, LAN based group scheduling products, and desktop and mobile personal information managers (PIMs)

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 12 )