If you use online calendars, such as Google Calendar, then you may be familiar with the idea of calendar subscriptions, whereby you add to your own events those of another person or organisation. Typically we use these to see lists of public holidays, or the schedules of co-workers, and as events are created or modified the changes appear in your own calendaring system.
Your Consonance system contains a great many dates, such as all of the publication dates for an imprint, and allows you to subscribe to them in the standard format that your calendaring system will almost certainly accept. This allows you to view your upcoming publishing dates on your own calendar without having to type them in yourself. If you chose to subscribe to such a calendar then your calendaring system will periodically refresh itself based on the latest data within Consonance, so if a publication date changes then the subscribers to the calendar see that change.
The widely-accepted format for calendar information is known as iCalendar. It lets you share different calendar-related information, such as events, to-do lists, and alarms. Consonance currently supports events.
Currently Consonance allows you to subscribe to calendars for imprints, and to-dos.
For further help with to-dos please see this article.
Calendars for imprints are created in the imprint edit pages.
In order to avoid filling your calendar with outdated events or with events which are too far in the future to be considered reliable, apply filters to the calendars to only include events within a particular window. The historical and future windows are expressed in number of days, weeks, months or years, and are calculated from the date at which a subscribing calendar system makes a request for fresh data. For example, if a calendar is defined with a window of 1 month of historical and 2 months of future events then when a calendar refreshes on 1st January 2018 the range of events included will be all of those between 1st December 2017 and 1st March 2018.
When you create a calendar, you subscribe to it with its URL, which you copy to your clipboard by clicking the ‘Copy URL’ button. You paste the URL into the relevant area for subscribing to an iCalendar in your calendaring system.
The calendaring system asks you how frequently you would like the calendar to be refreshed, offering options such as ‘Every minute’, ‘Every hour’, ‘Every six hours’, ‘Every day’ etc., and in general ‘Every day’ is sufficient for calendars based on publication dates.
Note that there is no sign in or security check placed on calendar subscriptions. If you give someone the URL for a calendar then they can use it and see all of the calendars events. Of course this has the advantage that you can share the calendar with people who do not have a Consonance licence, but for whom the events might be useful. For example, if you use third-party sales representation then a calendar of your upcoming publication dates can be very useful to them.