The Support Group Blog

FileMaker into iCal (Without Plugins)

Al asks:

Any hints on how to get appointments into iCal or Google calendars easily - without plug-ins? Mac would be fine, as I want this available on iPhone in the end.

Easy?  Maybe…  it depends on what you want to be able to do with it once it’s in iCal.

Getting FileMaker data into iCal, without a plugin, is possible using XML and XSLT publishing. myFMButler has a free FileMaker to vCal stylesheet. Yes, free.  Using FileMaker Server and custom web publishing, use this tool to create a calendar to which you can subscribe from iCal.  This is great if you just need to look up events, but if you also need to be able to create and edit appointments from iCal or your phone, you’re going to need something more.

Currently, I don’t know of any solution that doesn’t use plugins.  But FileMaker-calendar-wizard John Sindelar, of SeedCode, has something in the works: Zulu iCal Server.  I don’t know if you’d classify this as a plugin, but it looks pretty awesome, and doesn’t require a plugin in the FileMaker client.

And I’ll take this opportunity to mention DevCon 2010 in San Diego. I’ll be presenting a session on integrating FileMaker with Google Apps, and getting FileMaker data into Google calendars (and back to FileMaker) is one of the big goals, of course.  I’ll admit I’m going to be using a plugin, but it’s free... does that count?

We enjoy sharing our thoughts on how to improve business workflows and optimize the performance of business applications. Check out our App Development Resources page to find more FileMaker tips, tricks and demos. We also offer FileMaker Training workshops and other support services to help you enhance your design and development skills. 

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