Microsoft Outlook 98 supports vCard and vCalendar, a powerful new approach
to electronic, Personal Data Interchange (PDI). PDI occurs every time
individuals communicate, in either a business or personal context. These
interchanges frequently include the exchange of information, such as
business cards, telephone numbers, addresses, dates and times of
appointments, and such. The vCard and vCalendar features facilitate PDI
This article discusses the implementation of vCalendar in Outlook. For
information on vCard, please see the REFERENCES section below.
This article discusses:
- How to create a vCalendar file
- How to distribute a vCalendar file
- How to automatically process a vCalendar file
- How to manually process a vCalendar file as a text file
vCalendar files are used to exchange information about appointments and
schedules with others who are not in your workgroup or organization. You
can also use them to schedule appointments with those who use scheduling
software incompatible with yours.
How To Create a vCalendar File
To create a vCalendar file, follow these steps:
- In a Calendar folder, click to select an appointment for which you want a vCalendar file.
- On the File menu, click Save As.
- In the Save as type box, click to select vCalendar Format (*.vcs).
- In the Save In box, click the folder where you want to save the vCalendar file, and then click Save.
How To Distribute a vCalendar File
You can distribute a vCard file like other computer files. To send it as an
e-mail attachment, follow these steps:
- Open a new e-mail message, and then address it to the recipient.
- On the Insert menu, click File.
- Click to select a vCalendar (.vcs) file, and then click OK.
How To Automatically Process a vCalendar File
With Outlook, you can automatically convert a vCalendar file received from
an external source into an Outlook appointment entry. If the vCalendar file
arrives as an e-mail attachment, you can double-click the vCalendar
, then click Save And Close
to add the appointment to your default Calendar folder.
If you receive the vCalendar in the form of a file, perhaps on a disk, you can import it into your default Calendar folder by using the Outlook Import and Export Wizard. To do this:
- On the File menu, click Import and Export.
- Click to select Import an iCalendar or vCalendar file (*.vcs), and then click Next.
- Click to select the vCalendar file, and then click Open.
How To Manually Process a vCalendar File as a Text File
A vCalendar record is just a text file. If you do not have an automated
facility to process vCalendar records, you can open them with a text editor
and use the information. The content of a vCalendar file varies with the
information inserted by the file creator, but a typical file created from an Outlook appointment looks like the following example in a text editor:
PRODID:-//Microsoft Corporation//Outlook MIMEDIR//EN
DESCRIPTION;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:This is a note associated with the
SUMMARY:Meeting to discuss salaries
: The DTSTART and DTEND entries are a combination of the date and time in the format, YYYYMMDDThhmmssZ, where YYYY=year, MM=month, DD=day of the month, T=start time character, hh=hour, mm=minutes, ss=seconds, Z=end character. This string expresses the time as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), on a 24-hour clock so must be adjusted to your time zone.
For example, if you are in the Central Time zone, your time is 6 hours
behind GMT. So, you would subtract 6 hours from the start and end times to
derive the correct time range for the appointment. In the previous appointment example, the start time would be 210000-060000 or 150000 on the 24-hour clock. If you converted the time to A.M or P.M, the start time is 150000-120000 or 3:00 P.M.
For information on vCard, please see the following article in the Microsoft
How to Use vCard in Outlook 98