University Web Developers

University Web Developers

We are (finally) starting to have some serious conversation about setting up a proper online event calendaring system. While we're aware of many commercial solutions, budget issues and the economy in general are causing us to lean more in the direction of an open source solution. Specifically, we have narrowed the selection down to VTCalendar and UNL Event Publisher. Both seem to have various pros and cons, ranging from datedness of the end-user GUI to difficulty level for installation/configuration.

At any rate, we're wondering if anyone can provide some (fairly detailed, hopefully) anecdotes or other information about successes/failures/pitfalls with either of these two products? What kinds of "bumps in the road" are we likely to encounter? Are there any other, better, open source solutions available for higher-ed event calendaring? Or should we stay away from open source solutions and are there commercial products that will do us better in the long run and why/how?

Since neither solution really appears to have much of a "check out what schools are using our system!"-type information available, any examples of either of these systems "in action" (beyond the VT or UNL calendar sites, of course) would be much appreciated. And, any information about processes or other information about how these systems have been implemented (e.g., the hierarchy of users/admins you've set up to process events and populate the calendar, how/if secondary calendars are rolled into "master" calendars, successes (or failures) of embedding the calendar information on your homepage, etc. Basically any information that might be useful to us as we embark down this path.

I know this type of topic has been discussed before in the past, but I've never seen more than a few casual mentions of these two particular systems. I'm hoping this new discussion will help bring out more detail that will be useful not only to us but to other schools in similar situations.

Thanks,

Doug Thompson
Manager of Web and Electronic Communications
Ohio Wesleyan University


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You may want to consider the Bedework open source calendar solution - check out the schools who are using it here : http://www.bedework.org/bedework/update.do?artcenterkey=35

OmniUpdate (proprietary CMS vendor - GREAT product, by they way) have a variation of the Bedework calendar that they are distributing as well (last check, there was no charge for their version either, unless you wanted them to install it for you, but you may want to check with them for the details...their Phone # : 805-484-9400 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              805-484-9400      end_of_the_skype_highlighting). Check out their recorded WebEx training session on it here : https://omniupdate.webex.com/omniupdate/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=EC&...

I have been playing around with the "Bedework/OU Calendars" system, and this might be the answer for my institution, but I'm still in the 'kicking the tires" phase myself.
Conveniently, we are an OmniUpdate school, so this solution may indeed be the best option for us. I was actually contacted by our sales rep with OmniUpdate just a few minutes after I posted this question, and I have forwarded the info he provided to our Director of IS, who is heading up the research into calendar options.

Thanks,

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