Sharepoint Master Calendar

As you probably know (or don’t care), Sharepoint 2007 does not allow for list data to be easily ported across site boundaries. I think this is silly, especially not being able to share list data from a parent site to a child site. I’ve been obsessed lately with finding the supposed holy grail of Sharepoint 2007: the Master Calendar. There are commercial solutions to to this (BambooSolutions supposedly has the best list roll-up and master calendar web parts), but I wanted to find a way to do this for free. Much to my surprise, there are some solutions that even a neophyte like me can digest. As a result, I have been able to create a master calendar (note: not a roll-up calendar) for our MOSS site structure. It was doable pretty much out of the box, with the exception of needing SharePoint Designer for customizing views and filtering the DataForm WebPart.

I’m not a Sharepoint Guru by any stretch of the imagination. I did a lot of research to find a solution for this, and happened upon a small amount of information I could actually understand. My particular take on the Master Calendar is simply a combination of different solutions:

  1. Created a “Team Calendar” on the parent site.
  2. Created a series of filtered views (based off of event types and other specific columns) for each of the different regions and teams. Note, you will need to remove the “_hidden” flag from the event content types to filter in the manner.
  3. Remove all calendar lists from each of the sub-sites.
  4. Link to the specific filtered master calendar view lists on each of the sub-sites.

Endusersharepoint.com has an interesting take on this strategy, using LyteBox to display a pop-up of the Master Calendar. Unfortunately, I don’t care for the LyteBox interface (too processor consuming on older systems), and would prefer to have something I could just look at by going to a main page (rather than clicking on a link). Mark Miller did host a pretty good online class on the LyteBox solution, that wasn’t particularly expensive. He explains event type content filtering extensively, and hooks you up with the LyteBox java script. If you are new to this, it might be worth the $70 (provided that they are still hosting the classes).

Rather than using LyteBox, I opted to use the DataForm WebPart, and just filter the views of the different pages. Ironically, in my search to find different ways to filter the list data, I ran across Susan’s Blog. This is similar to what I set up, and she has some very easy to follow instructions and screen shots.

An alternate to this would be to merge several different calendars together, and view the list in a DataForm. Corro’ll Driskell has a simple to follow page on this. The only downside is that the data from the multiple lists is just merged into a data source, rather than updating each other. So, it’s not really a “Calendar Roll-Up” solution, but would allow one to poll specific calendar data from multiple sources. Might be good enough to appease a manager somewhere.

The only thing I’m not really satisfied with is the default List View of the DataForm. Due to amount of data we port into our team calendar, it’s actually a good view for the main page of the parent site. However, I would prefer the standard “Calendar View” for the main pages of the team sub-sites. By default, this is not an option unless you link the SharePoint List Toolbar to the DataView WebPart. This doesn’t work, though, if you are pulling a list from a parent to a sub-site. You’ll get some “error rendering control” messages where the toolbar should appear. This effectively kills your site until you remove the toolbar.

Neil Richards apparently discovered the cause of this issue, and has isolated a simple solution. Unfortunately, I have no idea what he is talking about.

It’s simple enough to copy the parameter from the subsite dataview into the masterpage dataview.

<WebPartPages:DataFormParameter Name=”WebURL” ParameterKey=”WebURL” PropertyName=”ParameterValues” DefaultValue=”/”/>

Can any of you interweb eggheads out there make sense of this? Where does one find the elusive “masterpage dataview?” Search as I may, I cannot find it. Alternatively, could one convert a standard list view into a calendar view? I’m assuming you could apply the correct css stylesheets, but I’m not smart enough to figure this out on my own. I will reward 40 virgins to the first person that can come up with an acceptable solution (that I can comprehend).

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15 Responses to “Sharepoint Master Calendar”

  1. Ha ha, that’s funny. Well not really, because I am in the same situation. I am looking into the issue and will let you know, no virgins required 🙂

  2. Dang. I was really hoping to offload these virgins on someone…

  3. So I am very interested in the outcome of this post. I have the same problem. I just created a plethora of team sites all with their own calendar. Our problem is that we have 2 conference rooms. we have s SP site calendar where you can “sign them out” and our group wants to use Outlook to email meetings/appointments to this calendar and have it email back if there is a conflict.

    I don’t know if that really fits with this problem but I want to stay in the loop of this post.. a Master Calendar sounds like a step in the right direction.

    Thanks

  4. This solved my problem :
    http://blog.pathtosharepoint.com/2010/04/09/cross-site-list-snapshot-version-2-0-beta/

    try this and you will be surprised.
    hats off to christophe

    • Interesting. I read about his 1.0 version a while back, but it seemed to unwieldy at that point in time. I shall check out the 2.0 version.

      Thanks for the update!

  5. Just wanted to say I stumbled upon this blog and it has some good info. I just fwd it to my aunt . Later

    • Happy to help! I have to admit, the information is a bit out-dated at this point in time. I haven’t really delved into possible solutions in SP 2010. Life, it seems, has taken another direction.

      Anyway, feel free to ask questions if you have any.

  6. Sharmin Says:

    Hello All,
    I have the same issue. while hotpoo’s soln or blog really helped me to explore some of the existing ideas, are there any new updates on implementing a Master Calender ?… I couldn’t access Susan’s Blog 😦 If anyone has it please let me know….

    Thanks
    Sharmin

  7. Hello,
    I am an extreme novice…just started using SharePoint 2007 two days ago and have been tasked with the “creating a Master Calendar” thing. Sadly, I could use even more details than the initial 4 steps above, aside from exposing the Event content type…done and done. I, too, cannot access Susan’s Blog. Is there any step-by-step help for this version of the solution?

    • Bummer. She’s totally off that site now, and I cannot find a cached copy anywhere. Basically, it detailed the different filter view options for the data view web part. If you don’t have SPD, you won’t be able to do this.

      In all honesty, there isn’t a way to do a master calendar without a third party solution. The best I was able to come up with was a parent calendar, and data view web parts on each of the child sites that filters selected information (team, type, etc).

      That was as far as I ever took it. Get a copy of SPD, if you don’t already have it, and start playing around with filter views for data view web parts. Good luck!

  8. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues
    with your blog. It appears as though some of the text on your posts are running off the screen.
    Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to
    them as well? This could be a problem with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before. Appreciate it

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