Can’t wait till iPhone firmware 2.0 to get your corporate calendar on your iPhone? Here is a great trick to get your enterprise appointments onto you’re your iPhone.
What you will need:
- Novell GroupWise (tested, though should work with other mail applications)
- A Google Account with:
- Google Calendar
For the bonuses, you will need:
- A calendar that can subscribe to .ics files (iCal) I found the basics of this idea here, but have elaborated it to iCal which works great for me.
Ever since I purchased the iPhone I have longed for a way to get my GroupWise calendar onto my iPhone. I use a PC at work and an iMac/PowerBook G4 at home. I sync my iPhone with my iMac. Since I don’t actually sync with my PC, how can I get the calendar on my iPhone? The answer: Google… to the rescue!
What you can do is configure a rule in GroupWise to delegate (forward) a meeting to your Gmail account. When Gmail receives, this, Google automatically adds it the Google Calendar on your account. You can then subscribe to the Google Calendar Feed in iCal. Then, sync your iPhone! You instantly have all of the calendars you are currently syncing with but now you have your “work” appointments too! There is a downside; you can’t add appointments to the read-only calendar from Google. However, this has not proved to be a huge roadblock for me. Also, if you want to take full advantage of this, don’t use Posted Appointments, only Appointments. This way you will have all of the appointments you make delegated (more on this later).
There are added benefits too. I have Google send me a daily agenda and SMS reminders. These items are based off of the appointments delegated to my Google Calendar, so I am always in touch with what is going on for the day.
Now, let’s discuss how to set this up in more detail…
From GroupWise, create a rule like this: "When event is Filed to Calendar folder and if condition is Appointment, Add Action to Delegate to: firstname.lastname@example.org Comments to recepient:GWDelgate"
From Gmail, create a filter where the search criteria is from your GroupWise email address, email@example.com, and has the words GWDelegate.
Set the action to "Delete it".
On the computer that can subscribe to .ics files (preferably the computer you sync your iPhone with, for this example, iCal on a Mac) open Google Calendar and click on the options for your “work” calendar.
Find the iCal icon and click on it, this should open iCal for you to subscribe.
Accept the settings in iCal, but make sure you set the calendar to refresh on an interval you find acceptable.
Make sure that you configure the reminders and email options in your “work” Google Calendar to the criteria you want. I have it set to email me a daily agenda at 5:30 AM and send me an SMS reminder 30 minutes prior to a meeting. I then added the text number from Google to my Address Book and I now have an SMS thread called “Google Calendar”.
That is it! You are done! Place your iPhone in the cradle and sync. Of course, you may have to manually add the calendar in iTunes for syncing with your iPhone.
For an extra cool tip, if you have an Apple .Mac account or if you have your own FTP server, AND if you publish your personal calendar from iCal, you can subscribe to it in Google Calendar and have all of your calendars online! This works great for me and comes in very handy; I can access all of my appointments on ANY web browser. Keep in mind that this does only sync Appointments and Meeting Requests; tasks and notes are not included. We will have to wait for Apple to add note and to-do syncing functionality to Mail and the iPhone for that.
Your mileage may vary based on the Enterprise mail/server client and configurations you are using. There is already an Outlook sync tool from Google, but it does not sync Meetings, bummer. So, this solution is currently more useful. Post your comments if this works for you, or you got it working on another client other then GroupWise!