gcalendar-dpcalendar

YOU HAVE TO DO THE MOVE TILL NOVEMBER 2014 TO THE FREE DPCALENDAR VERSION!

I'm sitting in my living room and think about how should I write an article that the loved GCalendar extensions has evolved and will be now DPCalendar Free? Should I write what has changed or why did we do that or where do we want go? I guess I start with some background information about GCalendar and DPCalendar.

GCalendar vs DPCalendar

I published GCalendar in the JED in 2007, over seven years ago, as a free (in beer and in use) extension. It was the only full featured Google calendar extension for Joomla at that time and continues to be the best Google calendar extension. The first version of GCalendar was created for Joomla v1.0.x series. Over the years many people have contributed to GCalendar. And the forum has grown with almost 25'000 posts. GCalendar has been downloaded over 2 million times at g4j.digital-peak.com.

The demand of the community increased and there were requests for many features that Google's calendar could not support. This meant we should keep the same slick interface but we needed to add the events to the Joomla database, instead of Google's.

We decided to make a commercial calendar version to deliver a professional Joomla calendar and event manager extension. DPCalendar was born! DPCalendar has grown very fast and supports now CalDAV access to its calendars, payment gateways to attend events and tons of external calendar integration plugins like CalDAV/iCloud/ownCloud, Google calendar, Facebook pages, MS Exchange or iCal events (Yahoo, Outlook.com, and many other calendars). To name just a few features.

During this time, GCalendar was at a very stable state and not many changes were needed. We published the GCalendar Action Pack to edit the Google events directly from within Joomla. Minor tweaks and updates have slowed. The options to grow and add new features for GCalendar are very limited due to the Google calendar limitations.

Having one product

Maintaining three products, GCalendar, Action Pack, and DPCalendar, which do basically the same thing was inefficient. Paul and I were discussing back and forth what should we do. I wanted to reduce the development time to be able to put energy into only one calendar extension. At the same time to provide a healthy free event extension for the masses and a commercial one for professionals with proper support. We decided there must be only one product and it will be DPCalendar. But how should the free version look like?

Making a free version

First we thought that we should slim down DPCalendar and provide it with the Google calendar plugin. But that would be more confusing to the people. They would basically have an empty component and a very powerful Google calendar plugin. A next idea was to make DPCalendar free without the external plugins. But what would be the migration path for the GCalendar users? We didn't want to force them to buy the DPCalendar professional version just to be able to use their existing Google calendars. So we decided at the end to make a slimmed down version of DPCalendar with a GCalendar integration plugin. This means that the free version of DPCalendar has a reduced feature set (no CalDAV support, no attending feature, etc.) and the existing GCalendar users can integrate or import their GCalendars. New DPCalendar Free users will have then events stored into the database and benefit from the much richer feature set than GCalendar had.

The table below shows the different versions and feature sets:

Feature Free Standard
Professional Premium
Component (The free version does not contain features like CalDAV access, recurring events or the list/map view and some more.)        
Upcoming Module        
Counter Module        
Mini Module        
Map Module        
Search Plugin
       
Finder Plugin
       
Ical Plugin        
Jomsocial Plugin        
CSV Plugin        
JEvents Plugin        
JCalPro Plugin        
Google Calendar Plugin        
Facebook Event Plugin        
CalDAV Plugin        
MS Exchange Plugin        
Manual Payment Plugin        
PayPal Payment Plugin        

What can the DPCalendar Google plugin do?

The DPCalendar Google plugin uses the newest Google Calendar API v3 with OAuth2 authentication (it is not required anymore to store your google credentials in DPCalendar). This API is much faster because it uses JSON as transport protocol. More features which are available only in this API v3 are event colors. Events can created/updated/deleted directly from your Joomla web site.

The API v3 doesn't rely on Zend anymore which makes the footprint much smaller and the Zend_Loader errors are history.

What happens to my Action Pack subscription?

We migrate all GCalendar Action Pack subscriptions in the next couple of days from g4j.digital-peak.com to joomla.digital.com. The subscription will be turned into a DPCalendar professional subscription with the length the Action Pack had. All subscriptions which are expired or less than two months valid will be activated and end two months after migration that you will have enough time to do the move. We will not leave you out in the rain.

Why do I have to do the move?

Google is shutting down their API version 1 which is used in GCalendar on 17. November 2014. You can read the announcement here. GCalendar will not work anymore after that, but the DPCalendar - GCalendar plugin will. You will find all information here how to do the migration from GCalendar to DPCalendar (Free).

Where are we going?

We always want to provide a free extension for the Joomla community because we get back so much from the community. This means there will be always a FREE DPCalendar version. To the subscribers we offer top notch support, a cutting edge DPCalendar version and tons of plugins like Facebook integration or PayPal payments. I really hope that you are taking the next steps with us and that the new strategy will be a success story for all of us, the team of Digital Peak and the Joomla community.

Sincerely the founder of Digital Peak
Allon Moritz (aka laoneo)

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