dpcalendar 52Since the beginning of DPCalendar, custom fields was high on the priority list of features to support. But somehow we wanted to do it right and Joomla was not ready for it. Now we have it! DPFields integrates seamless into DPCalendar (and DPCases, articles, users and modules). Defining your custom fields is now as easy as 123. But we did also some more interesting things in DPCalendar 5.2.

Custom fields

With DPFields we have created an extension suite which integrates seamless custom fields into DPCalendar. Just install DPFields as described here and you will see a new menu item called fields in the DPCalendar sidebar on your Joomla back end. The fields will be rendered on your Joomla front site. You can event customize the output of the fields, render them inside the event description or handle them completely in your layout override. All of that is described here.

You can even define custom fields for the attendee form and locations.

And now comes the burner, it is FREE of charge!!

backend fields list

New cache function

It is now possible to cache external events (Google calendar, iCloud, Facebook, MS Exchange) in the database beside the Joomla cache. This enables to use the full SQL power while fetching the events. Additionally the server admin can set up a cron job to sync the external events in the back ground. Like that the events will never being fetched during a page request, which will dramatically improve the page speed and the user experience. You will find more details in the cache article on our knowledge base.

speedy page load

Location improvements

Locations are an important part of an event management extension. So we have improved the location management and maps all over DPCalendar. When loading external events, then the locations are imported into the DPCalendar Location Manager this allows the admin to do some adjustments when the locations are displayed for events like from your Google calendar or iCloud account. Additionally it is now possible to show a map on the list and blog view with the events. The markers of the events on the map are not reflecting the color of the event itself for better identification.

The event details view shows now extended location information like the full address, description and custom fields information of the location itself.

list view with map

Better Joomla integration

One of the strong features of DPCalendar was, is and will ever be the seamless integration into Joomla. On the back end it looks like the article manager and on the front it uses the Bootstrap commands as every extension does, to fully leverage the mobile friendly aspect of your template. Joomla has introduced a smarter sidebar on the back end in Joomla 3.3. With DPCalendar 5.2, we set the minimum required Joomla version to 3.3 to fully integrate into the Joomla sidebar.


Facebook auto publish

Nowadays almost every web site is connected to Facebook page and a Twitter account. Since a couple of releases we do support Twitter auto updates. Now we have the same for Facebook pages. You can define for every Facebook page which native events should publish status updates on the page timeline.


Many small improvements

Some small improvements were made all over DPCalendar you would like. For example when you create an event on your Google calendar from within DPCalendar, the correct timezone is set. Or the images of the event can be set now also on the front form. This are only some of the enhancements in this new version.

The following list represents the full changelog of version 5.2:

  • [#1930]   Autopublish event updates to facebook
  • [#2588]   Cache external events in database
  • [#2656]   Custom fields in DPCalendar
  • [#2663]   Show a map on the list view
  • [#2040]   Override display color
  • [#2664]   Timezone not set in Google calendar
  • [#2728]   Adapt to Joomla 3.3 sidebar
  • [#2780]   Open event calendar links in same window
  • [#2781]   How to add Event Image frontend
  • [#2788]   Extended location information on event details
  • [#2706]   Deprecated error when loading Facebook events
  • [#2687]   Drag&Drop on external calendars doesn't work for regular user
  • [#2697]   Wrong encoding on iCal plugin with HTML description
  • [#2725]   Errors After upgrading from J2.5 to J3.4.x
  • [#2737]   Deleted items in iCal/CalDAV feeds
  • [#2766]   Events Map doesn't show events

Best Regards

Allon Moritz aka laoneo
Founder of Digital Peak

dpcalendar caldav

The past few posts have been looking at the DAV family of protocols (WebDAV, CalDAV and CardDAV). Today’s post will look at how DPCalendar implements CalDAV so that you may use it to sync with your other Web-based calendars, scheduling software and various mobile devices.

Here at Digital Peak, we have made the decision that DPCalendar will fully adhere to the CalDAV open standard. Hence, DPCalendar supports the integration of CalDAV calendar services (e.g. iCloud, iCal, ownCloud) and offers CalDAV access to its native calendars (i.e. acts as a CalDAV server as well). When integrating, you can either subscribe to a CalDAV calendar or opt for full synchronisation (either way, changes made in DPCalendar will be reflected in your CalDAV calendars as well).

CalDAV integration

Like everything else DPCalendar does, integration with CalDAV-aware Web-based calendars (like iCloud or ownCloud) is implemented through a CalDAV plugin (for more information, visit; this essentially is the same way Google calendars are supported). You can even integrate DPCalendar from another site through CalDAV into your existing Joomla site. The plugin also integrates with calendars even if they do not have Web-based interfaces (e.g. desktop calendaring software) as long as they support the CalDAV protocol.

Acting as a client, DPCalendar’s CalDAV plugin supports the editing events on the remote CalDAV server. Essentially, if you have the Joomla permissions to edit the CalDAV details, then you can change the CalDAV integrated events (regardless of which calendars the events come from) directly within Joomla. This means that you can use DPCalendar to manage all of your calendars and schedules directly.

CalDAV server

DPCalendar can also act as a CalDAV server for its native events (for a more thorough description of how you can access DPCalendar through CalDAV, click here). In this case, you can use any CalDAV client to gain access to DPCalendar events and schedules. Each individual calendar set up on your Joomla sita via DPCalendar will be shown as its own entity in your CalDAV client. The ability to use DPCalendar as a bridge to your other external calendars (Facebook events, CSV plugin, or all the others) is not yet implemented, although it is technically feasible and will be considered if enough people put it forward as a feature request. However, DPCalendar can act as both a CalDAV client and server at the same time.

So to what kind of uses can you put DPCalendar’s support of CalDAV? The simplest use would be to use your Joomla site as an aggregator of everyone’s schedules; for example, if you want to plan a family dinner, you can simply link to all your relatives’ calendars, and immediately everyone who has access to your website can see who is free and when. For business purposes, you can also use CalDAV to subscribe to calendar feeds that include public holidays for various countries, so that your clients can see when your offices are likely to be open.

You see, there are no limitations? Almost everything is possible, connect DPCalendar to your CalDAV based cloud service or offer your own cloud service for events based on DPCalendar!

dpcalendar 5 1

After the success of the major version 5.0 of DPCalendar, we made DPCalendar 5.1 available to the public as FREE or paid version. To figure out whet is the different between the different packages check out the comparison table. We fixed over 10 bugs and added over 20 new features and enhancements to DPCalendar 5.1. Some of the highlights are:

Location cache improvements

For external events, DPCalendar caches the locations now in the database and not anymore in the Joomla cache. This means, if there is something wrong with a location in an external event like from your Google calendar, then you can edit the location in the DPCalendar location administrator to the correct settings. This reduces also the load of Google maps API calls as with the Joomla cache, where the locations have been be re-fetched every two days.

Various attendee improvements

As there are more and more new feature request for the attending part of DPCalendar, we are constantly improving it. MS Exchange and iCalendar attendees are now displayed in the event details view. To get more information about the attendee itself, native DPCalendar attendees do support new location fields like country or street. When a visitor is attending an event, she/he can fill it's address information to beside the already available fields E-Mail and telephone number.

Improved structured data markup

DPCalendar supports structured data out of the box. We made the generated tags 100% W3C valid and improved the markup for better visualization on the SERP's.

MS Exchange integration improvements

As we already mentioned, MS Exchange attendees are now displayed in the event details page. Additionally inline images and event attachments are now available within DPCalendar as well from your corporate MS Exchange server or Outlook 365 account.

Many small improvements

Some small improvements were made all over DPCalendar you would like. For example when you change the start date of an event, the end data adapts itself to the increment automatically. Or the CalDAV link is displayed beside the iCal link for easier subscription. It is also possible to filter events for tags or locations in the calendar view. This are only some of the enhancements in this new version.

The following list represents the full changelog of version 5.1:

  • [#36]   Choice of calendars is not saved on page reload
  • [#42]   Flexible hour subperiods
  • [#159]   Attendees in Exchange plugin
  • [#949]   DPCalendar and Falang
  • [#1408]   RSEvents Pro plugin
  • [#2062]   Filter by Location
  • [#2555]   Filter by tag
  • [#2511]   Link to author contact page
  • [#2594]   Add address to attendee form
  • [#2402]   Support of attendees in ical
  • [#1065]   Update mail when changing the attendee
  • [#1215]   Display returns to current month after submitting new entry
  • [#2117]   Embedded Images and attachments are not loaded in Exchange Sync
  • [#2307]   Update Google library to prevent class loading conflicts
  • [#2326]   Creating location objects in database instead of Joomla cache
  • [#2343]   Increment end date on start change
  • [#2492]   Mini module include personal calendar/events
  • [#2514]   Upcoming event module description text not showing
  • [#2579]   Show CalDav Link in Calendar Overview
  • [#2582]   Invalid microdata markup
  • [#2583]   Change datestring in layout override
  • [#2562]   Bug in search for original events in backend
  • [#2512]   System message pushed away
  • [#2523]   List print view doesn't load events
  • [#2527]   Location tab cannot be selected on the edit form
  • [#2543]   Importing from JEvents results in an error
  • [#2578]   TZ switcher wrong redirect when no SEF
  • [#2585]   Upcoming module showing events not yet reached publishing date
  • [#2595]   Missing space in US location format

Best Regards

Allon Moritz aka laoneo
Founder of Digital Peak

webdav clients

In my previous post, I outlined some extensions to HTTP, the core protocol over which all of the World Wide Web – including the Joomla! CMS – operates. We’ve taken a brief overview of WebDAV, CalDAV, and CardDAV; their intended purposes, the features they present, and some of the real world areas in which they come in handy.

So how does one start using WebDAV or CalDAV? Riding on top of HTTP as both protocols do, they inherit the client-server architecture of HTTP; hence, both client and server applications are necessary to make it work. For WebDAV, clients are already built into most modern desktop OSes; Windows, OSX and Linux natively treat WebDAV shares as network drives/locations.

Additionally, the OSes mentioned previously, as well as both iOS and Android, have WebDAV clients available for download from their respective app libraries. WebDAV servers (e.g. IIS, Apache) and 3rd-party services (e.g. StorageMadeEasy) are also widely available for most modern desktop and mobile OSes. It is also possible to implement WebDAV functionality into a CMS like Joomla (and, in fact, has been done more than once), so it’s quite versatile.

Whether using WebDAV via a native client or via a 3rd-party application, it is always good to check and see whether both the WebDAV client and the server support HTTPS, or secure HTTP. You will be logging in to the WebDAV server using a standard username/password combination, so secure access will be a priority – especially if you are using WebDAV for collaboration on any sensitive work.

Further, WebDAV usually operates over the standard HTTP ports (80 for standard HTTP, 443 for HTTPS), unless the server was configured differently. If you are operating your own WebDAV installation for access to your private files, you might want to consider changing the default ports as well, to further increase security.

For CalDAV (and by extension, CardDAV), the situation is slightly more interesting. On Linux, both client (e.g. Mozilla Thunderbird) and server (e.g. Apache with mod_caldav) applications are readily available. While Apple’s iCal app natively supports CalDAV, Android’s Calendar app does not; you will have to download a CalDAV app from an app store. In addition, neither Windows Live Mail nor Microsoft Outlook supports CalDAV, either as a client or as a server; and getting CalDAV support without paying for it is no easy task. Luckily, other FOSS calendaring software for Windows that support CalDAV do exist. On Windows Phone, both CalDAV and CardDAV are supported for certain specific services, and others can be added.

technical caldav

In the second article of this series, I've written about how you can start using and deploying the WebDAV (and CalDAV/CardDAV) on your own systems, whether at the OS level, or at the CMS level (which Joomla! and Drupal, for instance, are capable of). In this post, let’s take a look at the technical aspects of the various extensions to HTTP; what their pros and cons are, and how you can use them at their best.

The first thing to understand is that from a technical perspective, WebDAV and all its derivative protocols are not APIs. That is to say, they do not specify how the protocols are implemented at the application level; merely how messages sent across the ‘wire’ (the Internet, in this case) are defined. The task of implementing a protocol, therefore, is comparatively simple, and it implies that any WebDAV client should be able to inter operate with any WebDAV server, regardless of platform (so a Joomla WebDAV client can exchange messages with a Microsoft IIS WebDAV server).

Unlike its own extensions CalDAV and CardDAV, WebDAV does not specify any specific format for the content that is transmitted across using the protocol. For CardDAV, the calendaring and scheduling information is required to be in the iCalendar format, while for CardDAV, contact details are required to be in the vCard format. This greatly simplifies the task of interpreting the information being received over the two protocols.

Like most other Internet application protocols (and their ‘parent’ protocol HTTP), WebDAV, CalDAV and CardDAV are all text-based. What this means is that all the commands and server responses are specified using text, rather than binary code. This is very much in line with the UNIX philosophy of keeping things text-based as much as possible (not surprising, seeing that the Internet uses the UNIX networking protocols TCP/IP), and means that most text-based tools can be used to work with WebDAV and its extensions, and any session logs would be human-readable.

This does not, however, mean that (like email) binary data has to be encoded in a text format. Because HTTP, the parent protocol, supports the direct transfer of binary data from server to client, WebDAV, CalDAV and CardDAV also supports the same – although in the case of CardDAV, since the underlying vCard format only supports binary data in the form of Base64-encoded text, it’s not very relevant. Similarly with CalDAV, where the iCalendar format also only supports the same thing. However, since WebDAV is often used as a network file system (what would today be called cloud storage), it fully uses HTTP’s ability to send and receive binary data.

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