We’re super-excited about this LibCal v2 code update. It brings major new functionality to the system as well as several nice-to-haves and bug fixes:
- 2-Way Sync with Outlook for MyScheduler. With the previous update which covered Google Calendar 2-way sync, we now have full integration with two most widely used enterprise calendar platforms. You can embed MyScheduler widgets on any webpage so that your patrons and faculty can easily schedule research consultations and other appointments with librarians, without concerns of booking apointments during the time your Outlook calendar shows another commitment. LibCal will give you detailed statistics how many appointments you had, when they happened, with whom, etc. – a great way to keep track of your time and show evidence of building one-to-one relationships with patrons and your community.
- Expanded SAML Authentication Support. With LDAP, CAS, SAML, and Shibboleth support (we’re members of InCommon), you can easily restrict access to room bookings (and events) to only the members of your community. The expanded SAML support now enables admins to fine-tune permissions for groups i.e. to book specific groups of rooms in your system by SAML group affiliation attributes.
- More features: This update also brings improved mobile-view for room bookings pages, more customization options for button widgets, updated page templates for room bookings, etc.
Here’s more detail about each of these…
Outlook Integration with LibCal’s v2 My Scheduler
You can now push your Free/Busy Times from Outlook/Exchange into My Scheduler! This update is similar to the Google Calendar integration we announced last month. Many of you use Outlook for your personal calendaring, and until now, you had to manually remove availability times from My Scheduler whenever a new meeting came up. Duplicate that effort no more!
Configure My Scheduler to check your Outlook Calendar, and your busy times will be removed from the public side when someone books an appointment.
For more details & help getting this awesome new feature set up, check out our guide to My Scheduler / Outlook information (authentication required).
We know you’re wondering–what about Calendars and Room Bookings?! It’s not possible for those to sync automatically from Outlook into LibCal at this time due to the complexity of Events and Bookings, but we will be looking into more possibilities in the future.
Please note that Outlook Calendar Sync and Google Calendar Sync features are not available in LibCal 3/3/3 free installations.
Restrict SAML Users within Room Bookings
We recently announced authentication support for Room Bookings, and the feedback so far has been great! We’re continuing to expand this integration, and have great news for folks who are using SAML to authenticate users. You can now permit access to book specific groups of rooms in your system by SAML group affiliation attributes.
This is perfect for sites who permit only specific groups of users (like Faculty, Undergraduates, Users) to book specific spaces. Let’s say you have a group of instruction classrooms which should only be reserved by Faculty and Staff, but you also have a group of study rooms that should only be reserved by Undergraduate and Graduate students, this integration will be right up your alley!
We’ve also added a few additional items in this release, including:
- Button formatting for both MyScheduler and Room Booking widgets – create a graphic, button-y widget with fully customizable colors and button text
- Improved Mobile-optimized view for the public Room Booking page
- Updated Room Booking Email Templates – added a new token for Group Nickname
- Room Booking Admin View – Now when you add availability for particular date ranges, the calendar display will show those dates in bold font (so you know which days do/don’t have availability added)
As always, thanks to everyone for your ideas and feedback!