News from the product desk: Calendar subscriptions

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Stay on top of your projects with calendar subscriptions

Starting with OpenProject 13.0, you can now synchronize your work packages with external calendar clients like Open-Xchange, Mozilla Thunderbird, Google Calendar and Apple Calendar. Calendar subscriptions let you keep an eye on the scheduling and key details of relevant work packages in any of your projects from any device, including your phone, without having to log in to OpenProject.

What are calendar subscriptions?

An iCalendar subscription, also known as iCal or webcal subscription, is a widely adopted standard that allows users to subscribe to a calendar from an external client or service. This subscription creates a live connection between OpenProject and your calendar software such that changes to your work packages in OpenProject are automatically and instantly reflected in your external calendar.

This feature can be useful for keeping track of milestones, product releases or vacation calendars (see example below). Since any work package table view can be displayed as a calendar in OpenProject, you have full control of what you can track with calendar subscriptions.

How the calendar subscription feature works

To use this feature, the calendar module must first be enabled for your project. With the correct permissions, you can then either subscribe to an existing calendar or create a new one.

Screenshot Calendar Subscription with OpenProject - How to navigate to the feature

Once you have the calendar you want, you can:

  1. Click on the [⋮] (more) button and select Subscribe to calendar.
  2. In the modal that appears, give the calendar URL (the token) a unique name.
  3. Click on Copy URL.
  4. Paste this URL in your chosen calendar client

Screenshot Calendar Subscription with OpenProject - Settings

Now that you have subscribed to the calendar, your external client will stay synchronized with OpenProject. Changes you make to work packages visible in the calendar, such as change of subject, start date, finish date, duration and assignee, will be instantly reflected in your calendar without requiring a manual refresh.

Here’s an example of how a subscribed calendar from OpenProject would look in an external calendar application such as Apple calendar:

Screenshot Calendar Subscription with OpenProject - Example view in external calendar

Benefits of subscribing to an OpenProject calendar

If you are often on the move but need to keep a close eye on your projects, calendar subscriptions allow you to quickly view key work package details from mobile devices using the native calendar app, without having to connect to your OpenProject instance.

You are not limited to pre-defined calendars. Because OpenProject lets you create private calendars using your own set of filter criteria and even include other projects, you have full control of which work packages you would like to see in your calendar client.

You can even create multiple calendars showing different or overlapping sets of work packages, such as “Tasks assigned to me”, “Prioritized tasks assigned to members of my team” or “Tasks that belong to projects A and B with a particular value for custom field C”.

Availability and limitations of the calendar subscription feature

Calendar subscriptions are available starting with version 13.0. Please upgrade if you would like to use this feature.

Note that calendar subscriptions are one-way. Changes in OpenProject are reflected in the external client, but you are not able to modify work package attributes directly in the client (not least for security reasons).

It is also important to remember that anyone who has a calendar subscription link you generate has access to information of all work packages contained in that calendar. We suggest that you do not share the URL with anybody else. However, OpenProject allows you to revoke any previously-created calendar tokens if you suspect someone unauthorised might have access to it.

To learn more about this feature, head on over to our user guide.

Do you have feedback for us?

Version 13.0 of OpenProject introduced a number of new features, including calendar subscriptions and baseline. Are these features useful to you? What can we do to improve them? We would love to hear from you.

As an open source company, we work in the open. If you would like to help debug this feature or even contribute to it, join our Community instance to report bugs, request features and get early access to upcoming releases.