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The network feature allows sharing events between several computers running "UK's Kalender". Each time you add, modify or delete a shared event or category, the changes will appear on all other computers. Those shared events are maintained in parallel to your private events, so only those events and categories that you explicitly declare as shared will be visible for the other participants.
"UK's Kalender" makes local copies from the shared events, so these events will be available even if the computer hosting the shared event file is not accessible. If you modify a shared event while the computer hosting the shared event file is not running, these modifications will be buffered locally and entered into the shared event file as soon as it is available again. This way it is possible to create a calendar network even on small networks where the computers are not constantly up.
The actual state of the shared events and todos, i.e. undone, snoozing or done, is not synchronized. So each participant will for sure receive a reminder.
UK's Kalender uses a rather simple approach for synchronization, therefore no special server software is required. On the other hand does this simple technique lead to some restrictions concerning the number of active workstations. 20 to 30 workstations should be okay, as long as you do not change the default synchronization interval of 30 s. It might last up to double the length of the synchronization interval from entering a shared event until it appears on the other connected workstations.
Important hint for migrating to version 2.2.0
From version 2.2.0 on, the synchronization of shared categories is supported. Unfortunately this leads to the paradoxical situation, that with the first start of the calendar all categories with enabled "Shared" flag will be deleted, as the shared event file does not hold any categories, yet. The easiest workaround is to replace the shared event file with a file of the same name but with no content, that means 0 bytes size. While replacing the event file, all instances of the calendar must be completely closed. After replacing the shared event file, you can start the calendar that has the shared categories you want to distribute to other clients. The calendar detects the 0 byte file and will start a fail safe routine that builds a new shared event file now including the shared categories. From then on, the calendar will behave as usual.
Please take also care to update all installations of "UK's Kalender" simultaneously to version 2.2.0!
In a larger network usually a server for storing files is available. This server is probably always running and only shut down for maintenance. If such a server is available, it is certainly the best place to store the shared event file. Simply create a folder on this server and put an empty event file into it.
You may not use a copy of your local event file or any other event file that already holds local events as shared event file, as synchronization will not work properly with those files!
You can easily create an empty event file by first choosing "File/Event File/New" from the menu and then "File/Event File/Save as...". Make sure that all users or user groups that want to participate in the calendar network have read and write access to the shared event file. On each client, activate the option "Using shared file on the intranet" and enter the correct path to the shared event file under "Extras/Options...", tab "Network". Try to use the UNC path as this will not change as easy as a path to a mapped network drive. Make sure the desired synchronization and write access options are set (see chapter 3.2.2 for details). The calendar network is now ready to operate. There is no need to install "UK's Kalender" on the server!
In a home network usually the computers are not constantly on. It is still possible to set up a calendar network, as "UK's Kalender" buffers all required synchronization steps until the shared event file is available. For best performance it is a good idea to choose the most used computer for hosting the shared event file.
Create a new folder on the chosen computer (e.g. "C:\Public\Calendar"). Now create an empty event file by first choosing "File/Event File/New" from the menu and then "File/Event File/Save as...". and move it into the newly created folder. To make this event file available for the other users you need to share the folder containing the event file. From the context menu of the file manager choose "Sharing..." and make this folder public. It is required to allow read and write access to the folder. Sometimes it is not sufficient to share the folder. You can test this by trying to copy a file via network from a different computer into the shared folder. If you are asked for a user name and a password, the other user is not recognized by the computer hosting the shared event file. In this case you'll have to create a new user account on the computer hosting the shared event file, using the account data of the user you want to allow access to the file. If the new user can log on to your computer you are on the right way and it should be possible now for this new user to access the shared event file from its own computer without being asked for a user name and password.
Just like with the set up using a server it is required now to configure the individual installations of "UK's Kalender". Choose "Extras/Options..." from the menu, activate the option "Using shared file on the intranet" and enter the path to the shared event file on the "Network" tab. The path is created from two backslashes followed by the computer name, a single backslash and the path to the event file. Following the example from above it should look something like this: "\\PETERS_COMPUTER\Public\Calendar\network.dat". Don't forget to configure the desired synchronization and write access options (see chapter 3.2.2 for details). The calendar network is now ready to operate.
To access a shared event file from anywhere in the world without using VPN the FTP option is the right choice. To use this option, you'll need a valid FTP account. Upload an empty event file to a directory of your choice on the FTP server. You'll have to use a FTP client such as "FileZilla" or similar for this. Now choose "Extras/Options..." from the menu and open the "Network" tab. Activate the option "Using shared file on a FTP server" and enter the server address, your account data and the location of the shared event file on the server. If you use a dialup connection for accessing the FTP server, it is also good idea to disable the automatic synchronization.
The calendar has a toolbar button that reflects the current synchronization state:
|Local and remote event file are not in sync|
|Synchronization between local and remote event file is in progress|
|Local and remote event file are in sync|
|There was an error while trying to synchronize the local and remote event file|
If the icon shows "Not in sync", this means that there were changes to the local event file that are not already entered into the shared event file. If the icon shows "In sync", this means that all changes to the local event file were successfully entered into the shared event file. Nevertheless the files could be still out of sync, as the shared event file might be altered by another client meanwhile.
To test your connection, make sure your computer is online (if necessary) and press the toolbar button for synchronization. It should show the hour glass for a short time and finally the "In sync" state. If it shows the exclamation mark, you'll have to check your settings under "Extras/Options..." and also your Windows access rights if you are using a shared file on the local network.
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