METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR GROUP COORDINATION OF CALENDAR EVENTS

US 2012 84 286A1

drawing #0

Show all 9 drawings

An approach for managing calendar information received from a plurality of data sources is described. Calendar information associated respectively with a plurality of data sources is retrieved by a calendar management platform. For each of the data sources, metadata specifying a contributor of the corresponding calendar information and for relating distribution of the calendar information is determined. Based on the first and second metadata, a data view for the calendar information is generated.

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Claims

1. A method comprising:
retrieving calendar information associated respectively with a plurality of data sources;
for each of the data sources, determining, from the calendar information, first metadata specifying a contributor of the corresponding calendar information;
for each of the data sources, determining, from the calendar information, a second metadata relating to distribution of the calendar information; and
generating a data view for the calendar information based on the first metadata and the second metadata.

Show 7 dependent claims

9. An apparatus comprising:
at least one processor; and
at least one memory including computer program code for one or more programs,
the at least one memory and the computer program code configured to, with the at least one processor, cause the apparatus to perform at least the following,
retrieve calendar information associated respectively with a plurality of data sources,
for each of the data sources, determine, from the calendar information, first metadata specifying a contributor of the corresponding calendar information,
for each of the data sources, determine, from the calendar information, a second metadata relating to distribution of the calendar information, and
generate a data view for the calendar information based on the first metadata and the second metadata.

Show 7 dependent claims

17. A system comprising:
one or more platforms configured to provide a cloud-based calendar service, each of the platforms being configured to,
retrieve calendar information associated respectively with a plurality of data sources,
for each of the data sources, determine, from the calendar information, first metadata specifying a contributor of the corresponding calendar information,
for each of the data sources, determine, from the calendar information, a second metadata relating to distribution of the calendar information, and
generate a data view for the calendar information based on the first metadata and the second metadata.

Show 3 dependent claims

Description

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Typical calendar applications allow users to schedule events, arrangement meetings, plan out tasks and activities and keep track of important dates (e.g., birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). Group and enterprise based calendar applications also are routinely used to facilitate peer-to-peer scheduling of events. For example, a user may schedule a meeting and select a group of attendees from an enterprise list to invite. Each of the attendees selected receive the meeting request to their respective calendar views. Users may also employ entirely different calendar applications to manage their other roles, tasks or responsibilities. For example, a user may use an online calendar for maintaining and scheduling school events while employing an entirely different calendar application for personal or family use. Unfortunately, as independent tools, events posted to one calendar are not automatically applied to the other calendars. Still further, there is no way to coordinate and share calendar information among different associated peers who may also employ a myriad of calendar applications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various exemplary embodiments are illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements and in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagram of a system capable of managing calendar information received from multiple data sources, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a diagram of a calendar management platform for enabling the sharing of calendar information between one or more devices for executing different calendar applications, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a ladder diagram showing a process for enabling the outputting of calendar information, according to an exemplary embodiment;

FIGS. 4A and 4B are flowcharts of processes for managing calendar information retrieved from multiple data sources, according to various embodiments;

FIGS. 5A and 5B are diagrams of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) of devices for presenting a data view for calendar information, according to an exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a diagram of a computer system that can be used to implement various exemplary embodiments; and

FIG. 7 is a diagram of a chip set that can be used to implement various exemplary embodiments.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A preferred apparatus, method and software for managing calendar information received from a plurality of data sources is described. In the following description, for the purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth to provide a thorough understanding of the preferred embodiments of the invention. It is apparent, however, that the preferred embodiments may be practiced without these specific details or with an equivalent arrangement. In other instances, well-known structures and devices are shown in block diagram form in order to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the preferred embodiments of the invention.

Although various exemplary embodiments are described with respect to calendar applications, it is contemplated that these embodiments have applicability to any software application capable of receiving input pertaining to events, tasks and activities to be coordinated respective to a specified time frame as well as outputting data pertaining to events, tasks and activities to be coordinated respective to a specified time frame. This includes project management software, personal planning applications, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, event planning software, to-do-list applications, appointment tracking applications, as well as other like technologies that are available for direct execution by a computing device or accessible for operation by a computing device via a network (e.g., online tools).

FIG. 1 is a diagram of a system capable of managing calendar information received from multiple data sources, in accordance with an exemplary embodiment. In various embodiments, a plurality of data sources provide calendar information for use with respect to one or more calendar applications available for execution by one or more user devices. A calendar management platform 103, according to certain embodiments, acts as an intermediary service for enabling coordination, arrangement, translation and sharing of calendar information between different calendar applications. In certain embodiments, data sources pertain to any device or network location for rendering, generating or conveying calendar information that is useful for execution or use by a calendar application. By way of example, data sources may pertain to one or more user devices 101a-101n that are configured to provide calendar information as generated by or for a calendar application 119a-119n of the device. Calendar applications 119a-119n may be installed directly onto devices 101a-101n for execution as a standalone or integrated software application.

In another example, data sources may pertain to third party data sources 117, which may comprise one or more servers, application platforms and/or hosted solutions for providing calendar information with respect to a calendar application 119u. The calendar application 119u may be implemented as an online, network or web-based application or service that is accessed from a graphical user interface (GUI) of the user devices 101a-101n. Content 119v may also be provided by the third party data source 117 in connection with a calendar application 119u. By way of example, the third party data source 117 may provide content pertaining to a venue specified in connection with a scheduled event, content pertaining to directions of a location for a scheduled meeting, articles associated with a scheduled task, etc. In certain embodiments, content is any data capable of being rendered, presented and/or manipulated by a user device 101a-101n, and particularly that for use in connection with supporting calendar applications 119u. It is noted in certain instances that content 119v may be provided as calendar information, associated with calendar information as metadata, or a combination thereof.

As presented, data sources pertain to both physical user devices 101a-101n and network based sources 117. For illustration purposes, the term data sources will pertain to either of these representations for the conveying and/or generating calendar information unless expressly stated. Also, in certain embodiments, calendar information includes any data for use by a calendar application 119a-119n and 119v for representing as an event, task, person, group or activity in association with a schedule. By way of example, data pertaining to a specific event (e.g., meeting, concert or social function) may include a date, a start and end time, a subject or name of the event, a location or physical resource for hosting the event, a recurrence setting, a status setting (e.g., out of office, free, busy), a priority setting, a response urgency, one or more associated users or groups, an event category, a note, or other data. In the context of a calendar application associated with customer relationship management (CRM), project management, production planning or other tools, calendar information may also include customer profile data, sales transaction data, human resource records, work orders, inventory lists, trend data or the like.

Still further, calendar information may also pertain to metadata for enabling execution of a calendar application 119a-119n and 119v. As will be discussed later, the metadata may be useful for specifying a contributor of the corresponding calendar information, relating to distribution of the calendar information, specifying a filter for a type of event to output to a user group according to the distribution, etc. For purposes of illustration, it is assumed that calendar information pertains to any of the above described examples, including metadata, for being applied to or generated by a calendar application 119a-119n and 119u. Calendar information may be stored to a respective data storage 109a-109n of the devices 101a-101n, along with any related content 119v, for subsequent retrieval by respective calendar applications 119a-119n and 119v. Data storage 109a-109n can take various forms of memory, as explained with respect to FIGS. 6 and 7, or be external to the user devices 101a-101n

Typically, a user may employ calendar applications for maintaining details regarding their events and/or activities. For example, a user may use an employer or enterprise provided calendar application (e.g., Outlook, Lotus Notes, internal tools) for scheduling and maintaining data regarding work related tasks. Such applications may be configured to the employer's network, therefore enabling calendar information among co-workers and other affiliates (e.g., peers) to be shared readily. Under this scenario, users may post meetings to a calendar for all to see, interact and share meeting and event information, schedule and reserve facility resources, etc. Consequently, interactivity among users around the calendar application is only possible when the users are subscribed to the same network and use the same calendar application. External users, who may also happen to use different calendar applications, cannot readily partake in the shared viewing, scheduling or coordinating of calendar information.

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