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"Add to Google Calendar" feature
Justin Ober
A number of clients have contacted Support regarding the "Add to Google Calendar" feature throwing an error when clicked, telling users that they do not have access to the event in question. I wanted to explain what's going on, and how site users can display school events on their own Google calendars going forward.

This feature was originally meant to allow site visitors to add Calendar Manager events to their own personal Google Calendars with a single click. Due to changes that Google has made to their Calendar product this feature isn't working correctly anymore, so we had to deactivate it. Let's take a look at what happened, and how users can work around it.

What had been happening was that if a site user, let's call her "Alice," clicked "Add to Google Calendar," then Alice's Google Calendar popped up and the Calendar Manager event was duplicated on her own personal Google Calendar. So far so good: that's how it's supposed to work for everybody. The recent changes that Google made affected what happened to the next user who clicked that link.

Let's say that Bob comes along after Alice and clicks the same "Add to Google Calendar" link. Poor Bob doesn't get to add the Calendar Manager event to his Google Calendar. Instead, because Alice has already clicked that link, Google (for some reason) considers Alice's copy of the event to be the source. Bob is therefore directed to Alice's Google Calendar to get an iCal feed link from Alice's Google Calendar account. Since Bob doesn't have permission to access events on Alice's calendar, Bob encounters an error and is unable to add the event to his own Google Calendar. Bob ends up sad and frustrated.

This is all handled on the Google side of the operation, so Finalsite has no access to edit or control those URLs.

So how can site visitors add Finalsite calendar events to their own Google calendars?

Instead of clicking "Add to Google Calendar," users can click "Get Google iCal URL" when they open up the Calendar Feeds tool:

Get Google iCal URL

The window will display a web address that users can copy and paste.

Google Calendar URL on a list of available calendars

Finally, users go to their own Google Calendar, click the down arrow next to "Other Calendars" on the left to expand the menu there, and select "Add by URL."

Add By URL menu item on Google Calendar

Pasting the URL that was copied from the school website into that field causes Google Calendar to pull in that calendar's events directly from Calendar Manager (and not from anybody else's Google calendar!) Everybody stays happy and frustration-free!

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