Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How to Add RSS Items to Virto Calendar Web Part


Virto Calendar Web Part surpasses the built in SharePoint calendar functionality in many ways. Virto Calendar enables users to view all of their events from different data sources (SharePoint List, Microsoft Exchange Calendar or SQL Tables) in one single calendar! This surpasses the existing SharePoint calendar view's functionality by allowing users to specify the list or view, and also color code the displayed items by category of events (such as internal or external, view day, week, month, year, and Gantt view).



This article describes how to add items from RSS feeds to Virto Calendar Web Part. Adding RSS feeds to your calendar will allow the ability to display global events of your company, other sites’ events and any other events in a single calendar. By adding information from external sources, you will be able to plan your daily, weekly or monthly events effectively.

If you have Virto Calendar Web Part installed (http://www.virtosoftware.com/products/collaboration/virto-calendar-for-microsoft-sharepoint) and view the list of available data sources, you will not see RSS data source in the list. However, RSS uses a special XML-format for news feed, blogs and article announcements, and Virto Ajax Calendar Web Part 3.5 supports XML data sources. With this method, RSS can be added as a data source in Virto Calendar.

Note: public access to RSS must be set on the server where SharePoint is installed.

We will now give an example on how to add the Google news feed as an RSS data source to your Virto Calendar. The picture below shows the Google news feed as an RSS data source (http://news.google.com/news?cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&topic=h&num=10&output=rss).


First of all, you need to add Virto Ajax Calendar Web Part to a SharePoint site page and open the settings menu.


Then, expand the “Data Source Settings” menu and click “Create New Source”.


Define the following parameters in the new block displayed:

Source Name
Google News
Data Source
Xml file
Path to xml file
http://news.google.com/news?cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&topic=h&num=10&output=rss
XPath string for calendar events
//rss/channel/item
XPath string for calendar event title
title
XPath string for calendar event start date
pubDate
XPath strings for calendar event tooltips
description



“pubDate” parameter is used as the event start date in the example and the event will have no end date.

The result should be as follows:


The basic parameters are set. You can also define legend color in addition. Click “Save” to save the new data source and use “OK” to save the web part settings. 

The new data source is ready. RSS feed items will now be added to your Virto Calendar.



We have now described that by using XML data sources, you can add RSS feeds to your Virto calendar in just a few steps. All you need to do is change the URL in Path to xml file field and you’re all set!