Calendar widgets in Elementi 2016

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This page is about the calendar data-driven widgets included into Elementi 2016. For other versions, see below. Calendar example

Introduction

Calendars are commonly used to store one-time or repetitive events, like: meetings, room bookings, classes etc. The calendar widgets can be used to include the content of calendar files (.ics) within digital signage projects.

The following calendar data source types (further called channels) are supported:

  • ICS calendar file
    The ICS files are plain-text files containing calendaring and scheduling information using the iCalendar data format. The iCalendar is a standard for calendar data exchange, such as events, meetings, tasks etc. Most calendar tools, like Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Calendar (formerly iCal), IBM Lotus Notes, Yahoo! Calendar etc., are able to export the data as iCalendar (.ics) file.
  • Google Calendar
    This is a time-management web and mobile application created by Google. Google Calendar supports exporting calendar data through a permanent HTTP URL containing iCalendar data, either at a public or "private" (hard to guess) address. The web link for the location of the calendar can be found in Google Calendar Settings in the Private Address section. See more about Google Calendar.
Note Notes:

Video tutorial

Calendar widgets

Under the "Calendars" folder of Elementi 2016's widget library, you can find eight ready-to-use widgets that automatically display data extracted from a calendar data source:

Calendar widgets
  • Text Bar
    Displays text content using a fixed number of lines and applying a bottom-to-top & line-by-line scrolling effect whenever the entire text doesn't fit into the widget area.
  • Text Ticker
    Displays text content using a continuous horizontal scrolling effect. The font size is adjusted automatically for the text to fit into the widget area.
  • Text Roll
    Displays text content using a continuous vertical scrolling effect. The font size is adjusted automatically for the selected number of lines to fit into the predefined area.
  • Slideshow
    Displays slides composed of text & media layers, which are automatically filled out with data retrieved from the calendar. The slides are displayed one after another, with or without a transition effect in between, similarly to a playlist.
  • Horizontal Table, Vertical Table, Table
    Displays slides composed of multiple cells of text & media layers, which are automatically filled out with data retrieved from the calendar. The slides are displayed one after another, with or without a transition effect in between, similarly to a playlist.
  • Daily Events
    Displays a limited number of events, grouped by weekday of up to maximum 10 consecutive days - by default, up to three events for the next three days, including today, are shown.

Configuration

Each of the widgets above can be customized using the options provided under "Properties" tab - for more details go to the dedicated page of each widget type, linked above.

To edit the properties related to the data source, click on the Data Properties button. This opens the "Data Properties" dialog, which offers different parameters depending on the selected channel:

  • ICS File (default)
  • Google Calendar
Note Note:
At any point, the data source configuration can be tested by clicking on the "Test..." button.

ICS file channel

When the channel option is set to "ICS File", the "Data Properties" dialog offers the following parameters:

"Data Properties" dialog for calendar widgets - ICS file channel
  • Channel
    Select the data source type between "ICS File" (default) and "Google Calendar".
  • URI
    Enter the URI to the ICS file - this can be a relative path into the project or a remote HTTP(S) address.
  • Max count
    Enable this option and specify the maximum number of events to be kept from the data set (starting from the first row).
  • Refresh
    Specify the period (5m, 10m, ... , 24h) after which the widget should try to automatically refresh the data. You can also enter this as a number followed by s (implicit), m or h; the minimum refresh value is 10 seconds for ICS channel and 60 seconds for the others. This is useful when the widget is running in a loop.
    Select "When document opens" when the widget is periodically opened from an external document (playlist, layout etc.) and automatic data refresh is not needed.
  • Starts
    Specify the starting date / time for the data to be displayed - events before this date are not included in the final data set. The following options are possible:
    • Date
      Specify an absolute date / time for filtering the data.
    • Relative
      Select a date relative to the moment when the calendar data is parsed, such as: "Now", "Today", "Yesterday", "This Monday", "Current Month", "Last Year" etc.
    • Custom
      Specify a starting date using a custom date string. This option is only available in Elementi X.
  • Ends
    Specify the ending date / time for the data to be displayed. No events after this date will be included in the final data set. The following options are possible:
    • Date
      Specify an absolute end date / time.
    • Relative
      Select a date relative to the moment when the data is parsed, such as: "Now", "Today", "Tomorrow", This Sunday", "Current Month", "Next Year" etc.
    • Duration
      Specify a duration relative to the starting time specified under "From".
    • Custom
      Enter an ending date using a custom date string. This option is only available in Elementi X.
    • Indefinite
      Select this when the end date doesn't matter.
Note Note:
To insert a line break in the event description of an external ICS calendar item, use the line feed character ("\n").

Google calendar channel

Google Calendar is a time-management web and mobile application created by Google.

Security is a fundamental element to consider when giving access to your personal data and we've created our data-driven widgets with that in mind. To ensure secure access and permission control, without exposing any user credentials, Cockpit must authorize any request for third-party data. For that, you need to do the following:
  1. Create a Cockpit account, if you don't have one.
  2. Register your Elementi license into your Cockpit account.
  3. Add your players into your Cockpit account.
  4. Connect your Google account to your Cockpit account.
See more about secure data access.
"Data Properties" dialog for calendar widgets - Google calendar channel

When the channel option is set to "Google Calendar", the "Data Properties" dialog offers the above parameters, plus

  • Account
    Select one of the connected Google accounts or click "Connect account..." if none was previously connected.
  • Calendar
    Select the calendar from which to get the events.

Google channel connection

When selecting this channel in the "Data Properties" dialog, your existing Google accounts are automatically retrieved from Cockpit and displayed in the "Account" drop-down box. If you need to connect a new account, follow these steps:

  1. Select "Connect account..." option .
  2. Click the link displayed within the "Connect account..." dialog to open it in a browser.
  3. If you are not signed into your Cockpit account, you are asked to do that.
  4. Cockpit then checks that your Elementi license is registered into your Cockpit account; if not, you are asked to do that.
  5. You are then redirected to the Google website. Log into your account there, if you are not already.
  6. Then, you need to authorize the SpinetiX app to access the specified information of your Google account.
  7. Once done, you are redirected back to Cockpit channels page and you can find your account listed under "Connected Accounts".
  8. Then, return to Elementi and click the "OK" button within the "Connect Account..." dialog.
  9. The list of accounts is refreshed and you can select the new one from the "Account" drop-down box.
Note Note:
The Google account can be disconnected at any time from Cockpit from the "Channels" page.

Troubleshooting

  • Displaying a calendar takes some time, freezes or even triggers an HMP restart (or safe mode).
    Most probably the calendar file has grown too much and the HMP requires too much time to parse it - if so, the quickest solution is to remove all the past events from the calendar.

See also

This page was last modified on 8 February 2019, at 13:46.