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Issue 6.4


CalendarKit 1.2

Issue: 6.4 (May/June 2008)
Author: Dave Mancuso
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,783
Starting Page Number: 9
Article Number: 6405
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CalendarKit is one of the first products to come from Alacatia Labs. Alacatia Labs is a fairly new company with developers you likely know or may be familiar with (go to the http://alacatialabs.com "About Us" link to find out more). Their website is clean and simple, with a few goodies for the curious (the Toybox and the Tips and Tricks sections are definitely worth checking out).

CalendarKit 1.2 is a set of REALbasic classes that gives you access to the Mac OS X Leopard Calendar. The classes comprise an API for accessing the OS X calendar files in iCal 3, using the only supported way to access these files in Leopard. If you have CalendarKit, you're instantly able to connect iCal events and tasks to your application. You're able to read and write from your app to iCal calendars, adding or retrieving events and tasks as needed.

The documentation is very simple, just a web page of the available methods and properties, but the demo project is what you should open and explore right away. The sample project illustrates CalendarKit's functionality very clearly. Running the demo shows you your own Leopard calendars instantly, poured into an EditField. It read my own iCal 3 calendars, parsed my events and tasks, let me add events and tasks, and more. It's very quick as well. Better yet, the Observer class interfaces let you monitor calendars for changes so that your application can be calendar-aware if you need that functionality.

Virtually everything you can do with CalendarKit is shown to you in the demo with all methods and properties included. It comes ready to modify and plug straight into your own project. It goes right up to the point of almost doing listboxes for you (but you do have to do that yourself--really, you have to do something on your own, right? CalendarKit certainly meets you more than halfway). It gives you a huge boost forward to integrate your application tightly with OS X Leopard.

The standard version of CalendarKit definitely works as advertised. The source license version however, includes full access to source code, a nice extra. If you're heavily integrating it into a project or customizing it, the source license would be a good bet to buy.

Alacatia has designed crossplatform support into CalendarKit, but only Mac OS X 10.5 works for now. It's possible then that Windows or Linux support might be available in the future, as might remote server .ics files and perhaps even CalDAV? I suppose Tiger support would be nice -- I guess not everyone has jumped to Leopard yet. I would love to see CalendarKit extended in some of these ways, although it probably couldn't stay at such a low price. It's a steal for what it does.

End of article.