View Exchange and Google Calendars in iCal and on the iPhone

March 15th, 2009

I’ve been using a few different calendars on Google Calendar to keep track of my personal events and reminders for a while. I had a calendar for general events, one for birthdays, and one for work meetings I needed to remember while not at work (e.g., needed to wake up earlier for). When I was at work, I used Entourage on my work computer to see the Exchange calendar with my daily schedule.

When my work schedule started to include more meetings, I wanted to be able to see my whole day, work and non-work, where I look at my calendars: iCal on my home and work Macs, Google Calendar, and Calendar.app on my iPhone. While not a perfect solution (it’s read-only, and only as up-to-date as your last sync), these steps will accomplish that, and for free, without any setup or subscription costs. Read on to see how I did it.

What you need

  • Microsoft Entourage 2008 set up to access your Exchange account/calendar
  • iCal (Mac OS X 10.5 version)
  • An account with iCal Exchange, which you’ll publish your Exchange calendar to (using iCal), so you can subscribe to it elsewhere

Steps to follow

These steps were for my setup: a work Mac with Entourage 2008 and a home Mac where I sync my iPhone. Single-computer and iPhoneless setups may also be able to find something helpful here.

  1. Copy your Exchange calendar to iCal with Entourage 2008

    1. On your computer with Entourage, open Entourage Preferences, then select Sync Services (under General Preferences in the sidebar).
    2. Check Synchronize events and tasks with iCal and .Mac, then hit OK. Entourage will ask you how you want to share data between iCal and Entourage. Choose the last option: Delete information from Macintosh Address Book, iCal, and .Mac.

      Take precautions (or don’t do this) if you have a MobileMe/.Mac subscription, or a calendar named "Entourage" in iCal that you use for something else.

      Selecting the Combine information option instead will let you add events to the iCal version on this computer and have them appear in your Exchange calendar. I had events duplicate themselves whenever Entourage and iCal synchronized, however, resulting in more annoyances than just using the option above and going to Entourage whenever I want to add or change an Exchange event. YMMV.

    After a few minutes, you should be able to open iCal and see a calendar named "Entourage" containing all the events from your Exchange calendar.

  2. Publish the iCal copy of your Exchange calendar to iCal Exchange

    Once you’ve verified that all your events are showing up in iCal’s Entourage calendar, publish it to iCal Exchange.

    1. Right-click on the Entourage calendar in the iCal sidebar and select Publish.
    2. In the options dialog that comes up, change Publish on from MobileMe to a Private Server, then enter your iCal Exchange information (the Base URL is http://icalx.com/public/[username]).

      You can publish to http://icalx.com/private/[username] instead to password-protect your calendar, but then you won’t be able to view or subscribe to it in Google Calendar.

    3. Check Publish changes automatically so iCal Exchange will get the updated version of your Exchange calendar whenever Entourage and iCal sync. Make sure the other information you want to publish is selected as well – checking Publish alarms will give you popup reminders on your iPhone.

    When this is working, you should be able to see an HTML version of your Exchange calendar at http://www.icalx.com/public/[username]/Entourage.

  3. Subscribe to your Exchange calendar

    Now that you’re publishing your Exchange calendar to http://www.icalx.com/public/[your username]/Entourage.ics, subscribe to that URL in the other calendar applications where you want to see it.

    • Subscription instructions for Google Calendar

      Google Calendar will occasionally take a little while to update its version of published calendars. Short of deleting and re-subscribing, you can only wait for this to happen since there isn’t a way to force a refresh.

    • Subscription instructions for iCal

      In the info dialog that pops up after you subscribe, uncheck Alarms (so they don’t get removed) if you want popup reminders on your phone. To minimize the redundant notifications that can result, also check one of the Turn off alarms options in iCal Advanced preferences.

      if you’re seeing an outdated version of your published calendar, refresh all calendars in iCal (via menu item Calendars > Refresh All). I’ve seen refreshing only that specific calendar fail to update it.

    You should now be able to view your Exchange calendar in your applications of choice!

  4. Sync your calendars to your phone

    If you haven’t already done so, add your Google calendars to iCal.

    Once you have all your desired calendars (both Google and Exchange) in iCal on the computer where you sync your iPhone, just use iTunes to sync your phone to iCal.

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Comments (2) RSS

  1. Great article! Thank you very much. This was very helpful. I cannot wait for entourage to get with the program and support subscribing to other calendar formats like webcal and ics… why they don’t already is a big mystery to me.

    best,
    –Jeff

  2. Thanks a lot, after many hours of seeking i thank GOD I found your site, I was missing the /entourage in order to sync the google calendar with the ical exchange, thaks a lot you are the best

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