Every company has to juggle with a number of different projects. The inconvenience is that there are several required tools necessary and it is time consuming to keep all updated with the needed information. To manage projects and the required tools more effectively it is beneficial to have one single overview of all relevant project dates.
Office Calendars for Confluence is a secure and intuitive solution to connect Confluence with the Microsoft Outlook. Confluence is a software developed by the Australian company Atlassian and it is used very often for project planning tasks like meeting agendas and notes. Just due to the composition of both it allows to better plan projects, by overlaying all relevant dates. This combination is a natural fit which brings the power of Outlook calendars to Confluence and thereby increases the scope of Microsoft. It permits you to open Office calendars directly in Confluence in a simple and quick way and get information of involved team members at a glance. Thanks to the storage on Office 365 the information are always up-to-date and synchronized without any extra effort.
What it does
Personal and shared Office calendars, important Jira milestones and Trello dates can be combined in the Office Calendars for Confluence to boost the productivity of one project. Team meetings can be easily scheduled in the project space in Confluence since availabilities can be checked over and a quick reaction of schedule changes can be done, all within the same view. This leads to an always up-to date information in your Office calendars.
How I built it
It Is an SPA (Single page application) completely written In ReactJS. We used the Open Source FullCalendar(https://github.com/fullcalendar/fullcalendar) to show the calendar and used Graph as a DataSource to connect with Office365. For the UI we used FabricUI /Atlaskit Components. For the connectivity with Office, we used the ADAL library.
Challenges I ran into
The Calendar Sharing Permissions in Outlook are quite complex and not fully supported by Microsoft Graph. Since this was our first project completely written in ReactJS, we made some mistakes early on and that’s why state management become important real quick. Another challenge was that Outlook Groups currently require Admin rights to work with.
What I learned
ReactJS Is awesome ;-) There are so many great components that helps us to build the UI so quickly. So we learned a lot about state-of-the-art web development Graph Is a powerful data source but still needs some polishing for edge-cases. (Shared mailboxes, etc)
What's next for Office Calendar for Confluence
Our vision for Office Calendar for Confluence is to make it accessible without Confluence. We also want to take a look into Azure Al to schedule meetings more efficiently and to get the perfect overview we would like to add more calendar sources.