Building a Top-Level Container Calendar in 25Live Publisher

Which versions of Series25 components are you using?

These articles have been prepared for schools using 25Live Pro and 25Live Publisher.

What is a Top-Level Calendar?

A top-level calendar is a calendar that is composed of one or more sub-calendars.  A sub-calendar is a calendar feed published as a sub-calendar to a top-level calendar.  The key point is that to create a top-level/sub-calendar framework, the sub-calendars all have to be published as sub-calendars in the feed publication process in 25Live.  A top-level calendar can either be created as an empty container or it may be its own feed of events.  For example, an Athletics calendar is one of the best examples of a potential top-level/sub-calendar framework.  You could publish a feed of overarching Athletics division events that cross athletic teams as the top-level calendars.  Then you would publish individual sub-calendars for each of your intercollegiate athletic teams.  Taken together, they represent the entirety of event scheduling for athletics and the relationship is represented by the top-level/sub-calendar framework.

Combining the Concept of Top-Level Calendars with Mix-ins

If you only wanted to publish the top-level calendar on your web page, you could use the Publish Settings in that calendar to mix-in all of the sub-calendars.  Then, when you place the calendar view spud on your webpage, you get the top-level calendar and all of its sub-calendars in one calendar view spud.  This works great in the example of our Athletics calendar where the top-level calendar would go on the main Athletics web page and then the sub-calendars might go on team specific pages as stand-alone calendars.

Building a Top-Level Container Calendar

To build an empty top-level container calendar in 25Live Publisher:

  1. Locate the Tasks options and click Create Calendar.
  2. The Create a New Calendar window will open where you will build the container calendar for your mix-ins.  The settings for this new calendar are contained in seven groups:  Calendar Name, Event Templates, Relationship to Other Calendars, Mix In To Publications, Enabled Features, Default Event Settings, and Display Options.
    1. The Calendar Name group contains two settings:  Calendar name and Web name.
      1. The Calendar name field should contain the name you want to give to your new mixed-in container calendar.  This is a required field.  So, for instance, let's say this calendar will be the container for your campus master calendar, you might name it, Campus Master Calendar.
      2. The Web name field should contain the web name which is used by the spud code when you Publish the calendar.  It is optional at this point but if you do not enter it now, it will be created for you when you publish this container calendar.  It is a best practice to go ahead and enter your preferred web name for this calendar.  It is best to use the following naming convention similar to this:  Your database instance name-campus-master-calendar, where you would replace Your database instance name with the name of your 25Live instance.  This identifies this calendar as part of your calendar feeds.
    2. The Event Templates group contains options for Available templates and Default template.  Remember that in the case of event templates they are created in Publisher as your events cross from 25Live to Publisher via the feed.  So, each event type becomes its own event template.
      1. The Available templates setting would be used if you were able to create events in 25Live Publisher for this container calendar.  Since all events must flow from 25Live Pro to 25Live Publisher, you may leave this setting to its default.  Only events and their associated event types will have templates.  And since this is a mixed-in calendar container, it will contain no events of its own.
      2. The Default template can be selected from any event template currently available in Publisher.  However, since you will not be creating events on this calendar, you may simply accept the default setting of Standard Event.
    3. The Relationship To Other Calendars group contains settings denoting whether this calendar is a top-level calendar or a sub-calendar.  For a container for a top-level calendar, we will accept the defaults.
      1. The Top-level calendar setting controls whether or not this container calendar will be treated as a top-level calendar.  Since this container calendar will function as our top-level calendar, accept the default response of Yes.
      2. The Sub-calendar of setting is defaulted to None - This is a top-level calendar.  You will notice that the option of altering this is grayed out.  That is in keeping with the fact that this is a top-level calendar and therefore it is not a sub-calendar.
    4. The Mix In to Publications group contains a list of all your current calendar publications.  You could choose to mix-in the calendars that will be on this container at this time or you may wait until you Publish the container calendar.  As a best practice, it is better to perform your mix-in operations during the Publish Settings phase.
    5. The Enabled Features group contains only one setting:  Allow event registration.  Since the event registration module is not turned on in 25Live Publisher, change the response to No for this container calendar.
    6. The Default Event Settings group contains settings controlling both event registration and event creation in 25Live Publisher.  Since you cannot create events for this calendar in 25Live Publisher, you may simply accept all the default settings.
    7. The Display Options group contains a number of important settings for your calendar.
      1. The Time zone setting controls the time zone used for events on your calendar.  You should go ahead and set the time zone to whichever time zone your campus resides in.  Multi-campus implementations my need to create separate container calendars for events making use of different time zones if they have campuses in multiple time zones.
      2. The Week display settings determines what day of the week on which the calendar entries will begin.  Since users are accustomed to calendars beginning each week on Sunday, it is a best practice to leave this setting to its default value.
      3. The Day display starts setting determines when events for each day will appear on the calendar.  Set the earliest hour you want events to be displayed.  For instance, if you have events that start at 6:00 AM, you will want to alter the default value.  You may also simply accept the defaults and revise this later when you publish the container calendar.
      4. The Day display ends setting determines when events for each day will stop appearing on the calendar.  So, events after 11 PM would not display on this calendar.  Again, you may simply accept the defaults and revise as needed when you publish the container calendar.
  3. When you are satisfied with all of your choices, click the OK button to create your new empty container calendar.
  4. 25Live Publisher will return you to the main window with your new container selected.  You will see that there are no events to display.  Remember, this is a container, there will never be any events on this calendar because it is not attached to a 25Live event feed.

Creating a Sub-Calendar to Top-Level Calendars

Now that you have identified and created your top-level calendar, you need to create one or more sub-calendars.  Creating a sub-calendar begins in 25Live Pro.  Sub-calendars must be published as sub-calendars in the feed publication process.

To publish a search as a sub-calendar feed:

  1. Build a search for your new sub-calendar in 25Live Pro.
  2. With that new search created, click the Search Actions box to open the drop-down and select Publish.
  3. If you have not previously logged in, you will be asked for your 25Live Publisher credentials.  Enter those credentials and click the Sign In button.
  4. In the Send Events to 25Live Publisher window, accept the default Feed Options and make sure that the Create as a sub-calendar of box is checked.
  5. From the drop-down menu, select the top-level calendar of which this calendar will become a sub-calendar.
  6. Enter the name you want to appear for this calendar in the Enter a name textbox and then click the Create Calendar and Send Events button.
  7. When the calendar feed has been successfully published, the name of your calendar will appear in bold text in the Status box.
  8. Your new sub-calendar now also exists in 25Live Publisher and will be presented indented underneath its top-level calendar.
  9. Repeat this process until you have all of the sub-calendars published that make up this top-level calendar structure.

Publishing the Top-Level Container Calendar

After you have created your new empty top-level container calendar, you are ready to begin the work of publishing that calendar.  At this point, your calendar will only contain default styles.  You will use another calendar or a calendar stylesheet to deal with setting the styles for this new calendar.

With the top-level calendar selected in 25Live Publisher:

  1. Click the Publish Settings link to begin the process of publication.
  2. The Publish Settings will open labeled with the name of your calendar.  In this example, the container was called Sample Container Calendar, so the window is the Publish Sample Container Calendar.  The settings for publication are arranged in six groups:  Default Calendar View, Publish Settings, Mix-In Events From These Calendars, Search, Display Options, and Email Settings.
  3. At this point, accept all of the defaults and click the Publish button.
  4. You will return to the Publishing Control Panel for your calendar where you need to locate the Copy All Publish and Spuds Settings From drop-down menu.
  5. From the menu, locate either your calendar stylesheet (if you have created one) or a calendar that contains the styling you want to apply to this new top-level calendar.
  6. Once you click on a calendar or a stylesheet, you will receive an Are you sure message.  Click OK.
  7. The styling and publish settings will be copied from your selected calendar or stylesheet and applied to this calendar.  Your next step is to review the Publish Settings.  Click the Edit Publish Settings button.
  8. In Edit Publish Settings, you will need to review a number of fields.
    1. Make sure that the Access Type is set appropriately.  Most calendars should be set to Public.
    2. Check the Display unpublished fields and place a checkmark in the checkbox for any fields you actually want to appear on event details for this calendar.
    3. Make sure that the Featured event field is populated with your Featured Events custom attribute.
    4. Place a checkmark in the box beside your sub-calendar feeds you want to mix-in to this top-level container calendar.

      Sub-Calendar Presentation on Mix-In Events

      Note how sub-calendars are presented in the Mix-In Events From These Calendars box.  A sub-calendar will be preceded by its top-level calendar and a double arrow head pointing to the sub-calendar.  In the accompanying image, you see what an athletics top-level and its sub-calendars would look like.

    5. Review the Search group of settings to ensure that a public facing calendar is Searchable and that it contains Search keywords and City and region information.
      Search keywords should be words that will be appearing in the event title or event description of the events appearing on this calendar.  You might also add search terms that you think potential visitors would use in searching the calendar.  Having appropriate search keywords will raise the relevance of your events to the search engine spiders and raise their prominence in web searches.

      Currently, you may leave the Include event schema setting to No as this functionality is not currently enabled for 25Live Publisher.

    6. Check your Display Options to ensure that the appropriate Time zone has been set and that the week and day display settings are appropriately set for this calendar.
    7. Make sure that the Email Settings are set to allow Email subscriptions and Forward replies.
    8. Click the OK button to commit your changes.  You may want to add your mix-in of the sub-calendars beginning with two sub-calendars and then progressively mixing in the other sub-calendars to allow you to check for duplicated events.  This will require you to Edit Publish Settings, save your work by clicking OK and previewing then returning to Edit Publish Settings to add the next mix-in.
  9. Your published top-level calendar is now styled and ready for additional work.  Depending on how your stylesheet is structured, you may have to modify calendar spud settings, control settings, or promotion spud settings.  Unlike true mixed-in calendars, you will not want to hide the container calendar from the Calendar List Control.  The top-level calendar is representing that all the "indented" sub-calendars below work together to make this overarching calendar.