Migrating Outlook Calendars to SharePoint

I recently had a client that wanted their Staff Movements calendar moved to the SharePoint intranet. They wanted the migration to be seamless so the secretaries and admins that updated the Calendar basically had no idea anything had changed. These users were accessing and  updating the Calendar by adding it as a Shared Calendar in Outlook 2003.  Now MS likes to talk about how easy it is to” Synchronise” SharePoint Calendars with Outlook (Calendar List-> Actions -> Connect to Outlook) which is handy but it’s a one way street. What do MS say when you want to take an Outlook Calendar, complete with months and months of existing event data, and plop it into SharePoint then? .. “Chirp Chirp Chirp”

In the hope that I can make some useful noise of the subject, I have listed instructions for both Outlook 2007 and 2003:

Outlook 2007 – what are ya? Scared?

  1.  Open the Outlook Calendar in Outlook 2007
  2.  Create a SharePoint Calendar list 
  3. On the list, click Actions- > Connect to Outlook. Accept all connection/trust prompts.  Now you can see the SharePoint Calendar in Outlook along side the source calendar.
  4. In Outloook, on the main menu select View -> Current View -> All Appointments
  5. OutlookView
  6. Press Ctrl A to highligh all entries and then Ctrl C to copy them
  7. Click the check box next to the SharePoint Calendar you have just added to Outlook
  8.  On the main menu select View -> Current View -> All Appointments
  9. Paste the copied entries from the source calendar into the SharePoint calendar
  10. Click Ok, then in SharePoint, refresh your Calendar list and you will see the new entries.

Outlook 2003 – now you’re talkin

  1.  Open the Outlook Calendar in Outlook 2003
  2. Click on the Calendar so it is in focus (if in public folder, click Calendar folder). You can also select File-> Open -> Other User’s Folder to open a Calendar to locate the relevant Outlook Calendar.
  3. Export the Calendar to a CSV file by selecting File -> Import and Export
  4. Open the csv file in Excel. You will notice that the Start Date and Start Time are two separate columns. Combine these values into one column and repeat for End Date and End Time. Its up to you how you do this, you may use Excel functions or reg expressions, what ever tickles your fancy.
  5. Create a SharePoint Calendar list 
  6. Select the All Events view and then select Actions-> Edit in Datasheet
  7. Select each column and paste the CSV column into the relevant SharePoint list column.
  8. When all columns are in, Select Actions -> Show in Standard and chose the calendar view. You should now have all you events ready to roll.

Now copying and pasting is kinda the dirty way of doing it, you could also export to a xsl file and look at data connections and synch-ing with the SharePoint list but at the end of the day, if you don’t have many fields to populate, why not just whack it in yourself.   One issue I did come across here was the All day Event flag. When Pasting in that column, it seems to be all or nothing and all values were set to True which in my case was fine because this was the case in the source Calendar anyway bar a few measily events.

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