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Online Calendar Hosting Options

Online calendars allow users to keep track of important dates, appointments, and meetings. Unlike paper calendars and appointment books, calendar software is flexible, easily editable, and searchable. And unlike a desktop calendar app, and online calendar system makes your calendar available from any internet-connected computer. You can even share calendars with friends and coworkers, create different calendars for different groups, and view multiple calendars at the same time.

Self Hosted Calendar Software


WebCalendar is a PHP-based calendar application that can be configured as: - a single-user calendar - a multi-user calendar for groups of users - as an event calendar viewable by visitors.

WebCalendar can be used in a variety of different configurations. For example:

  • A schedule management system for a single person
  • A schedule management system for a group of people, allowing one or more assistants to manage the calendar of another user
  • An events schedule that anyone can view, allowing visitors to submit new events
  • A calendar server that can be viewed with iCalendar-compliant calendar applications such as:
    • Mozilla Sunbird
    • Apple iCal
    • GNOME Evolution
    • RSS-enabled applications
    • Firefox

In addition to PHP, WebCalendar requires a database management system. Several RDBMSes are supported:

  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Oracle
  • DB2
  • Interbase
  • MS SQL Server
  • ODBC

Flat Calendar

Flat Calendar was a PHP-based calendar solution developed

It is not longer under development and has not been updated since 2002. Since internet browsers and server technology has progressed so much since then, it is not recommended that you use Flat Calendar.

If you are still using a legacy installation of Flat Calendar, you should probably upgrade to a newer calendar system. Old software, especially software running on earlier major versions of languages (such PHP 4, which Flat Calendar uses) are often a security liability.

CGI Calendar

CGI Calendar is a Perl-based calendar system. It is also no longer under active development. It was last updated in 2007.

CGI Calendar was an interesting Calendar System because it had an indefinite date range — it could be used to store events in both the BCE and CE (BC and AD) ranges, with a total date range in the millions of years. It even takes into account the date re-centering that took place in the mid 18th century.

Unfortunately, because it is no longer under active development, it is not recommended for production use. It may be of interest to programming students who want to see how its more interesting features were implemented.

Calendar Alternatives

Very few self-hosted calendaring scripts have survived the rise of Software as a Service. Few people want to take the trouble to set up their own calendar system when it is so easy to use an existing service, especially a free one.

SaaS Calendars:

  • Google Calendar
  • Dayhaps Calendar
  • Yahoo Calendar
  • Microsoft Calendar

Self-hosted calendar options

  • Plugins to:
    • WordPress
    • Drupal
    • Joomla
  • OwnCloud Calendar app

Why are SaaS calendars so much more popular than server-based calendars?

SaaS calendar systems have become the go-to solution, not necessarily because they offer a better service, but because they are more convenient.

There was a time when everyone had one personal device (your desktop), so the ability to sync your calendar only mattered if you wanted to see your work appointments at home. Server-based calendars were the ideal solution then, since they offered all the necessary access rights and security features, and it was easy to host email for a small number of users. They were also ideal for specialty groups who had their own website and wanted to post a calendar or sync events among group members. But when we all started keeping our calendars in our pockets, and wanting those calendars to match up with the calendars at home, we needed a better solution.

Only a small percentage of people have their own website, so self-hosting wasn’t a viable option. Someone had to do it for us. And the obvious choice were the companies most of us were already connecting to every day—our SaaS email providers.

Most of us already have a Gmail, Outlook, or other SaaS email account. When we add that account to our phone, it asks if we also want to sync our calendar. No self-hosted calendar needed. Even things like club events have found themselves all-but replaced by Facebook events, which can also be synced to your mobile device. This is not to say SaaS calendars are superior to server-based calendars. They aren’t, in the same way calculator apps are no better than the latest TI-84…but how many of us are carrying one of those around?

What are the advantages to using a self-hosting calendar rather than a SaaS calendar?

SaaS services offer a number of wonderful conveniences. Someone else sets them up. Someone else maintains them. Someone else is responsible for making sure they’re always running. And they typically come free with services we’re already using.

Unfortunately, by their very nature they can never offer the level of customization that is available to a self-hosted service. Your SaaS calendar has to provide services to a massive, varied community. That means it needs to support the most common and most popular features, and it needs to keep those up-to-date at all times. That doesn’t leave much room for custom features. And while some services will let you customize your calendar to some degree, they simply can’t allow full customization and still be able to promise regular updates and security patches.

So if you need a specialized solution tailored to your business, organization, or club, a self-hosted calendar is the way to go. Additionally, if your company has strict security requirements, self-hosting may make it easier to ensure those are implemented properly.

Are there any other self-hosted calendars that are still being actively developed?

There are still a number of reasons why hosting your own calendar program is a good option, particular for small businesses or non-profit organizations, where business-level SaaS services may be too expensive, or where you need a calendar for a specialized task. Consequently, there are still a number of calendaring programs being developed, including products like Booked, LuxCal, or SuperCali. Or, as mentioned above, there are several add-on calendaring programs for programs like WordPress or Joomla, which are typically geared toward hosting public calendars on your website.

Just remember, self-hosted calendar programs are less popular than they used to be, and even ones that are currently being developed may not still be under development by the time you read this article. So before you run out and install a program, make sure there have been recent releases.

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