Mysterious calendar in Kerio Webmail

A few weeks ago, one of my Kerio clients wrote to me with an odd question:

We have an interesting situation. One of our users, M** maintains a Google Calendar. Another user, H** uses Kerio Webmail for his e-mail and calendar. H**s calendar in Kerio also displays items from M*s Google Calendar. This seems straight forward, except neither J** [ their IT support person ] or I set this up and both of our users claim they don't know how it got set up this way. It's a good thing, but we want to know how to do this for other users.

After clicking around a bunch within Kerio and checking Kerio's knowledge base, we are stumped (and a little embarrassed) that we cannot locate the method.

Can you tell us how using Kerio Webmail, we can subscribe to someone's Google Calendar and have it display in the Kerio calendar?

Michael Mariani

I assumed that something was left out - that M** must have created the calendar in Kerio and picked it up from Google. But no, that was not the case. As I was baffled, I asked Mike to contact Kerio support, thinking that perhaps there was some undocumented feature that I was unaware of.

No, there isn't. Well, there is, as you'll see in a moment or two, but Kerio support explained that there is no direct way to accomplish this:

(Response from Kerio)

You cannot subscribe to external calendars through WebMail. The user probably imported the Google calendar into another application like iCal and then it was synced with the server.

True, you cannot subscribe to external calendars through Kerio WebMail. You can subscribe to a Kerio calendar another user has shared, but that's not what we had here.

Because he was baffled, Mike pushed support a bit harder and got back a more detailed reply:

This is not a functionality of Kerio. You cannot import another calendar directly into Kerio. It is impossible. You would need to use a client such as iCal or Outlook. This is how the client did it. We cannot track down how the client did this however and have no way of finding out how a client imported this into their personal calendar.

Neither Mike nor I could deny the truth of that, but the fact remained that, one way or another, H** was seeing items from M**'s calendar! It can't be done, but there they were!

The solution

A few days later, Mike sent another email:

First, before I tell you the embarrassing details, I want to make it clear that I have not spent hours on this. I have taken a couple minutes here and there and finally figured it out. It is pretty simple.

We set up all our users with Google Talk years ago. The Windows PC users use the Google Talk client, Linux users, Pidgin and Mac users, iChat. In order to do this, we created Google accounts for each user. Since most do not use gmail, we set gmail to forward everything to their corporate address, via Kerio mailserver.

H**'s gmail account is allowed to view a shared Google Calendar we use for our HQ staff. Since her gmail account is set to forward to her corporate e-mail, all the mail goes to Kerio. Kerio recognizes these as calendar events and shazam! End of story.

There are still some things I haven't flushed out yet. H* showed me that she was also getting e-mails with .ics (ical?) attachments for each event. Kerio obviously recognizes this as a calendar event and offers "Accept / Decline / Tentative" or something like that. At first she clicked decline, but the owner of the Google Calendar told her not to do this, because he was getting the "declines" sent back. Now, she just deletes. She did not bother to share this with us until now! Geesh!

The other user has the information in his Kerio calendar, but he does not receive the .ics files. I haven't figured out the difference yet.

So, mystery solved - or most of it, anyway. Apparently Kerio is happy to recognize Gmail Google calendar events - that makes sense and it would be surprising if it didn't, but we weren't looking in that direction.

Got something to add? Send me email.

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