iCal is a portable calendar format that allows you to synchronize an external calendar with your Checkfront account. iCal is supported by most calendar software products, mail clients, and many smartphones. Checkfront’s iCal feed will sync up to 24 months worth of future bookings to a calendar of your choice, with 6 months being the default.
Checkfront iCal FeedBack to top
Connecting your remote calendar to Checkfront is easy. In order to do this, you will need to find your Checkfront iCal feed URL. Click on the link labelled Settings, in the top right corner of the screen and then iCal from the drop-down menu.
The calendar feeds can also be accessed through your Checkfront account profile at Account > Profile > Available Feeds. However, please note, these feeds are not customizable, as described below.
Calendar Feed CustomizationBack to top
After selecting iCal from the drop-down menu, a window will pop up containing the URL for your calendar feed. If you copy and paste this link as-is, your entire Checkfront booking calendar will be synced to your remote calendar. There are a couple of options, however, that you can use to customize the feed to further suit your needs.
OptionsBack to top
Only show my bookings: Filters out bookings made by other staff members, leaving only the bookings made under your account. Only show locked bookings: Filters out any bookings that do not have a locked booking status. This is a great way to hide bookings from the calendar that are maybe awaiting confirmation in an unlocked status. To learn more about statuses, please click here.
Number of Months ForwardBack to top
As previously mentioned, Checkfront will sync up to 24 months of future bookings with your remote calendar. 6 months is the default setting and you can make an adjustment to that here. Simply change the number of months to whatever fits your needs and press return on your keyboard. This will update the link at the bottom of the window accordingly. Now, when the calendar is added to your remote client, it will display bookings up to the limits defined in these settings.
CategoriesBack to top
Unchecking the All Categories field will open up a list of all the categories you have created in your Checkfront account. You are able to choose the specific categories you wish to include in your feed by checking them off individually.
Notice how the feed URL changes as you add or remove categories. Each category in your account has a unique ID, which defines it from the others. In the example above, only category IDs 3, 16 and 2 will be synced to the remote calendar.
Item FilterBack to top
Rather than filtering by category, it’s also possible to single out an individual item to be added to your feed. To do this, click on the Add Filter button. This will reveal a drop-down menu, from which you can choose your item. The feed you now add to your external calendar will only include bookings for that one item. You can make as many of these feeds as you wish.
The calendar feeds can also be accessed through your Checkfront account profile at Account > Profile > Available Feeds. However, please note, these feeds are not customizable as described above.
Subscribing to the CalendarBack to top
Once you're happy with the configuration of your feed, it's time to subscribe to it through your remote calendar. The process for this may vary, depending on which third-party calendar you're using, but essentially, all you need to do is copy the URL provided and paste it into the appropriate place in your external calendar. If you're adding the feed to a calendar app on your local computer, clicking the URL provided, rather than copying and pasting it, may also work.
It's important to note that the calendar sync is one way only. As you make changes to the bookings in Checkfront, these will be reflected in the third-party calendar (frequency varies based on the app). Changes to the third-party calendar, however, will not update Checkfront.
Calendar Viewing TipsBack to top
As talked about above, there are numerous ways to configure your booking calendar iCal feed. Here are a couple of examples to show you how you can get the most out of your third-party feed.
Show All Items in One FeedBack to top
First of all, when choosing your categories, you have the option to include all of them together. If you do so, your third-party calendar might look something like this:
Show Multiple FeedsBack to top
You can, however, create separate feeds for each category or item in your Checkfront account, as talked about above. This enables you to assign different colours and toggle categories on/off in your third party calendar application. Doing so might give you a result like this:
As you can see, it's easy to distinguish, at a glance, which are the accommodation bookings and which are the kayak rental bookings etc. It's also easy to hide certain categories if you just want to view, say, the accommodation reservations for the next month.
Q: If I delete something in my calendar software, will it delete the booking in Checkfront?
A: iCal feeds are read-only. They are not able to access your Checkfront account directly to modify bookings. Each booking in your calendar does, however, provide a link to edit the booking in Checkfront.
Q: How often is the data in my calendar refreshed?
A: This is configured by your calendar client. It can be a little as 5 minutes, or as long as 1 month. If you have a lot of bookings, you may want to have a longer refresh time to avoid performance issues with your calendar.
Q: If I’m using Checkfront with Google Apps, do I gain more functionality from the Calendar integration?
A: Not at this time.
Q: How does the iCal feed differ from the iCal add-on available under extensions?
A: The iCal notification add-on will attach calendar event request to outgoing e-mail notifications, much like a meeting request. This can be sent to customers and staff and allow them to accept the event and add it to their own calendar. The iCal feed pushes ALL bookings to your calendar.