Aggregate Calendars in SharePoint and Teams

ndars are a useful organizational tool for keeping track of tasks, events, and appointments, and they are ubiquitous in the Microsoft 365 suite. From SharePoint to Teams to Planner, calendars are an essential resource teams use for their daily activities. As with many organizations, having multiple calendars in different locations is common, and the need to assemble all the calendars in one view tends to come up. 

Aggregate Calendars in SharePoint and Teams

Calendars are a useful organizational tool for keeping track of tasks, events, and appointments, and they are ubiquitous in the Microsoft 365 suite. From SharePoint to Teams to Planner, calendars are an essential resource teams use for their daily activities. In many organizations, having multiple calendars in different locations is common, and the need to assemble all the calendars in one view tends to come up. 

This post will explore why you would want to aggregate this information into a single calendar or events view and show how to go about it. Throughout the Microsoft 365 suite, there are diverse ways of assembling information within a calendar. These include calendar lists, event itinerary lists, task lists, channel calendars, and other custom list options. For ease of use, it is best to have all the information you need within one view. 

Before discussing how to aggregate all the content, let us briefly talk about some of the different calendar options available in Microsoft 365. 

Calendars in SharePoint

A SharePoint calendar is essentially a SharePoint list with a view rendered as a calendar, and it contains all the information that would otherwise be displayed in rows and columns. SharePoint calendars are a convenient way to manage events within SharePoint sites. 

The Calendar List is available in the classic experience of SharePoint Online, but can still be used in the modern experience if you switch to the classic view. To add a Calendar list:

  1. Click the cog icon in the top right corner of the SharePoint Site
  2. Click Add an App
  3. Under ‘Apps you can add’, click the classic experience link
  4. Select the Calendar template
  5. Provide a name for your Calendar list, e.g. Conference Calendar.
Figure 1: SharePoint Calendar List

The Calendar is often used within SharePoint team sites to keep track of events occurring within small teams of people or within departments. It offers a calendar view in Day, Week, or Month format along with All Events and Current Events views. SharePoint out-of-the-box offers a Calendar Overlay feature where you can combine up to ten calendars from the same site collection. This is a great way to aggregate calendar lists across different SharePoint team sites used for the same or similar purpose. For example, if you held ten conferences with ten different team sites within the same site collection, you could manage the events from one Calendar.

Figure 2: SharePoint Calendar List with Calendar Overlays option

Event Itinerary List

In a modern SharePoint team site, you will find the Event Itinerary list template. An event itinerary list is a preconfigured template for SharePoint lists used to manage all the activities surrounding an event. You can create a calendar view that will display the preconfigured rows and columns in a calendar. 

Figure 3: Event Itinerary list

To create an Event Itinerary list:

  1. Within a modern SharePoint Site, click the New drop-down on the site’s command bar.
  2. Choose List
  3. Select the Event Itinerary List.

The Event Itinerary List is a great alternative to the classic Calendar List within a modern SharePoint site.

Classic Task List

Although not a ‘calendar list’ as such, the Task list available in SharePoint team sites can also store tasks which must be started or completed by a particular date. Since the Task list has a Start Date and an End Date column, it is possible to render the SharePoint task list with a calendar view. A Task List is a default SharePoint list you can use to keep track of tasks to be completed for projects. Due dates for task completion are stated, and you can also utilize the calendar view option to view the timelines. 

Figure 4: Class SharePoint Task List

SharePoint Task lists are created in the same way as the classic Calendar list.

Work Progress Tracker

The new modern SharePoint sites have a new list type called the Work Progress Tracker. The work progress tracker is another preconfigured template for SharePoint lists used to track your projects’ priorities and progress. You can create a calendar view to display the row and column items in a calendar. 

Figure 5: The Work Progress Tracker List

The Work Progress Tracker List is one of many new modern templates. Similar lists include the Issue Tracker and Content Scheduler. All of these modern lists are created in the same way as the Event Itinerary List.

As well as the SharePoint list content discussed above, Microsoft 365 also offers numerous alternatives that reside either inside or outside of Microsoft SharePoint. These include:

Microsoft 365 Group Calendar 

As the name suggests, a Microsoft 365 group calendar is a calendar shared by members of a Microsoft 365 group. In this group calendar, members can schedule, edit and view events and meetings concerning the group. This calendar is easily accessible through the Groups section in Outlook. 

Figure 6: Selecting Microsoft 365 Group calendars in Outlook

Teams Channel Calendar 

The Teams channel calendar is a calendar added to a channel in Teams for events specific to that channel and its members. It is not viewable or accessible by guest members. 

Figure 7: Channel Calendar Teams Tab App in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft To Do 

Microsoft To Do is a personal task list that belongs to you, and is great for time management. It is an app in the Microsoft 365 suite for keeping track of tasks. A nice feature about it is that it is less formal than a typical official task management tool, and you can even use it for personal errands. Tasks in Microsoft To Do can be integrated with Plans in Microsoft Planner. 

Figure 8: Microsoft To Do powering Outlook Tasks

Microsoft Planner 

Microsoft Planner is an app that helps simplify the project planning and execution process. You can classify project phases into buckets, create timelines for action points, assign tasks to team members, and you can display all these in a customized view. 

Figure 9: Microsoft Planner for keeping track of project tasks

With this many options scattered across the Microsoft 365 suite, it becomes difficult and inconvenient to keep track of everything you are supposed to be doing or have already done. There are too many places to check upcoming or overdue events and tasks. 

As complex as it may seem, it still behooves you to stay on top of things across the different apps. While you can keep tabs on every app separately, it would be inconvenient and consume more time.  

A third-party app like the Lightning Conductor saves you all the stress and aggregates all the necessary information into one view. With the Lightning Conductor, you can aggregate the different types of SharePoint lists into one calendar view, aggregate data from Planner and To Do using Microsoft Graph, and aggregate Teams Channel Calendars using Events. 

Using the Lightning Conductor to Aggregate Calendars

Be it a classic calendar list, task list, or event itinerary list, the Lightning Conductor can aggregate the required SharePoint lists and display all the information in a calendar view. First, you would need to download and install the Lightning Conductor in your SharePoint App Catalog. 

The Lightning Conductor offers a quick configuration and an advanced configuration depending on your needs. The Quick Configuration allows you to get started with a calendar view very quickly from Microsoft To Do, Calendar Lists, Microsoft 365 Group Calendars, Tasks, and Planner.

Figure 10: Creating multiple view instances for different Calendar sources

Figure 11: Creating multiple view instances for different Calendar sources

The resulting Task view displays all the tasks in the plans and allows you to add new tasks directly from the Lightning Conductor. 

Planner Tasks can also be displayed within a Planner View or in a Calendar View

Figure 12: Configuring the Planner Tasks in a Calendar View

Figure 13: The Calendar View displaying Calendar Tasks

The Quick configuration offers many different scenarios, and not just Calendar or Task data sources. You may also aggregate Documents from Document Libraries or OneDrive, Announcements, People, and lots more.

Figure 14: Other data sources using the Quick Configuration

Aggregating Teams Channel Calendars using Events 

Whilst most scenarios can be configured from the Quick Configuration, sometimes you may want to build your own Microsoft Graph query. Below is an example of using a Graph query to aggregate calendars from Microsoft Teams Channel Calendars using Microsoft Graph

You can aggregate Teams channel calendars using the Graph Rollup Engine. 

Figure 15: Web Part Tab for Aggregating Teams Channel Calendars 

Figure 16: Data Source Tab for Aggregating Teams Channel Calendars 

In the query section, you can see the team’s ID. You can get this ID from Microsoft Graph Explorer.  

Figure 17: Microsoft Graph Explorer GET my joined teams 

The GET my joined teams query gives you a list of the teams you have joined, and after getting the ID for the team you want, paste it into your notepad.  

Select the next query to get the channels of the team you want. In the query box, replace the {team-id} with the ID of the team you copied. Copy this new query too. 

Figure 18: Microsoft Graph Explorer GET channels of a team which I am a member of 

Note that you may need to consent to some permissions before working in Graph Explorer. 

In the Lightning Conductor Data Source tab, input the query as in the Data Source Tab image above. 

Figure 19: Display Tab for Aggregating Teams Channel Calendars 

The resulting display shows the calendar events from different channels in one view. 

Figure 20: Events view of Teams Events

Displaying the Lightning Conductor within Microsoft Teams

As well as displaying all of these results within SharePoint, you may also opt to add the Lightning Conductor into your Microsoft Teams Channels to display results there too:

There are different ways to aggregate content in the Lightning Conductor, and you can book a demo to discuss your use cases. 

Apart from aggregating calendars, the Lightning Conductor does a lot more. You can aggregate content from SharePoint Lists, OneDrive items, Outlook Events and other sources. 

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2 Comments

Britt
Reply
1st April 2023 at 6:14 am

Ok, great info all in one place! But… how do I decide which to use? What are the pros and cons? My wish list is that I can create a calendar that relates the calendar show in sharepoint or teams to actual outlook calendars. If I set up meetings for the entire team (say an all hands), or meetings for some of the team (say the leaders weekly meeting, the developers’ weekly meeting), meetings that the calendar gets invited to (like when I send out an all day meeting for two weeks for my PTO and send it to my team as “free”, and meetings that we just manually add. I really don’t understand if a combination of these things is actually possible. An insight appreciated! Thank you!!!

    Sandy Ussia
    Reply
    27th July 2023 at 9:35 pm

    Great question, Britt!
    Each of these calendars does have its place, and you may want to think about setting a policy in your organization on which type of calendar to use, so that the meetings can be displayed in one place. Generally, meetings that exist in Outlook (e.g. meetings you invite people to, whether via Outlook or Teams) are not going to be visible to anyone other than the invitees, unless your Outlook calendar has been shared. For each person, all meetings that they’ve been invited to should show up on their Outlook calendar. Events in in a SharePoint event list do not have invitees, so those will not show up in people’s Outlook calendars.
    With the July 2023 release of the Lightning Conductor, you can combine events from disparate sources into a single view, using the new “Multiple Views” data source. These will still be security-trimmed, so people will only see events they have access to.

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