Inside Apple's iCal Server

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Once you enable iCal Server during the simplified setup (or later using Server Preferences, as shown in Figure 1), there are only two real options: setting the maximum amount of disk space for each event stored in iCal Server and setting the maximum amount of space for each user's calendar. Since iCal and iCal Server allow attaching files to events (in theory, you could attach anything from simple Word or Excel documents to photos to full-length movies), placing a limit on disk space isn't a bad idea, especially if you're a small business owner with limited hard drive space.

Beyond those two options, you can decide whether individual users have access to iCal Server, and thus to a shareable calendar, in the Accounts pane.

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Figure 1 -- iCal Service in Server Preferences (Click for larger view.)

Although the iCal Service is not significantly more complex to configure for Leopard Server in advanced mode, there are some options and requirements worth noting. (Note: Leopard Server's advanced mode offers a much wider range of features and configuration options for all services and is designed for larger and more complex environments than the new simplified setup modes aimed at nontechnical users in small business and small workgroup environments.)

First, as mentioned earlier, iCal Server requires a directory services infrastructure of some type. Apple's simplified setup process automatically configures a basic Open Directory domain. For servers set up in advanced mode, you will need to configure directory services before implementing iCal Server.

This doesn't mean that the server must be an Open Directory master (the primary host for Open Directory in a network) or a replica, however. In fact, because of the demands on directory servers, it is often considered a best practice not to host other services on them.

It also doesn't require that the server be bound to an Open Directory domain hosted by Leopard Server. If you have a multiplatform infrastructure, including Leopard Server and rely on non-Apple LDAP servers or Active Directory for directory services, you can use those servers or domain controllers instead of Open Directory servers.

Whether Open Directory or not, the iCal server must be connected to a supported directory system.

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