Inside Apple's iCal Server

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You can also specify a host name. This is the name that iCal Server uses to identify itself to clients. If the server has multiple DNS name entries, you should choose the one that you want to describe iCal Server. You can also choose a port number other than the standard CalDAV port, which is 8008, though doing so may require some additional configuration of CalDAV clients.

Finally, you can choose to require SSL encryption for all iCal Server communication. If you don't, all information will be sent in the clear. If you choose to enable SSL, you will also have the option of using a nonstandard port -- the standard port for CalDAV over SSL is 8443. You also need to select a security certificate stored on the server to be used for SSL encryption. This can be a self-signed certificate or one issued by a certificate authority.

Configuring user calendars

If you are using standard or workgroup mode, there is no need to configure user calendars. They are automatically created on the server as you create new users that have access to iCal Server. If you are working in advanced mode, the process is also very simple, but it allows you to choose from any server running iCal Server in your network (or at least any that are bound to the same directory services infrastructure).

To configure calendar access, launch Workgroup Manager and connect to the appropriate directory domain; you may need to authenticate. Select an existing user or create a new one. On the Advanced tab (see Figure 3), simply select the Enable Calendaring checkbox and select a calendar server from the pop-up menu. Each server running iCal Server that is bound to the selected directory domain will be listed. Save the user account to activate the change.

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Figure 3 -- Advanced user settings in Workgroup Manager (Click for larger view.)

The option for multiple iCal Servers within a network provides a few advantages. First, it allows you to distribute calendar servers across multiple sites. If those sites (or even multiple locations within a single site) are connected by slow network links, calendar access will be slowed as a result and may add to congestion of those links. Placing servers at each site will result in better performance for users and your network.

As a rule of thumb, if you have Open Directory replicas at remote sites, you may want to consider an iCal Server at those sites. This will also provide fault tolerance if the network link to the site fails. Another advantage is that you can use separate servers for different departments. This allows you to spread the load across your organization.

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