Get a True View of Users’ Schedules with Event Transparency

The Cronofy Blog

Calendars are fantastic organizational tools. They keep you on track, remind you you what you have planned to do and where you need to be. People can use their calendars to plan ahead appointments, deadlines, reminders, and many more things. Basically if it involves a time commitment it will likely be in a calendar!

But not all calendar events are created equal. Some events will require our unwavering attention whereas others are there to remind us to keep an eye on things during a period of time.

As calendar events are used for so many purposes, it makes sense to be able to give a “Transparency” value to events, stating whether or not the user’s schedule is blocked out for that period.

For instance a user could have a 11am-6pm “Party time” event that would block out their schedule as “busy”, meaning that no other events could be scheduled during that time. On the other hand their all-day event of “Baxter’s 4th Birthday” wouldn’t, allowing them to add other events to their day whilst being aware of potential overlaps and double bookings.

An event that blocks out the user’s schedule would be referred as an Opaque event whereas a commitment that doesn’t would be a Transparent event.

Our Calendar API now accepts a “Transparency” parameter when creating or updating an event to explicitly state whether the user’s time is to be occupied or not.

This is great for Cronofy enabled applications, such as our Trello Connector, allowing us to set a user’s Trello deadlines in their calendar as transparent so as not to falsely flag them up as busy for that period. Neat!

Transparency is also important when coordinating schedules for meetings or appointments as it enables features such as our Free Busy end-point and Availability API to be used to their full potential. Both of these features read over a user’s calendar and make note of what’s been blocked out in their timetable as busy, or unavailable, and what events can be safely overlapped.

Check out our transparency documentation here to add that extra feature to your application today!

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