xCal output with iCal4j

Posted by MyTimeTable Team

One of our customers asked us to implement an xCal export in MyTimetable to link their upcoming mobile platform to students’ schedules. xCal is basically iCalender, but in an XML format.

For the iCalendar export of MyTimetable we use the great open source Java library iCal4j. This library provides a complete iCalendar object model and the ability to verify and write iCalendar files. Unfortunately, the iCalendar export is hard coded into the model, but it is possible to create your own outputter.

We took the liberty to implement an XmlOutputter, using StAX to generate the XML. Since we wanted to keep the code simple and easily distributable, we chose to keep all the logic in the XmlOutputter, without depending on any Java-to-XML mapping frameworks. Software engineering wise nicer solutions may be possible. Another problem is that the iCalendar data value type of components cannot be easily retrieved from the iCal4j object model (since it is not necessary for the usual iCalendar export), so that information is hard coded into the XmlOutputter.

Source of the XmlOutputter is below and can be freely used (public domain). Since we do not use every component type, we cannot guarantee all possible options work correctly. Let us know if you have any suggestions.


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