Google re-opens CalDAV

Google re-opens CalDAV

Summary: The programmers spoke, and Google listened. Google is reopening the CalDAV API and opening up their CardDAV API at the same time.


When Google announced on March 13th that it would no longer be supporting the CalDAV application programming interface (API), developers were not happy. In early June, Google reconsidered its position and re-opened CalDAV and, to top it off, Google said they'd be opening CardDAV's API as well.


CalDAV, for the non-programmers among you, is an open extension to the Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) standard for Web-based calendar services. It's used in Apple's iCal; Mozilla's Calendar Project-based programs; and it will soon be available in the next update to Windows Phone 8. It's as close to a lingua franca for calendaring applications as we have today.

Its close relative CardDAV is an address book client/server protocol designed to allow users to access and share contact data on servers. It's also widely supported in mobile operating systems—Android, iOS, and Blackberry QNX—and numerous e-mail programs.

Piotr Stanczyk, the Google Calendar APIs group tech lead, also announced that both APIs will be integrated with the Google APIs Console. In addition, developers will be able to use the OAuth 2.0 protocol for user authentication and authorization. Indeed, developers must use OAuth 2.0 to access Google's take on CalDAV and CardDAV.

Google, however, has shown no signs of renewing support for the XMPP instant-messaging open standard server-to-server federation. Still, it's nice to see Google throwing its hat back into the ring for two open Web interoperability standards.

What all this means is that developers will be able to create applications that can integrate Google calendars and contacts. For users, this means you'll continue to have a broad choice of apps that can use Google Contacts and Calendar for your data. The one major exception remains Windows 8 and such Microsoft programs as Outlook.

In the past, Microsoft had relied on Google's support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) for for syncing e-mail, contacts and calendars, but Google dropped EAS support for free e-mail clients in December 2012. While Microsoft will besupporting CalDAV and CardDAV in the next Windows Phone 8 update, the boys from Redmond still haven't said if they'll add support for either protocol in Windows 8 or its successor, Windows 8.1. I rather hope they do. 

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Topics: Networking, Google, Mobility, Open Source, Software, Software Development, Windows 8, Windows Phone

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  • Google re-opens CalDAV

    Kudos Google.
  • Apache hacked

    Linux exposes thousands of web servers to malware.
    IIS remains the most secure web server.
    • Nothing to do with Linux

      You knew that with your off topic comment.

      “When web sites running on Linux/Apache have been hacked in the past, it was usually via PHP and SQL, not holes in Linux/Apache code. Today, attacks on these machines exploit a range of vectors, including malicious Apache modules, weak authentication, and holes in commonly used applications such as cPanel, Plesk, Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress, in addition to good old PHP and SQL.”
  • That's great!

    That's great!

    Although it still worries me that they thought the decision would be acceptable to begin with :/.
    • Yep

      announce that they want open standards on the one hand, then cancel open standards on the other...

      Too late though, I've already moved my calender (and contacts) away from Google in light of the previous announcement.
  • Nice, too bad MS doesn't listen to their devs

    They have killed several products against the developers wishes. Kudos to google.
  • The defacto mobile standard is Exchange ActiveSync

    ActiveSync is available on all smartphone/tablets, and does email/contacts/calendar with a single account. With IMAP/SMTP/CalDAV/CardDAV, you need to configure four services and find obscure apps for Android. Even though Google dropped public ActiveSync, Google accounts on Android still use it.
    Eric Gisin