Connecting your iPhone/iPad to SOBS

Jan 23, 2018

A tale of two events:  Recently I bought what will undoubtedly become “my first” iPhone.  The phone function is ordinary but the rest of the applications are excellent.  And so I came to the ‘Calendar’ application and began to wonder whether I could get my Sobs bookings and events to appear on my iPhone.

If you have been using Sobs for a while you may be familiar with my ‘To Do’ list.  It’s the place I put requests that I’m unable to work on immediately, and sometimes tasks that are bigger than I want to start.  The first item on my ‘To Do’ list is ‘Export booking information to Outlook / Google calendar’.   The idea was immediately appealing to me but exactly how to do this and how to do it in such a way that didn’t require lots of manual intervention.

Over the past few years a new standard is emerging for sharing calendar information – it’s called “CalDAV” and if you are really keen you can read all about it here.  Unfortunately it’s not so common that every application will automatically talk to every other application… but that will come as the protocol matures.

[Ed] Just purchased an iPad – it works almost identically to the iPhone so you can use these same instructions for displaying Sobs information on your iPad calendar application.

Configuring iPhone/iPad access to Sobs

First we have to enable Calendar access to your Sobs account:

  1. From a web browser log into your Sobs system as normal
  2. Click on ‘My profile’ in the left hand menu
  3. You may see an entry ‘Share’ that is currently disabled
  4. Click the ‘Edit details below’ button
  5. Scroll down to the ‘Share’ entry and place a tick in the checkbox
  6. The checkbox will be replaced by a text box – type a password into this box.  This is not your network password, it is a separate password that will be entered here and then once on your iPhone /iPad.  You can always come back here and reset this password if you ever need to reconfigure access (eg if you are setting up a new iPhone / iPad)
  7. Click the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the page
  8. With this access enabled you will now see more details about the connection, including a URL to be entered into the iPhone / iPad in step 14 below

Now go to your iPhone / iPad and complete the configuration: (these instructions are for the 3GS but the other models will be similar)

  1. Click the ‘Settings’ icon
  2. Click the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” icon
  3. In the Accounts section click ‘Add account…’
  4. Click ‘Other’
  5. In the Calendars section click ‘Add CalDAV Account’
  6. Click in the ‘Server’ field and enter:
  7. Click in the ‘User Name’ field and enter your Sobs login name (this is case sensitive so it must be exactly as it appears in Sobs)
  8. Click in the ‘Password’ field and enter the same password you entered above
  9. Click ‘Next’ – the iPhone/iPad will attempt to verify but it doesn’t have enough information yet
  10. If the iPhone/iPad attempts to connect click ‘Cancel’
  11. Click ‘Advanced Settings’
  12. Set ‘Use SSL’ to Off
  13. Click on ‘Port’ and enter: 80
  14. Click on ‘Account URL’ and enter the URL from the Sobs website (ie appears in the help text after you have saved your password)
  15. Click ‘CalDAV’ in the top left corner to return to the previous screen
  16. Click ‘Next’ in the top right corner
  17. The iPhone/iPad should now attempt verify the account information.  If it fails then check carefully the details.  If it is successful then your events should start populating your iPhone/iPad Calendar
  18. Close the ‘Settings’ application to return to the iPhone/iPad main screen
  19. Click on the ‘Calendar’ icon to check that your events are importing

Events and bookings generated within Sobs will not automatically appear on your iPhone/iPad immediately.  The iPhone/iPad will however occasionally contact the Sobs server to collect updates.

What will I see on my iPhone/iPad?

Depends entirely upon the applications your school has subscribed to.

  • Room & Resource Booking: You will see rooms and resources you have booked.  The room / resource name will appear as the main title on the iPhone/iPad calendar entry
  • School Calendar: You will see all calendar events you would normally see when logged into this application.  The event title will appear as the main title on the iPhone/iPad calendar entry
  • Parent/Teacher Interview Bookings: You will see the names of the student and parent that you are booked to meet with

The display in the iPad is slightly different to the iPhone.  The iPad automatically displays the notes (booking description) in the left half of the screen.  It’s nice, I like it.

Creating events

At this point we do not support events being uploaded from the iPhone/iPad, however in time we may support this in a limited fashion.