Take the 2-minute tour ×
Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Happy Patch Tuesday everyone. For those who don't know, Patch Tuesday is the 2nd Tuesday of each month, when Microsoft (and now supposedly also Adobe) release their security patches each month. I'm the network administrator for a small college, and one of the things we do here is a have a planned maintenance window on the Saturday following Patch Tuesday each month, so that we can apply the new updates to our servers and restart them.

We use Google Apps for Education for our e-mail and calendar here, and I would like to put a recurring event in our public IT calendar that corresponds to this maintenance window. Unfortunately, I can't find a way to do it. I can do a 2nd Tuesday event easily enough, but the Saturday following is killing me — sometimes it's the 2nd Saturday, and sometimes it's the 3rd.

Any ideas?

share|improve this question
    
As a compromise, why not - say third Saturday? –  Sathya Mar 8 '11 at 15:15
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, Google Calendar isn't that flexible. I don't think you're going to be able to do what you want.

The upside is, of course, is that there can't be more than 12 of these in a year, so it's not going to be overly burdensome to do each one individually.

share|improve this answer
    
Even if you were able to figure out how to do this you would still have to manually maintain the calendar to schedule downtime for out-of-cycle security patches. –  Andris Mar 8 '11 at 20:11
    
It is funny how we in IT are so focused on automating repetitive, mundane task that we can sometimes spend more time on automating it than the actual task would take us in the foreseeable future. :) I'm talking from own experience here. –  Andris Mar 8 '11 at 20:15
add comment

Although Google Calendar doesn't allow you to create or modify arbitrary recurrence rules like "Saturday after second Tuesday", the iCalendar specification which it uses and understands is quite robust in this regard. Simply create a *.ics file for the event with a custom recurrence rule or RRULE.

For your example, note that since the second Tuesday of a month falls, by definition, between the 8th and the 14th (inclusive), the Saturday which follows four days after it must fall between the 12th and the 18th (inclusive). So for a four-hour monthly maintenance window event from 3am to 7am, you'll want something like:

BEGIN:VCALENDAR
BEGIN:VEVENT
DTSTART;TZID=America/New_York:20130112T030000
DTEND;TZID=America/New_York:20130112T070000
RRULE:FREQ=MONTHLY;BYDAY=SA;BYMONTHDAY=12,13,14,15,16,17,18
DESCRIPTION:
LOCATION:
SEQUENCE:0
STATUS:CONFIRMED
SUMMARY:Microsoft Security Patch Maintenance Window
TRANSP:TRANSPARENT
END:VEVENT
END:VCALENDAR

To import the *.ics file: In the left-hand list of "My Calendars", click "Settings", then "Import Calendar" link. You can specify which calendar you'd like to import the event to, but you won't be able to edit its recurrence rule from within Google Calendar, aside from deleting the event and reimporting it.

If this helps, you may wish to read more about the flexibility offered by custom recurrence rules in the iCalendar specification.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 Thanks for this! It's too bad you can't edit the recurrence in Google, but nice that you ARE able to edit the rest of the event and the recurrence is preserved. –  mghicks Dec 15 '12 at 18:22
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.