Let's explore the world of iCal feeds and synchronization!

Let's explore the world of iCal feeds and synchronization!

Thu Aug 11 2022
Lennart Visscher
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When you want to sync the availability of your rentals with other websites, like Airbnb or Booking.com, you need iCal feeds. Let's explore the world of iCal feeds and synchronization!

What is an iCal feed?

An iCal feed is a file containing structured calendar data. Sound a bit boring? It's actually very important! Because every iCal feed is structured the same way, computers can read and understand them. All the bookings you add to your rental are also stored in the iCal feeds. This is done automatically, so you don't have to worry about it. In Bookingmood, iCal feeds are enabled on Plus and higher plans.

What does an iCal feed look like?

The content of an iCal feed is not very interesting for humans. As mentioned above, it's merely for computers to read and use. The most important parts of an iCal feed regarding availability are the DTSTART and DTEND lines!

DTSTART:20220604T100000Z

DTEND:20220611T100000Z

D = Date T = Time START = Start END = End

If you look really carefully at the two lines above, you can see that it's a booking! The booking check-in date is 2022-06-04 and the check-out is 2022-06-11. So from 4 July 2022 to 11 July 2022.

What is syncing?

Syncing, also known as synchronization, is the process of keeping data consistent across multiple sources. Simply put, a rental can be available or booked. When your rental is on various websites, like your own website and Airbnb, manually managing the availability separately on each website is time consuming. Plus, it also creates room for mistakes! Syncing automates this process, with iCal feeds!

For example: By adding an iCal feed from Bookingmood into Airbnb, all bookings you make in Bookingmood are automatically synced to Airbnb and vice versa: If you add an iCal feed from Airbnb to Bookingmood, then Bookingmood automatically updates the calendar when a booking comes in via Airbnb.

How often are bookings synced across websites?

You can assume that the data in your iCal feed is always up to date. But when you add that iCal feed to other websites, like Airbnb, it's up to them to read the feed from time to time and update their own calendar. How often they read your iCal feed and check for updates is up to them. Airbnb states it updates every 5 minutes. But other sites might only update every few hours. When you import an external calendar into Bookingmood, we read and update the calendar based on that feed every 5 minutes (Plus plan) or every 60 seconds (Premium plan).

Syncing and Bookingmood

Bookingmood offers iCal synchronization in the Plus and higher plans. So besides creating a calendar and adding it to your own website, you can also sync your calendar with other websites!

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