Free/Busy

Now Available: Free/Busy Calendars for all G Suite, Google, and Office 365 accounts

Free/Busy allows you to view availability without sharing the private details of an event.

Tasia Potasinski | October 30, 2019

We’re proud to announce our new Free/Busy calendar functionality. The Free/Busy feature is available for all G Suite, Google, and Office 365 accounts and is available today to all Nylas subscribers.

With Free/Busy support, your users can keep information about sensitive events hidden. Rather than seeing a description of the event, meeting requesters would only see other meeting participant’s schedules with all existing meetings blocked off and labeled “Busy” while keeping the event details private.

How Free/Busy Improves Security

Oftentimes, executives, finance managers, and HR representatives will opt to keep their calendars on a Free/Busy-only view. This helps keep details about sensitive meetings private, like performance reviews, sensitive financial review meetings that contains salary data, or even pre-IPO or M&A discussions that need to be kept private before they’re announced.

With the Nylas Free/Busy endpoint, any user with the Free/Busy setting turned on can still easily schedule meetings without compromising the privacy and security of their sensitive meeting data, including the location, names and email addresses of attendees, and event details.

How to Use Free/Busy

The calendar/free-busy endpoint allows you to query availability information for a Calendar during a certain time period. The data returned doesn’t include any sensitive information about events within the window, like titles, descriptions, or locations. Booked times simply show as “Busy” while keeping the event details private.

To get started, you’ll need an authenticated account that has one of the following scopes: calendar, calendar.read_only.

You only need to pass three bits of information to request free busy information for a given calendar:

  • The account’s access_token
  • The start and end time of the range you’re checking availability
  • The Nylas calendar_id for the calendar you’re checking availability on

Here’s an example cURL request showing how you can query free busy information for a single calendar:

curl -X POST -G \
"https://api.nylas.com/calendar/free-busy" \
-d "start_time"="1409594400" \
-d "end_time"="1409598000" \
-d "calendar_ids"="aaaaa"  # Note, at this time only one calendar_id may be sent

And the example response:

[
  {
   "object": "free_busy",
   "calendar_id": "bbbb1234cccc1234",
   "time_slots": [
      {
        "object": "time_slot",
        "status": "busy",
        "start_time": 1409594400,
        "end_time": 1409598000
      },
      { 
        "object": "time_slot",
        "status": "busy",
        "start_time": 1409598000,
        "end_time": 1409599000
      }, 
    ]
  }
]

That’s it! 

Getting Started With Nylas

If you are a Nylas subscriber, you can start using the Free/Busy feature right now. The Free/Busy docs provide more information on how you can use this feature.

If you haven’t created an account for the Nylas communications platform yet, you can try our suite of universal APIs and experience all of the features by signing up for a free API key today.

About the Author

Tasia is the Head of Marketing at Nylas. In her free time, she enjoys discovering new running trails in the Marin Headlands and exploring the best vegan bakeries in San Francisco.

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