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Manage the Transition

We’re very excited about the launch of our new system on February 1, 2022. With powerful new features and flexibility, we’re confident the Stanford community will quickly see why we’re eager to share this new experience. But with this change, we know that some of our partners are concerned about how their sites will be impacted. To share information and offer a few suggestions for smoothing the transition, we’ve created this page to document some of the key differences and answer some FAQs. If you have questions not covered below, please reach out to the Events Calendar Team. We have a ServiceNow form available for opening service tickets (this is not the form to use for requesting Event Publisher access; see Publishing Access for the correct workflow).

During the first quarter of 2022, you can visit us on Slack at #events-calendar-help for drop-in assistance. During January and February, we’ll have twice-weekly Office Hours, Mondays and Wednesdays 12-1 Pacific. We’ll monitor the channel during working hours but will likely be a little slower to respond.

What are the differences between the Legacy system and Localist?

While the interface will change, many of the concepts are the same on both the legacy system and the new system. However, there are some significant differences between the two systems that are important to note.

  • Sponsor – In the legacy system, a “sponsor” was a department or group that was co-presenter of an event. In the new system, “sponsor” means something completely different. In the new system, “sponsor” means that Stanford as a whole “sponsors”, i.e. endorses or promotes, the event. In the new system, sponsored events may, for example, appear on Stanford’s homepage. To replicate the (co-)sponsor feature in the new system, simply choose multiple departments / groups in the Classifications section of the event edit page.
  • Audience – In the legacy system, you were required to identify an “audience” for an event. The audience(s) you identified was displayed on the page, but it could not be used to filter events. Also, it wasn’t possible to distinguish between “intended for (but open to any)” and “restricted to” a particular audience. In the new system there are two fields: Audience and Restricted To. The Audience field is not required, but is strongly recommended. It represents whom the event is intended for, and users can filter on this field. Restricted To is a new, custom field that indicates that the event is only open to specific people. It is a free-form text field that can hold any (brief) text, e.g. “Students enrolled in CS 506”, “Members of the Cardinal Ventures group”, …

FAQ’s

The URL structure on Localist is quite a bit different from the Legacy system, so your event URLs will be changing at launch. We suggest using a link shortener like bitly.com or the Request new GOTO Short URL feature of Stanford’s Vanity URL service to promote your event using the shortened URL. On February 1 you can return to the link shortener and change the address your short URL points to.

For example: in the Legacy system, the URL for February 1’s Counseling with Fidelity Investments event is https://events.stanford.edu/events/936/93666/. In the new system, the URL is https://events.stanford.edu/event/individual_financial_counseling_with_fidelity_investments_phone_or_zoom_only_5306. Using Vanity URL, I created https://goto.stanford.edu/fidelity-feb-1. On February 1 I can log back into Vanity URL and edit this so that it sends the user to the new system.

I use the Drupal Event Importer module. Will it continue to work with Localist?

Stanford Web Services has created a new version of the Drupal Event Importer module that works with Localist. It’s built to work with Drupal 9 sites only. You can read more about this change on the Programmatic Connections page.

I don’t use Drupal 9. What’s the easiest way to display events from the new system on my website?

You’re in luck! Localist has a very rich Widget Builder tool that could work very well for you. It’s very flexible and allows you to build your display using any of the criteria available in the system. You can be as detailed or broad as you like in choosing your feed. You’re not limited to one widget per site. If you’d like to have different displays of related events on a per-page basis, simply build a new widget for each page, picking exactly the parameters you need for your custom feed.

See our brief guide for building widgets here on our help site. In addition, check out Localist’s documentation for details and four examples of ways to use widgets on your site.

What about bookmarks?

Our legacy system had a “bookmark” feature, which allowed a department’s calendar admin to “bookmark” events from other Departments/Groups. Those bookmarked events would appear in the department’s XML feed, and would therefore be imported into the department’s website along with their own events. Unfortunately, Localist does not provide such a feature.

University Communications has written a little app to replicate this feature. See the documentation on this new bookmarking app.

My department may not be ready to make the jump to Localist on February 1. Are we going to lose our event feeds?

We plan on leaving the Legacy system online for a minimum of six months for our partners who can’t make the transition by our launch date. You can continue to pull your feeds as you are now. There are two very important issues to note if you choose to go this route.

First, if you’re using an XML feed to pull events, you will only receive those events in your feed that are entered into the Legacy system. We cannot sync content from Localist back to Legacy. This is of particular concern if you’re pulling events from other departments or groups: if they enter their events directly in Localist, their events will not be available in the legacy XML feeds.

And secondly, keep in mind that the age of the Legacy system is one of the major factors in our decision to migrate to a modern system like Localist. At some point in the near future, we may see the Legacy system go down with no way of bringing it back online. Because of this, we’re urging everyone to make the transition as soon as possible.

Several people on my team need to be able to add events to the calendar. Will their accounts be migrated over to the new system?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a way to do that. The new system does not allow for importing users. In order to gain Event Admin privileges, each person will have to follow the procedure outlined on our Publishing Access page.