Roster sync issue with android devices - Google calendar not updating

Staff Members who use Google calendar on the web or on their android device to subscribe to their SupportAbility Roster may notice that the Roster does not update regularly, as changes are made to the Roster within SupportAbility. 

Understanding the webcal technology
When you subscribe to a SupportAbility Roster with an Application such as Google Calendar, SupportAbility provides the subscribing Application with a special kind of web page address called a web cal link.  That link contains allows Applications to download all the calendar data for the Roster in question.  The concept is that the Application can then use that link to perform regular and automated checks for changes made to the SupportAbility Roster and then updates its own data accordingly to ensure the systems are always in sync.  The process of an Application checking the SupportAbility Roster webcal link for changes and updating its data accordingly is called a 'synchronisation' or 'sync' for short.

The problem with Google calendar
Most calendar Applications such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple's Calendar check the SupportAbility Roster's webcal link for changes every 5 to 30 minutes.  This ensures that the Application remains up to dat and contains all changes made to the SupportAbility Roster within the last 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, Google Calendar does not have a clear or reliable schedule for performing synchronisations. Google have officially stated in the Google Calendar documentation that synchronisations may take as long as 12 hours.  However in our own testing, and in exceptional cases reported online, synchronisation can take up to 72 hours!

Whilst Google Calendar does provide a refresh function, this does not seem to trigger the webcal synchronisation process required to refresh SupportAbility Roster subscriptions and there are no tools provided to force a manual synchronisation or even control the frequency of the synchronising schedule. 

No solutions available yet
The Google Calendar webcal synchronisation issue was identified back in 2011, and since the Google has not expressed any intention of providing a resolution.  In addition, we are not of aware of any workarounds that can be used to resolve the issue.

Until such time as this is resolved, we do not recommend staff use Google Calendar on the web or on their Android device to subscribe to their SupportAbility roster. These staff will need to review their Roster directly within SupportAbility on a tablet or computer to ensure they have access to the most up-to-date and accurate rostering information.

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