[idea] Share events between Indico instances

Noticing how many labs use Indico these days, I had in idea. Quite often, events are relevant to more than one lab, so I thought it would be neat if I could “Add an external event” to my Indico instance easily. If this would also allow the organiser to pick speakers from user accounts on either instance, limit access to user groups from either instance etc, that would be a big plus (but as I have limited technical knowledge I can imagine this part being hard to implement). This way it shows up for anyone subscribing to the category calendar on either instance, it can be browsed in one place, it is easier to keep track of the history of relevant events at a given lab etc.

Is something like this already possible perhaps?

There’s already a ticket which hints at something like that:

It doesn’t go as far as what you suggest, but it suggest the possibility to link to events on other instances. I think this is a good idea and would personally like to see it in Indico in the future.
For now, the closest we have to this is a command-line tool which lets you export an event to a file and then import it back in any other server (so, create a “replica”).

We have already considered what you suggest and, in theory, that would be the perfect scenario for an Indico “federation”. However, in practice things are much different. We would have to rely on some sort of centrally managed federated infrastructure which we have absolutely no way to maintain by ourselves. And while eduGAIN already provides us with a reliable platform for authentication across scientific institutions, there is currently no solution, for instance, to the problem of user discovery. This is without even considering Indico-centred technical challenges such as synchronizing data between servers which may even be running different versions of the software.

I’m not saying this isn’t something I would exclude in the future (it’s actually part of our vision), but I think we will have to take some smaller steps in that direction first. And if anyone is interested in realizing this vision with us, we’re always open to discuss it!

Thank you for your reply and explanation. Yes I guess federated cloud is the correct terminology here that I couldn’t think of (NextCloud does something somewhat similar right for document sharing?)

I think regardless of how complicated or close to impossible it is to implement that it can be valuable to list in a long term vision plan, that can allow you to better understand how useful people might find this.

The issue you listed sounds very much like a good first step in this direction, and perhaps the most valuable part. I see a similar suggestion was planned for 2.4 but has been taken away again?