Scheduling Software | Room Scheduling Software | VisualTime



 

 

VisualTime Scheduling Software User’s Guide

 

Table of contents

Introduction  5

Concepts  6

Resources and activities  6

Activity Status  7

Activity duration  8

Scheduling conflicts  8

Hard conflicts  8

Soft conflicts  8

Single step scheduling vs multi step scheduling  9

Simple scheduling vs complex scheduling  9

Activity confirmation  9

Notifications  9

Sites  10

Locations  10

User profiles  10

Service catalogs  10

Global setting  10

Launching VisualTime  11

Navigating within VisualTime  13

Removing a resource from the calendar  16

Changing the order of resources  17

Visual Explorer  17

Favorites  18

Activity management 19

Scheduling and managing activities  19

Series of recurring activities  21

Visualizing the Activity Schedule  23

Conflict report 23

Resource and contact selector  24

Service provider selector  25

Requesting service items  26

Copying (cloning) activities  28

Moving activities  29

Cancelling activities  29

Administration  30

Managing resources  30

Creating and managing resources  31

Creating and managing contacts  33

Managing service providers  34

Managing service catalogs  35

Managing service requests  37

Reports  39

More information  41

 

IntroductionGo to the top of document

 

VisualTime® is a resource planning and room scheduling software system. 

 

VisualTime® scheduling software can be used to manage the booking, reservation and scheduling of rooms, facilities, offices, equipment, services and people.

 

VisualTime is mostly used as a room scheduling software, classroom scheduling software or general purpose office scheduling software. VisualTime has proved to be a successful room scheduler and meeting room manager alternative to MS Outlook, MS Excel or Google Calendar. When used as a general purpose office scheduling software it can also be an excellent office tracker alternative to pen and paper systems.

 

This guide is intended for the users of VisualTime scheduling software once the system has been configured, as well as for system administrators and consultants involved in configuring and administering the system.

 

For any comments, suggestions or questions regarding this manual or the software please use the following page:

 

http://www.visualtime.com/feedback/

 

 

ConceptsGo to the top of document

The following list provides a brief description of the concepts and elements used in VisualTime.

Resources and activities Go to the top of document

Resource – is the basic element used to define a physical element from your business processes which requires management and scheduling. As an example, resources can be rooms, pieces of furniture, equipment, tools, cars, trucks, etc.

 

By definition resources should be elements which are not easily replaceable. By contrast for example, inventory items or supplies are consumable elements and typically supplied on demand.

 

Therefore items that are produced or stocked should not be created as resources in the VisualTime system but rather as supplies or inventory items, etc.

 

Activity – is the logical representation of an actual business activity taking place in a certain place at a specific moment in time. An activity is comprised at the minimum of a resource and a time interval where the activity takes place.   In the context of VisualTime scheduling software, activities are periods of time where the particular resources are dedicated to a particular operation. In the real world, the activities can be assimilated with bookings, reservations, meetings, appointments, events, classes, etc.

 

Activity’s Main Resource – is the resource where the activity takes place. In practice this can be assimilated with the physical location where the activity occurs and it’s a mandatory element of a VisualTime activity.  

 

Additional Resources – are resources, other than the activity’s main resource, that are scheduled together as part of the activity.

 

Primary Resource – is a resource that can be scheduled as the Activity’s Main Resource, for an activity where additional resources are to be scheduled as well.

 

Secondary Resource – is a resource which can’t constitute an Activity’s Main Resource, when there are additional resources scheduled as part of that activity. If a Secondary Resource is an Activity’s Main Resource, no additional resources can be part of that activity.

 

External Resources - are resources that are stored and managed in systems external to VisualTime. If an external systems exposes a calendar that can be queried for free busy information, the calendar can be rendered within VisualTime. Example of external resources exposing their free/busy time, are Microsoft Exchange users or resources, Google Calendars, etc.

 

Joint Resource – a joint resource is a resource that is automatically scheduled in an activity when the resource being joined to is scheduled as either a main resource or additional resource as part of that activity.

 

Contacts - represent physical persons that can be added as participants or attendees in VisualTime activities.

Activity Status Go to the top of document

Depending on the way the application is configured by the administrator, an activity can have one of the following statuses: Tentative, Approved, Confirmed or Cancelled.

 

Tentative activity is the status of an activity which is created but not approved. By default, activities with the Tentative status are created only when the Allow Conflicts system setting is ON. Several Tentative activities can overlap against each other for the same resource.

Approved activity is an activity for which its main resource is approved and therefore the resources involved can not be part of other approved activities for the duration of the activity.  A resource can be part of a single approved activity at any given time. However, an approved activity can overlap with one or more Tentative activities at the same time. By default, activities are created with the status approved when the Allow Conflicts system setting is OFF.

Confirmed activity – is an activity where service items have been requested and all the requested items have been confirmed by their respective providers. In order to be listed for confirmation, Tentative activities have to be Approved first.

Cancelled Activity – is an activity which has been removed from the roster and all the resources have been freed up for the corresponding period.

Waiting list

The collection of activities having the Start Date / Time in the future and having the Tentative status, constitute by definition the Waiting list.

Scheduling - In the context of this guide, Scheduling is the process of creating or modifying an activity, along with its associated elements and properties.

 

Activity duration Go to the top of document

The maximum duration of an activity in VisualTime is 24 hours. If you need to create activities spanning over several days, you can create recurrent activities repeated daily.

Scheduling conflicts Go to the top of document

A scheduling conflict occurs when two or more activities are scheduled for the same resource and the times of the activities are overlapping. By definition, VisualTime detects two types of conflicts: hard conflicts and soft conflicts. The main difference between the two types of conflicts is that the VisualTime scheduling software always prevents hard conflicts, thus scheduling activities in that condition is not allowed. Soft conflicts, although detected and reported by the system, don’t prevent activities from being scheduled.

Hard conflicts Go to the top of document

By definition, a hard conflict occurs when:

l  Approved or Confirmed activities are scheduled to take place for the same resource and their periods are overlapping.

l  A resource is marked as unavailable during the activity.

l  A requested service is not available during the activity.

l  A specific service item requested is not available during the activity.

VisualTime software automatically prevents the scheduling of activities with hard conflicts.

Soft conflicts Go to the top of document

Soft conflicts are said to occur when an external resource is not available during the period where the scheduled activity takes place. An example would be the attendees scheduled in a particular activity not being available during that period of time. Since the attendees are resources external to the VisualTime system a scheduling conflict is reported but the activity creation will not be prevented. It’s the responsibility of the person scheduling the activity to decide whether the activity should be created or not since the attendees’ calendars are in conflict with the schedule.

Single step scheduling vs multi step scheduling Go to the top of document

By convention, if your business allows the resources to scheduled and reserved directly by the users, then we will refer to this as a single step or decentralized scheduling process.

If your processes require each activity to be reserved or booked and then approved by a resource or activity administrator, then we will refer to this as a multi step or centralized scheduling process.

Simple scheduling vs complex scheduling Go to the top of document

If your scheduling process only involves the reservation/booking of the particular resources, then we will refer to this as simple scheduling.

If your business, in addition to resources, also requires services to be provided during the scheduled activities, then we will refer to this process as complex scheduling.

 

Service providers and services – can be defined in your VisualTime system and can be requested in conjunction with any activity if the home resource supports it. As an example, services can be defined as Food & Catering Services, Supply Services, Personnel Services or General Services.

Note:

In order to use the VisualTime Services module you need to acquire a separate license for that module.

Activity confirmation Go to the top of document

The activities for which one or more services have been requested, have to be confirmed by each one of the providers of the corresponding services.

Notifications Go to the top of document

The VisualTime system can be configured to automatically send notifications via email to the activity organizer, resource managers, service providers, attendees, participants, etc. The notification templates are configured by the VisualTime system administrator via the Management Console.

Sites Go to the top of document

A site is the primary physical space or geographical area where your business is located.  By definition, all your resources belong to a site. You can not have resources outside of a site.  An example of a site could be a building and the resources are the rooms within that building.

Locations Go to the top of document

You can define one or more locations within a site. A location is a logical way to group resources. A resource can only belong to one location. An example of a location could be a particular floor within a building. Or if the site is defined as a group of buildings or an area, the locations could be as well defined as buildings.

User profiles Go to the top of document

Each user needs to have a login id in order to have access to the system. The ability to perform certain tasks is managed through the settings defined for each user’s profiles. Each one of the users has a profile assigned to their login id. By defining specific authorizations (permissions) for each profile, the administrator can manage the permissions for each user. For example Profile X can book rooms and schedule activities for a particular site but not for another site, etc. The administrator can create profiles and assign the same profile to one or more users.

Certain profile authorizations are defined for each site while other authorizations apply to the whole VisualTime system settings. For more information on creating User Profiles please refer to the VisualTime Administrator’s Guide.

Service catalogs Go to the top of document

Each service provider can define their own set of items that can be ordered/requested through that service.  In VisualTime scheduling software, these items are grouped into lists called Catalogs. In order to request an item from a particular service provider, the manager of that service should first mark the item available for ordering.

Global setting Go to the top of document

A VisualTime system wide setting having effect on all the users, sessions or resources, etc,  and  configured via the Settings applet in Management Console –> Configuration.

Launching VisualTime Go to the top of document

The VisualTime client is a rich internet access application designed to run on the Windows operating system.  You can launch it from a local folder on your computer, from a network share or from a web page. It does not require any installation or administrative privileges and no additional components need to be installed on the local computer.

 

Here is an example of what the default web page for launching VisualTime may look like:

 

 

If you are using Internet Explorer, the connection settings are automatically configured once you have loaded this page into your browser.

Once you click on the VisualTime client download link you can save the client to your Windows desktop or any other folder that is convenient to you. A screen similar to this will be presented to you.

 

To launch VisualTime choose Run as shown in the screenshot below or double-click on the Visualtime link if you previously saved the program locally.

 

 

Depending on the application settings, you may need to provide the server URL address:

 

 

Type in the server address as instructed by the application administrator and then click Connect.

 

Note:

Depending on how the administrator has configured the system, the server address dialog prompt may not be displayed and the application will automatically connect to the sever.

 

When prompted, enter your user name and password and press the Login button.

 

Navigating within VisualTime Go to the top of document

Once logged tin, the default view is similar to the screenshot below.

 

 

The application has a drop down menu and 3 main regions: the toolbar, the selection area on the left and the main workspace.

 

The main workspace displays the current calendar by default.

The Toolbar allows access to the different parts of the application or trigger specific actions.

 

The Previous / Next buttons allow navigating the date of the current view back and forth. In Week and Month view mode, the navigation is done one week or one month at the time while in all the other views, the navigation is done by navigating the date one day at the time.

 

The Date Navigator allows navigating the date of the current view and selecting the desired date.

 

The Calendar displayed in the main workspace has several types of views that can be selected through the vertical tabs displaying their corresponding labels: Time Table, Day, 5 Days, Week, Month and QuickView.

 

The Time Table, Day, 5 Days, Week and Month views display the resources and activities on the date or the range of dates selected via the Date Navigator at the top left side of the screen.

 

The Quickview displays the main pictures of the resources together with a status indicator. The status indicator is green if the resource is fully available or red if the resource is not available or booked for any period of time during the day selected in the date navigator.

 

Context menus are available in Time Table view for resources, activities and time ruler via right-click.

 

In Time Table view you can select the interval for the time ruler to one of the following options: 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes.

 

 

In Time Table as well as in the Day, Week and Month views, the Resource  context menu allows access to the following functions: Resource details, Resource planner and Remove from calendar.

Removing a resource from the calendar Go to the top of document

To hide a resource from the current calendar without removing it from the VisualTime system database, select either one of the Time Table, Day, 5 Days, Week and Month views, right-click on the resource header of the resource you want to remove from the current calendar and select the Remove from calendar.

Changing the order of resources Go to the top of document

The resources displayed in the current calendar can be moved or removed from the current calendar through the Time Table view. In Time Table view you can drag a resource towards the left or right and drop it at the desired location thus changing the order of the resources displayed on the screen.  When dragging a resource via its header a red anchor indicates the target position for the resource being moved. To move the selected resource, drop the resource over the desired target location.

Visual Explorer Go to the top of document

The selection of resources displayed in the current calendar is controlled through the Visual Explorer which acts as a selection filter or via the Favorites selector which allows you to load pre-defined filters.

The Visual Explorer allows you to select two types of elements: resources and contacts.

The Resource applet provides the following filtering options:

l  Resource types and resource features

l  Resource status and availability criteria

l  Sites and locations

The Contacts applet allows searching and inserting existing contacts into the calendar, as well as the creation of new contacts.

To search for a specific contact type one or more letters into the First Name and/or Last Name field, select one of the available address books and press the search button. The contacts matching the search criteria are displayed as a list below the criteria search fields.

To insert it into the current calendar, select a contact in search results list and double click on it or drag and drop it over the main workspace.

To add a new contact select the Quick Add button, enter the required fields and press the Ok button. To permanently add the contact to the VisualTime system database, check the Add to VisualTIme contacts option. This will ensure the contact is permanently saved in the VIsualTime system database.

Note: in order to save a contact to the VisualTime system database your user profile needs to have the Manage Contacts authorization associated with it.

Favorites Go to the top of document

The Favorites applet allows you to save and quickly retrieve a previously saved calendar selection. This can be very useful if you are dealing with a large number of resources or if you need to repeatedly access several selections of resources with different selection criteria. Along with VisualTime resources, the Favorites can also save views containing calendars from your MS Outlook contacts or Google Calendars.

 

Each user has the ability to create it’s own set of Favorites and access them by simply double clicking on the corresponding item on the Favorites list.

 

To create a new favorite the following steps should be taken:

  1. Customize the current calendar
  2. Select the view type
  3. Select the resource filtering criteria
  4. Select the date (optional)
  5. Remove unwanted resources (optional)
  6. Add contacts (optional)
  7. Indicate whether the Favorite should be set as the default calendar
  8. Save the Favorite
  9. Test the newly saved Favorite (recommended)

The following elements can be used as filtering criteria:

l  Site and location

l  Selected Date

l  View type

l  Resource types

l  Availability criteria

l  Current resources

l  Contacts

 

Activity management Go to the top of document

The core of the VIsualTime functionality is the scheduling of resources and activity management.

You can create an activity in several ways:

l  Via the Activity button on the toolbar.

l  By selecting the available areas of the regions of a resource in one of the views in the calendar.

l  By selecting a resource in the resource search results list.

l  By copying an existing activity or series of activities

Scheduling and managing activities Go to the top of document

The Activity applet has four main areas:

  1. The top area which is used for selecting the main resource where the activity takes place along with the date, time and duration.
  2. The detail area which allows editing the activity elements.
  3. The summary area at the top left side of the form displays summarized information about the current activity.
  4. The resource, contact and service selector on the left

 

 

The Detail section contains the Activity Name, Requester name, Notes, Preparation and shutdown intervals, Activity status, activity type, Cost center, Client # and File ID fields.

 

The Notes, Activity type, Cost Center, Client # and File ID fields can be hidden or marked as mandatory by the VisualTime system administrator.

 

The following business rules have to be taken into consideration when creating or modifying an activity:

l  The End Date field can be shown or hidden depending on how it is configured by the system administrator.

l  The maximum duration of an activity is 24 hours. To create an activity spanning over several days you can create an activity that repeats for the number of days you want.

l  The Start Time and End Time of an activity cannot span outside of the business hours interval which is a system wide setting.

l  Only the Start Date, Start Time and Duration values can be entered, the End Time and End Date are automatically calculated.

l  The moment when an activity starts is dependent upon the Blackout period global setting.

l  The blackout period is a global setting defined by the administrator and its function is to prevent the creation of an activity with a minimum amount of time in advance.

l  The system doesn’t allow the creation or modification of an activity occurring in the past.

l  The maximum range of the End Date depends on the value of the global settings Farthest Schedulable Date or Maximum Timeframe – whichever occurs first.

l  The Private field allows you to make an activity private so only users having the authorization to view private activities can open it.

l  If checked, the Locked field will require an existing activity to be unlocked first prior to be modified.

l  The Activity Status field can have one of the following possible values: Tentative, Approved and Confirmed. The implicit value depends on the activity status and it also depends on the Allow Conflicts global setting as defined by the system administrator.

l  If the global setting Allow Conflicts is enabled, an activity default status is set to Tentative.

l  A user with the Manage Resources authorization can change an activity status to Approved by setting the Status field to the corresponding value.

l  An activity with Tentative status can overlap with another activity having the same status or with an activity having Approved status.

l   An activity with the Approved status can overlap with an activity having the Tentative status but it cannot overlap with another activity having the Approved or Confirmed status as the system will automatically prevent scheduling an activity in that condition.

l  If the global setting Allow Conflicts is disabled, an activity becomes Approved automatically when it’s scheduled.

l  If a scheduled activity contains service requests, a user having the Manage Services authorization can change an activity status to Confirmed by confirming all the requested service items for that activity.

l  Only activities having the Approved status can be changed to Confirmed.

l  The Preparation and Shutdown intervals can be either controlled automatically and thus following the preparation and shutdown values configured for the main resource or can be set when scheduling the activity.

Series of recurring activities Go to the top of document

The Recurrence section allows you to create, define or visualize the recurrence pattern if the activity you are creating or editing is part of a series of activities.

The Recurrence section has two sub-sections: one for defining the recurrence Pattern and one for visualizing the recurrence Calendar.

 

 

l  The recurrence Pattern section allows you to define the pattern for the recurrent activity so you can choose from one of the following options: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or random.

l  If the current activity is an existing one and occurring in the past, the Pattern section will not be displayed and the Calendar section will be in read-only mode, meaning that you can select any dates on the calendar.

 

Note:

A special type of monthly recurrence pattern offers you the ability to schedule counting backwards from the end of the month.

 

l  The automatic conflict prevention mechanism  allows you to choose one of the following options:

l  The recurrence Calendar section allows you to view the days on a calendar year format for each scheduled activity in the series - that is, each instance of a recurrent activity. In addition you can visualize the days where a scheduling conflict occurs in the selected pattern. If the series of activities span over the years, you can navigate back and forth to the desired year with the Next/Previous buttons.

l  The recurrence Calendar can be also used to manually add or remove dates in the series. You can create completely random series or exceptions to the predefined pattern by simultaneously pressing the Control key on your keyboard and clicking with the mouse on the available days,

l  If the current activity is an existing one and occurring in the past, the Pattern section will not be displayed and the Calendar section will be in read-only mode, meaning that you can select any dates on the calendar.

l  When creating a series of activities, the status of the activities for each occurrence in the series has the default value as configured in the application settings (Allow Conflicts).

l  The maximum range of the series depends on the value of the global setting Farthest Schedulable Date or Maximum Timeframe – whichever occurs first.

Visualizing the Activity Schedule Go to the top of document

The Schedule section of the Activity applet allows you to visualize calendars of the main resource, additional resources, contacts or service providers on the selected day. This allows you to easily select an interval for the activity where all the elements are available and remove the ones that are not needed or the ones in conflict.

If the activity is part of a series, you can navigate between each activity occurrence in the series.

 

Conflict report Go to the top of document

When the system detects scheduling conflicts, the Conflicts section will display a list of resources or service providers in conflict with the current schedule.

 

 

The Conflicts tab will display its label with an exclamation mark in parenthesis (!) when the list of conflicts is not empty. In addition to that, an information bar will be displayed above the top section of the form.

l  The list displays the date, resource or provider name, detail and reason of the scheduling conflict.

l  For large lists you can sort and group the elements as needed for easier reading.

l  You can remove from the schedule the conflicting service providers, the conflicting resources or, in the case of a series, the conflicting dates. This allows you to quickly resolve scheduling conflicts without having to manually remove each one of the conflicting elements.

l  The list of conflicts can also be printed for offline review.

Resource and contact selector Go to the top of document

The Resource and Contact selector allows you to filter and select additional resources and contacts and add them as part of the scheduled activity.

When the main resource of the activity is a primary resource, the Resource filter will display a list of resources available at the same site with the main resource. You can filter the list of resources available by resource type, by resource features and by location. Once you have selected the desired resource in the list, you can add it to the activity as an additional resource by double clicking on it.

Note:

Only resources that are not in conflict during the selected period will be displayed in the list of available additional resources.

 

As soon as additional resources have been added to the activity, you can see them in the Schedule section.

As such, an activity can have an unlimited number of additional resources but only one main resource.

 

The contact section allows searching, selecting and adding contacts to the scheduled activity.

By default you can search and add contacts from one of the following sources:

l  VisualTime Users

l  VisualTime Contacts

 

VisualTime automatically detects the presence of Microsoft Outlook and the connection to Microsoft Exchange.

If Microsoft Outlook is installed on your Windows computer, in addition to the contact sources above, you will be able to select contacts from the following sources as well:

l  Outlook Address Book

l  Global Address Book (if available)

 

You can also create new contacts on the fly and add them to the activity. Optionally, the contacts you create can be added to the VisualTime Address Book.

 

Note:

In order to be able to add a contact to the VisualTime Address Book, your current user profile needs to have the Manage contacts authorization enabled.

Service provider selector Go to the top of document

To create service requests, in the Request Service area you can select one or more services from the list of available services. The list of available services depends upon the Capabilities of the main resource of the activity being scheduled.

 

Note:

Each resource has its own list of service Capabilities as defined in the Resource properties, therefore only these services will be available for selection.

Resources having the Allow Any Service property enabled will display all the services in the list of available services.

 

 

Each service provider selection automatically creates a corresponding service request section in the detail area.

In each service request section, you can request specific items available in the corresponding Service Catalog.

Requesting service items Go to the top of document

To add or remove service request items, first select the particular service provider section in the detail area of the activity applet.

 

 

Click on the Add/Remove Items and select the desired items from the list of Available Items on the left and add them to the Selected Items on the right. You can do that either by double clicking the items or by selecting the item first and then click on the add button represented with a right pointed arrow head.

 

Similarly, to remove an item from the list of selected items, first select the item on the Selected Items on the right side and either double click or click on the remove button represented with a left pointed arrow head.

 

You will need to specify the quantity and the time when the item should be provided for each one of the requested items.

 

By default, the requested time coincides with the activity start time.

Optionally, specific notes for the service provider can be added in the Notes field.

 

On left side at the top, the summary box displays a summary of key elements of the activity, like number of recurrences, number of participants, number service items requested, number of scheduling conflicts detected.

Copying (cloning) activities Go to the top of document

In Time Table view you can create a new activity based on an activity which already exists. This operation is done in two steps.

 

For the first step, select the activity you want to copy and through the activity context menu select the Copy option. For the second step, select the resource and time slot where you want the new activity to be created and through the context menu select the Paste option.

If the activity is part of a series you have the option to copy / paste the entire series or just that particular activity.

 

Note:

If the source activity contains service requests which are incompatible with the destination resource of the new activity, or if the destination time slot is in conflict with the service requests, you will be prompted to o open the activity for review. The new activity will not be effectively created until the conflicts are resolved.

If the source activity’s status is Approved or Confirmed, the new activity status will be downgraded to Tentative or Approved, depending on how your VisualTime system is configured.

Moving activities Go to the top of document

In Time Table view you can move activities via a drag and drop operation. To move an activity, select the activity item and drag it the desired location on the time table.

 

Note:

If the activity contains service requests which are incompatible with the destination resource or if the destination time slot is in conflict with the existing service requests, you will be prompted to o open the activity for review. The activity will not be effectively moved until the conflicts are resolved.

If the moved activity’s status is Approved or Confirmed, the new status will be downgraded to Tentative or Approved, depending on how your VisualTime system is configured.

For copied or moved activities, the Preparation and Shutdown times will not be automatically adjusted to the destination resource’s predefined requirements. This functionality may change in future versions of the product.

Cancelling activities Go to the top of document

An activity can be cancelled using the activity’s context menu in Time Table view or via the activity applet by selecting the Delete button. Once cancelled, an activity can still be included in reports but is no longer visible in the VisualTime Calendar.

To cancel an activity you can An activity is cancelled

Administration Go to the top of document

Managing resources Go to the top of document

The resource management applet allows you to display and filter the list of existing VisualTime resources, as well as add new resources, edit or delete existing resources.

 

Note:

To access this applet your user profile needs to have the Manage Resources authorization enabled.

 

 

You can display the list of resources on the screen or print it. The list can be grouped and sorted by each one the column headers. To group the list by one or more of the columns, just drag the column(s) to the top of the list area. The column headers display an arrow pointed up or down depending on the selected sort order. To change the sort order, just click the column headers.

 

Alternatively, you can display the resources in picture grid format instead of list so you can visualize and locate rapidly the existing resources based on their associated image.

 

Creating and managing resources Go to the top of document

The Resource creation and modification applet has two sections: General and Details.

 

The General section allows you to configure the following elements:

l  Resource name

l  Resource description

l  Hourly rate, secondary and tertiary rate

l  Capacity – this property determines the maximum number of participants that can attend an activity where the resource is selected as main resource.

l  Email address

l  Resource notes

l  Primary Resource property – this property, if enabled determines if the resource can accept additional resources when scheduled as a main resource in an activity.

l  Joint Resource  - the resource to which the current resource is joined to – if any.

l  Resource Type – this property is mandatory. The available resource features are dependent upon the type of resource.

l  Location – the location where the resource belongs to.

l  Resource group

l  Preparation and Shutdown times are the minimum amounts of time required for a resource to be prepared before an activity and to be shut down or cleared after an activity has taken place. In case of an activity involving several resources, these values are automatically applied to the activities created for the additional resources involved in that activity. The values can be set when scheduling the activity or can be configured via a global setting to automatically follow the values defined in the resource properties.

l  Restricted – allows you to mark the resource as restricted. Only users with a profile having the authorization to access restricted resources can schedule activities involving restricted resources.  If the user’s profile is not authorized to access restricted resources, the following will occur when scheduling an activity:

o   If a restricted resource is selected as a main resource a conflict will be displayed.

o   The restricted resources will not be displayed in the list of available resources.

 

 

The Details section allows you to define:

l  Resource Capabilities – Specify here by putting a checkmark in the corresponding field which type of service the resource is allowed to host or receive.

l  If the resource can accept any service without restriction you can check the Allow any service field which overrides any specific services individually specified.

l  Features – specify here which specific features the resource has. The list of available resource features are dependent upon the resource type selected in the General section of the Resource properties.

l  Un-availabilities – You can specify here any particular dates when the resource is not available for scheduling, eg maintenance days, holidays, days off, etc. The software will automatically check this list when saving an activity and any unavailable dates are included in the Activity’s Conflict report.

 

Creating and managing contacts Go to the top of document

The contact management applet allows you to display and filter the list of existing VisualTime contacts, as well as adding new resources, editing or deleting the existing resources.

 

Note:

To access this applet your user profile needs to have the Manage Contacts authorization enabled.

 

You can display the list of Contacts on the screen or print it. The list can be grouped and sorted by each one the column headers. To group the list by one or more of the columns, just drag the column(s) to the top of the list area. The column headers display an arrow pointed up or down depending on the selected sort order. To change the sort order, just click the column headers.

 

To add or modify an existing contact you need to enter a value for the following mandatory fields:

l  First name

l  Last name

l  Email address

When a contact is created, the system attempts to detect the calendar type automatically. The following types of calendars are automatically detected:

l  MS Outlook Calendars

l  Google Calendars

Managing service providers Go to the top of document

The Services applet displays a dual list of sites (on the left) and the corresponding available service providers (on the right).

To add a new service, choose the Add button or choose the Edit button to modify an existing one.

 

 

On the Service editing applet, you need to enter a value for the following fields:

l  Service name – The name of the service / service provider.

l  Site name – Select the site where the service belongs to from the drop down list. The service will be available only for activities taking place at that site.  In other words, the service will be available for requests only when an activity’s selected main resource belongs to that site.

l  Email address – The email address of the service provider. The email notifications will be sent to this email address.

l  Description – provide a brief description for the service.

l  Available from –  the earliest time of the day when the service becomes available.

l  For – the duration the service is available during the day in hours and minutes

l  Restricted – check this field on if the service is a restricted one. Only users having the authorization to request restricted services associated to their profiles can request services marked as restricted.

l  Available – enabling this field makes the service available for requests. If this field is not checked on, the service will not be listed in the list of available services in the activity request applet.

l  Un-availabilities – the date(s) when the service is not available.

 

Managing service catalogs Go to the top of document

The Catalog list applet displays the list of all items with a filter for the Site and Service on the left at the top. You can display the list on the screen or print it.

The list can be grouped and sorted by each one the column headers.

To group the list by one or more of the columns, just drag the column(s) to the top of the list area. The column headers display an arrow pointed up or down depending on the selected sort order.

To change the sort order, just click the column headers.

To add a new item, choose the Add button or choose the Edit button to modify an existing one.

 

 

On the Item editing applet, you need to provide a value for the following fields:

l  Name – the name of the item

l  Code  - if the item has a specific code or part number

l  Price – The price of the item when requested for an activity.

l  Description – The item’s short description.

l  Site – The site where the item is available for requests.

l  Service – the service under which the item may be requested.

l  Unavailable after date – is present, the item is no longer available for request in an activity taking place beyond this date.

l  Unavailable from date - is present, the item is no longer available for request in an activity taking place before this date.

Tip:  The Unavailable from/after dates are useful when a particular item is planned to be discontinued in the future, if there is a planned stock outage, if the item is or will be available only for a predefined period of time, etc.

l  Available – in order for the item to be requested this property should be enabled. If the property is not enabled for an item, the system will not allow saving an activity which includes requests for such item. This feature may be particularly useful in cases where certain items are out of stock for indefinite period of time or discontinued.

Managing service requests Go to the top of document

The Service Requests applet is accessible via the Requests buttons on the toolbar and allows the persons responsible for providing services to confirm the service requests for each activity where services have been requested.

 

The applet list displays all the activities that include at least one service request. You can display the list on the screen or print it. The list can be grouped and sorted by each one the column headers. To group the list by one or more of the columns, just drag the column(s) to the top of the list area. The column headers display an arrow pointed up or down depending on the selected sort order. To change the sort order, just click the column headers.

 

In order to confirm a service request, select the site, select de desired date via the date navigator and select the activity to be confirmed from the list.

 

Note:

Your User Profile needs to be authorized to Manage Service Requests for the selected site in order to be able to select the site and display the service requests.

In the request details form each service request is displayed on a separate section.

To confirm a service, you can confirm each requested item one by one, all at once or you can confirm the service request entirely. To do so, you can check on each one of the items requested or just check on the Confirm service option. As soon as all the items requested for a particular service are confirmed, the request for that service automatically becomes confirmed.


 

Each service requested for an activity is displayed on a separate section and needs to be confirmed separately. An activity is displayed in the list as long as there is still at least an associated service requested not yet confirmed.

Reports Go to the top of document

The reports applet is accessible via the Reports button on the toolbar. The applet displays the list of reports that have been published for use and you can sort the list by either their name or description.

 

To view a report, select the desired report from the list and double-click or press the Run button.

 

 

Note:

The reporting module needs to be enabled in order for the button to be visible on the taskbar.

 

If the selected report contains any parameters or prompts you will see them displayed in the working window. Supply the required parameters and select Ok.

 

Once generated, the report will be displayed in the working window. Depending on the report complexity, amount of returned data, database response times, etc, the report generation may take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes.

 

Once displayed in the working window, you can sort, filter, group and drill down the report as needed, provided that the report you are viewing was designed to include these options.

 

Note:

Your computer should have the Adobe Flash Player software installed in order to display reports containing Adobe Flash objects.

 

All the reports are fully customizable and you can create new reports as well as modify the existing ones using Crystal Reports 2008.

 

More information Go to the top of document

For more information, please refer to the following documents:

 

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