Dime Software keeps on racking up the milestones. We are happy to announce auto-extending capabilities for appointments based on the calendars of its resources.
All new features included in this release are centered around "time slots". A few months ago we released the resource calendars feature which then was limited to displaying unavailable hours (see figure).
The next logical step for us was to add the possibility of automatically modifying the duration of the appointment, based on the resources (and its calendars) that were assigned to it. In other words, we will make sure the schedule of your resources is in accordance with their own calendar and availability, creating a realistic and feasible planning.
Configuring time slots
There are three levels of configuration which will give ample support to finetune the auto-extend feature:
These three levels are cascading. All three levels must have the right values in order to apply the recalculation algorithm to the appointment. If any of the upper levels block the setting, the algorithm will not be applied.
The administrator can decide if the auto-extend feature must apply to everyone. If the administrator decides to disable this, all subsequent settings on a lower level won't have any effect.
In the application setup, you will find a new option:
By default, this value is set to false so administrators would need to explicitly change it.
The second level of configuration can be found at the planning board level. There is a button which achieves the same thing but it is scoped to that planning board only. This means you can have several planning boards in your profile with different calculation modes.
This button can be toggled. If the button is red, it means you want to ignore the auto-calculation feature in this planning board. Creating or updating appointments in this planning board will not apply calendars as such – even though appointments may indicate so. The value of this button is stateful.
The third level of configuration can be found on the appointments and tasks. Appointments which are marked to ignore calendar application are shown with a small orange triangle at the left bottom corner of:
There are two ways to modify this value. Either through the appointment's context menu or through the editor, as shown here:
Choosing the leading resource on an appointment with multiple assignments
Appointments with more than one resource pose a challenge in that it is impossible to reconcile two different schedules (from the resources) to one appointment. Therefore, the planner must decide which resource to use for the automatic recalculation. When creating or updating such appointments, a resolution window will be prompted, such as this one:
There are three outcomes:
- The planner selects the resource which will be used for the appointment recalculation
- The appointment ignores calendars altogether (no automatic recalculation)
- Cancel the update
Resource calendars with business hours that end the next day
In the calendar setup you can choose business hours that end the next day. For example a working range between 22:00 and 06:00 is now among the possibilities of your calendar management.
There is one caveat: calendars with such business hours are not supported by the Gantt chart. The resource calendars did support this but it – until this release - would inverse the range. In this example Dime.Scheduler would have assumed you meant to indicate an availability slot between 06:00 and 22:00.
Apply route sequence in the map's action URI's
When executing action uri's from within the map, the route's way points (i.e. your tasks, resources, appointments, etc) are parsed and passed to the placeholders in the order in which they appear on the route.
- Automatic updates of resource GPS tracking records on the map will no longer interfere with the resource's home locations.
- We updated some database procedures concerning the Exchange synchronization which don't block us any longer in our journey towards the cloud.
- The back office web application installer was modified to include all necessary program files.
- We fixed the formatting for yes/no fields in the task details pane.
- Performance improvements were made to the resource availability calculations and the interaction within the scheduler.
In Dime.Scheduler 2019.3.0 we will work on another much-requested feature: capacity. By implementing the popular pivot grid, you will be able to slice and dice on your resource's capacity in a heartbeat. Further up the road – probably towards the beginning of the third quarter – we intend to work on recurring appointments, just like you know it in your favorite mail client.