In this release, we introduced a new concept named task containers. They are little more than groups which link tasks together. Despite its simplicity, it's a powerful concept and it gives us ample opportunities for new features in the future. There are already two use cases included and many more are to come, so stay tuned!
Task containers group tasks together into a single logical unit, allowing the application to treat the container as a proxy for all the tasks that are linked to it. Instead of manipulating the tasks one by one, containers can be leveraged to achieve the same thing in bulk. This concept is put into action in the open tasks grid and affects the map and the planning board.
Assuming a task container is defined and tasks are assigned to it, planning a task – by dragging it on the planning board - will automatically plan all the other tasks that belong to the same container. This makes a lot of sense in industries such as the logistics industry. For example, when you need to plan a task which corresponds to loading a lorry, chances are the next step will be to schedule the unloading task at the customer's site.
A second use case is the interaction between tasks on the map. When tasks (across jobs) are selected in the open tasks grid, they will be processed by the map component. If the task is backed by a geocoded job, a pin will be added to the map. When a task is connected to other tasks through one of its containers, the linked tasks will be embedded automatically on the map. Users that require the map to plan trips for their resources will benefit from this feature in a major way. You will see how much easier it is to determine the most efficient route when all related tasks are put on the map immediately. Automated mechanisms like this will reduce human errors and will reduce the time of planning as well.
Route sequence action URLs
The route sequence grid was introduced in Dime.Scheduler 2018.5.0. It enhances the planning process for those who rely on the map by displaying the route's waypoints in a grid and allowing the user to modify the order of the stops. Because of the way tasks and the map coalesce into this grid, a powerful feature was missing - until now: action URLs. Both map and open tasks components can use action URLs. They are contextual, which means that only relevant items are made available to the selected tasks and pins. What constitutes a relevant action URL depends on the (selected) items in the grid. When all (selected) items share the same source application and source type, the action URLs that share these values will be shown. The same reasoning applies for the two action URL features in the route sequence grid:
- Open task action URLs can be accessed via the context menu.
- Map action URLs can be executed using the anchor toolbar item.
Besides the traditional performance and stability improvements, the following bugs have been fixed:
- Assigning resources to a task in the Gantt chart via the task editor
- Remove redundant broadcasting to the connected users
- Proper disposal of the date picker after removing it from the profile
In the forthcoming months, we intend to work on another popular request: recurring appointments. This will require a major upgrade of our code base and it will take some time until we can ship a stable product, which is why we won't release a new version until summer.