2.02 Create and Manage Resources
LabArchives Scheduler allows users to reserve Resources. A Resource can be a piece of Lab Equipment, such as a Microscope or Spectrometer, or it could be an everyday item, such as a projector or a conference room.
Before your users can begin making reservations, you’ll need to set up one or more resources that they can reserve. Anyone with the Application Admin, Resource Admin, or Schedule Admin privileges can create a resource. To grant someone Resource or Schedule Admin privileges, please see the article on Users and Groups.
Creating New Resources Individually
To create new resources, go to Application Management, Resources (or Responsibilities, Resources if you are not an App Admin).
Once on this page, you can add new Resources to your organization individually or in bulk. To add a new Resource individually, click the triple dot menu at the top right-hand side of the screen then click ‘Add Resource’, as shown below.
This will produce a small window where you can specify the Resources Name, Schedule, Permissions, and Administrator. You can also upload a photo of the Resource and specify a color that represents the resource. To learn more about how to use Schedules, please see this article.
Importing Multiple Resources at Once
To import multiple resources at once, click the three-dot icon in the upper right corner of the screen and select “Import Resources,” as shown below:
On the import window, you can upload a CSV file of multiple resources. You can create your own CSV file using the requirements in blue or you can download a pre-formatted template by clicking “Get template.”
Note that this same three-dot menu also contains an Export Resources button. Consider using this feature if you ever plan on moving resources out of one Organization and into another LabArchives Scheduler Organization.
Once you add or import resources, they will appear near the bottom of the page, as shown below. Once the resource has been created, you can configure more information about the resource.
The options for each resource are broken up into three columns. In the left-most column, you can specify Resource information.
Note the top three buttons on this column, as shown below:
Going from left to right, these buttons allow you to edit the resource’s name, duplicate the resource, and delete the resource, respectively.
The options in the left column for each resource include:
Status: which can be Available, Unavailable, or hidden.
Schedule: A schedule allows you to indicate when a resource is available.
Type: which is customized by the Application/Schedule/Resource Admin.
Sort Order: The Sort Order controls where on the top to bottom list the Resource appears.
Location, Contact, Description, and Notes fields: Allows you to provide users with more information about the resources.
Resource Admin: A resource Admin has control over specific resources. For more information about Resource Admins, please see our article on Users and Groups.
QR Code: A QR code is a quick scan-able link for anyone trying to make a quick reservation for this via a Smartphone or Tablet. For more information about Schedules, please see our article on Schedules.
Additional fields can be added to this left most column by including Custom Attributes for Resources. Custom Attributes can be created by the App Admin, but these are available to Premium Organizations only.
The middle column contains the fields Duration, Capacity, Permissions, and Public.
Duration: Edit the Duration Settings for your Resource by clicking the pencil icon next to the “Duration” header. The window that appears is shown below.
- There is no minimum reservation duration – Unchecking this allows you to specify the minimum reservation length for this resource
- There is no maximum reservation duration – Unchecking this allows you to specify the maximum reservation length for this resource
- There is no buffer between reservations – Unchecking this allows you to specify the minimum length of time between successive reservations for this resource.
- Reservations can be made across days – Unchecking this prohibits a single reservation to span two or more days.
When you click the pencil icon next to the “Capacity” header, you will see the window shown below:
The Capacity field allows you to specify a maximum number of participants on a reservation for this Resource. Any person trying to make a reservation for this resource who includes some number of people greater than the resource’s capacity will be rejected.
Permissions: The Permissions section has two options. You can set permissions by users or by groups.
If you click ‘Users’, you can grant access to individual users for this resource. Access can be set to None (can’t see or reserve this resource), View Only (can see reservations for this Resource but can’t create my own reservations), or Full Access (may view and create reservations for this resource.
If you want to instead provide Access at the group level, click ‘Groups’. Here you can grant None/View Only/Full Access to entire groups of users for this resource. For more information on Creating Groups, please see this article.
Public: Under Public, you can click the link “Show to Public” to turn publicly viewability for this resource on or off. The reservations for publicly accessible resources can be viewed as Read Only via an RSS feed or via iCalendar.
The options on the far right column are Access and Resource Groups.
Clicking the pencil icon next to the “Access” heading produces the window shown below:
- Reservations can be made up until the current time – Unchecking this box allows you to specify a minimum “lead time” for reservations. For example, if you set the “lead time” to three days, no reservation for this resource can be made more than three days in advance.
- Reservations can be updated up until the current time – Unchecking this box allows you to specify a minimum “lead time” for any edits to existing reservations. For example, if you set the “lead time” to three days, no existing reservation for this resource can be modified in anyway less than three days ahead of the reservation start time.
- Reservations can be deleted up until the current time – Unchecking this box allows you to specify a minimum “lead time” for any deletions for existing reservations. For example, if you set the “lead time” to three days, no existing reservation for this resource can be deleted less than three days ahead of the reservation start time.
- Reservations can end at any point in the future – Unchecking this box allows you to specify how soon a reservation for this resource must end relative to the current time. For example, if you set this time limit to three days, any reservation for this resource must end no later than 72 hours from the current time.
- Reservations must be approved – When this box is checked, any reservation to this resource must go through an approval process. This process is explained in more detail below.
- Permission is automatically granted – With this box checked, any new user added to your Organization automatically gets Full Access permissions for this resource. If this box is normally checked, and you later uncheck it, you will get the option to remove existing permissions for this resource. Finally, note that, if this resource is checked, there is no need to manage permissions for this resource via the Permissions section.
- Requires check in/out- When this box is checked, any reservation to this resource must go through the check in/check out process. By placing a number value in the “Automatically released…” box, the reservation will delete itself if it does not receive check in within the given number of minutes after reservation start time. This process is explained in more detail below.
- Allow concurrent reservations- When this box is checked it allows a resources to be booked at the same time. For more information on concurrent reservations, click here.
Resources can be organized into groups. This can be useful if, within a single Schedule, your Resources exist in different floors of a building, or within different rooms on a floor. Creating a different Group for each floor or room in which your resources are dispersed can help make your Resources more organized.
Clicking the pencil icon next to the “Resource Groups” heading produces a window showing all resource groups your Organization has available. A screenshot example of this is shown below:
Add the given resource to one or more groups by checking the appropriate checkboxes.
Note that, to create new Resource groups, you’ll have to click the three-dot icon in the upper right of the Resource Screen and select “Resource Groups.” Other options detailed under the three-dot icon will be explained in more detail later in the article.
Configuring Existing Resources in Bulk
To change the settings of many resources at once, click the three-dot icon in the upper right corner, and select either Bulk Resource Update or Bulk Resource Delete, as shown below.
Clicking Bulk Resource Update displays a window like the one shown below:
Here, virtually all resource settings can be configured for multiple resources at once. To control exactly which set of resources you are modifying, check the appropriate checkboxes at the top of this form.
Clicking Bulk Resource Update displays a window like the one shown below:
Note that deleting any resource removes all of its reservations, past, current, and future. If you want to keep the reservation records for some resource but don’t want anyone to use it, you can always set its status to Hidden.
If any resource which requires Approval is reserved, the user is notified of this immediately after making the reservation via a window, which is shown below.
Reservations can be approved by any App Admin, or by any Resource or Schedule admin that has control over the given Resource. If any reservation creator wants an email notification when their reservation is approved, they can turn this on under My Account, Notifications, by selecting “Send me an Email” under the field labeled “When my pending reservation is approved.”
Reservations that are pending approval can be approved from several different screens. On the Bookings Page, any reservation which has not been approved shows as orange on the bookings page, and indicates that it is pending approval if you hover your cursor over it.
If you click on any reservation on the Bookings Page that shows Pending Approval, you will be brought to a new screen where you can view the Reservation and approve or reject it by clicking the appropriate button in the bottom right corner. This screen is shown below:
Reservations can also be approved from the screen under Application Management, Reservations. The way to get to this screen may differ slightly, depending on what kind of an Admin you are. For Schedule Admins, they navigate to this screen via Responsibilities, Schedule Reservations. Resource Admins can get to this screen via Responsibilities, Resource Reservations. You may also see both options if you have both Resource and Schedule Admin privileges, but you are not an App Admin.
All reservations that apply to the given Admin can be viewed on this screen as a series of rows, which can be searched through via a series of filters at the top of the screen. Any reservation that is pending approval will be highlighted yellow on this screen, as shown below:
From here, you can approve this reservation just by clicking the green check mark in that is boxed in red in the image above.
The Check in/Check out feature is meant to help you more carefully manage instances when someone makes a reservation but fails to actually show up and use the Resource at the scheduled time. If a resource requires this, the user will have to “Check In” to the reservation shortly before/after start time. This can be done by clicking on the existing reservation (on the Bookings Screen, Upcoming Reservations screen, or from any other screen where Reservations are shown) to access the Edit Reservation screen. If Check in is required, the button that reflects this is shown in the upper right corner. An example of this appears below:
After the reservation is over, the author of the reservation user can go back to the same View/Edit reservation screen to Check out. The Checkout button is displayed in the upper right of the screen.
By default, users cannot check in to their reservations more than 5 minutes ahead of the reservation start time. This default can only be changed by an Application Administrator. If you have this privilege, you can change this time by clicking the white gear icon in the upper right corner, then going to Application Configuration. Once there, specify the number of minutes ahead of reservation start time during which you will allow check in by placing this number in the box labeled “checkin.minutes.prior.” Once you have made your change, scroll to the top or bottom of the screen and click Update.
Resource Statuses allow you to temporarily hide a resource, or allow you to temporarily stop users from reserving it. There are three statuses, each of which are detailed below:
- Available – Any resource with the ‘Available’ status can be reserved by any user, so long as they have permissions to use it.
- Unavailable – Any resource with the ‘Unavailable’ status can be seen on the Bookings screen, but it cannot be reserved except by Resource/Schedule Admins that have control over the Resource, or by the Application Administrator. Non-admins will see all times for the Resource as “blacked out” when viewing it on the bookings page. An example of this appears below
- Hidden – Any Resource with the ‘Hidden’ status is not viewable on the Bookings page of any schedule, even for Admins. The only way to tell if a Resource is hidden would be for the App/Resource/Schedule admin to check the Resource status on the Resource screen (under Application Management or under Responsibilities, depending on what kind of Admin you are).
If you provide a reason, Resource Admins, Schedule Admins, and Application Admins will see the reason on the Resource screen just to the right of the Resource status, as shown below:
A variety of Reason Text-strings can be given for each status. To add new Reason Text to some resource status, click the three-dot icon on the Resource page, then select Resource Statuses. This will cause a screen like the one shown below to appear:
Notice each of the three statuses have their own section. To add new Reason Text, click the Add button in the upper right corner of the appropriate status section. Notice that existing Reason Text Strings can be edited or deleted via the Edit and Delete buttons on the far right of each Reason Text Row. Once Reason Text is available for some status, it can be appended when assigning that status to the given resource.
Resource Types are similar to Resource Groups in that they allow your Resources to be further organized. The difference, however, is that, whereas Resource Groups are more designed to help you say where the resource is, Resource Types are designed to help you say what the resource is. For instance, say you have building full of equipment that is organized the following way:
Basement – 2 Microscopes, one Spectrometer, and one Computer.
1st floor – 2 Computers, 1 Microscope, 3 spectrometers
2nd floor – 5 Computers, 2 Spectrometers, no microscopes
In this case, you might make a Resource Group for the Basement and for the First and Second floors. However, you might consider a resource type for all Resources that are Computers, all Resources that are Spectrometers, and/or all Resources that are microscopes.
To create a new Resource Type, click the three-dot icon on the Resources screen then select “Resource Type”. Doing this will cause a screen like the one below to appear:
To create a new Resource Type, simply type some Name and some Description in the correspondingly labeled fields, then click Create. The new Resource Type will appear in the table below. Note that existing resource types can be edited or deleted via the Pencil and Trashcan icons that appear on the far right of each Resource Type Row.
Resource types have a few additional Features that resource groups do not, including:
- When creating Reports, Report results can be filtered by Resource Type
- When editing existing Resource Types, you can include Custom Attributes. Custom Attributes can only be set up by the Application Administrator, and are available to Premium Organizations only.