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I have a business requirement for a set of users to be able to book appointments for client's to meet with member's of staff. These appointments need to be visible on a calendar or schedule board for the clerk users, and they need to be visible on a personal calendar (preferably outlook, for notification purposes) for the delivery users.
My first thought was to use the Appointment entity. This seemed good, as the requirements are quite basic, and these synchronize seamlessly to Outlook. The issue I have with this is that there is no good calendar/booking view. You can add a control to views in the Unified interface to show an appointment view as a calendar, but I can't seem to be able to pin this, or to set it as the default view in the Unified Interface. Additionally, in this calendar, you can't create something by clicking on a time slot, but this isn't a huge deal.
My next thought was to go with the Universal Resource Scheduling. This is a great solution that provides a lot of functionality. The capabilities of this solution are more complex than my requirement, but the scheduler provides a great user experience for the clerks and will be adaptable if requirements do become complex. My challenge with this is getting the "Bookable Resource Bookings" to result in a viewable calendar item for the delivery staff tht need to see their upcoming appointments. It appears that there was synchronization with Outlook and the older Resource Scheduling solution, but this has been deprecated: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/project-service/manage-project-bookings-office-365-calendar . The only option I can see now is to manually keep "Bookable Resource Bookings" and "Appointments" in sync through Workflows or Logic Apps. This will allow clerks to have a good schedule board / calendar view, and will allow the delivery staff to see their own appointments on a calendar.
The reason I am not considering using URS on the Appointment entity, is that it is a cumbersome user experience for the clerk to create an appointment and then to schedule the associated resource requirement, and I believe I will still have to keep the entities in sync. (in case the scheduled time doesn't match the initial time the appointment was created for), so this seems a bit redundant.
Am I missing something here? Or is there a good, standard solution to this requirement?
First of all please make sure that you are equipped with license to use URS.
To proceed in your approach, you need to set up every user as resource.
URS needs "Resource Requirement" to create a bookable resource booking.
You need to make changes to "Resource Requirement" to attach your customer (Contact / account). You can only attach one customer at a time for one resource requirement (if you want to do so)
You need establish some standard operating procedures like, user will always create Bookable Resource Bookings Only. User will not create appointments. etc. This will help you to keep conflicts to minimum.
You may not be able to use Scheduling assistant.
You need to implement changes from appointment entity to Bookings entity (be it update, completion cancellation, etc.)
Thank you for the reply.
I am still struggling to envision a good solution as it seems like this will be very complex from a UX perspective and from an automation perspective (keeping appointments in sync with Bookings).
I will definitely have to establish an SOP.
Your answer helped. I appreciate it.
I don't know if you got a solution that works for you but I use a solution from Appjetty which does exactly what you want.
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