An Event is what you expect. A true reservation by a calendar editor for a meeting. If an LDS Facility is added to the event, that building or room is truly reserved and unavailable to anyone else to schedule.
Restrictions are not events. They are blocks of time set aside by building admins where only calendar editors in the assigned unit may schedule events and reserve rooms in the LDS Facility designated in the restriction. Until a member of that unit actually schedules an event and reserves a building or room, there is nothing reserved. If a building admin does not understand this and thinks he/she is creating an event and reserving a facility by creating a restriction, they get an unpleasant surprise (a perceived "double-booking") when a member of the unit designated by the restriction actually does create an event and reserve a room.
The origin of this feature is to allow wards on youth nights (for example) to schedule their events on their reserved night without anyone from another unit encroaching on their assigned block of time.
To reiterate, restrictions are not events and events are not restrictions!
A lot of confusion has swirled around restrictions because the Calendar system has not been allowing building admins to schedule actual events. Those admins, thinking their role is still to "schedule events", have attempted to work around that by "scheduling" events using the restriction function. Of course to the consternation of many, this has led to many people showing up to a meeting to find their facility booked by someone else.
Here's a timeline which hopefully will help:
- Prior to 2009 - Old local unit calendar system only allowed building schedulers to schedule events
- 2009 Release - New Church Calendar released with support for multiple calendars per unit and for calendar editors by person and by church calling. This allowed leaders and auxiliaries to manage their own calendars and to schedule building and rooms with the system arbitrating most conflicts instead of building schedulers.
- 2009 Release - Building schedulers renamed to building admins and are provided with a restrictions feature that allow them to block out times for certain units to be the only ones to schedule events in an LDS Facility. This is now their primary role but they also can edit events for their assigned buildings that were already created by someone else. Another huge source of confusion was that Restrictions were originally called Reservations. That is something we wish had not happened.
- 2009 - 2014 - The new, post-2009 way of thinking for building admins catches on very slowly and there has been confusion as described above. Some have felt (myself included) that the restrictions feature was more confusing than helpful. I have even proposed from time to time that it be removed, but some users are now dependent on the feature.
- Approx 2012 - Reservations renamed to Restrictions to remove that source of confusion.
- The current Calendar 2.7 Release - We have installed many guardrails around restrictions that we hope will put an end to all ambiguity around this issue for users:
- Removed the separate restrictions calendar
- Building admins may now create actual events on a LDS Facility calendar that is maintained by the system but is otherwise the same as any other calendar.
- The create/edit event dialog has been completely redesigned to allow a user to know clearly whether they are creating an event or a restriction. If they select Restriction instead of Event in the dialog they are warned and it is made very clear what the difference between an event and a restriction is. Also, since both events and restrictions are managed from the same dialog, the user now has the proper context and gets better tactile feedback as to what is happening in an event versus a restriction.