LDS Building Scheduling Software

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HansenSD
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LDS Building Scheduling Software

Postby HansenSD » Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:48 am

I'm wondering if there is much interest in a program to assist the wards and stakes schedule their buildings. A program that will prevent double booking, a quick and easy entry process and print outs that can be put in the buildings to prevent turf wars while using our buildings.

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jonjasperson
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Postby jonjasperson » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:18 am

I have used the existing resource scheduling functionality of the local units website to handle this. However, it is not very user friendly or convenient. We had three units meeting in the stake center. The three bishops coordinated and the agent bishop called an individual to be the building scheduler. This individual was added as a Stake Website administrator with limited the user rights to only approve events submitted for stake resources.

We listed a single resource labeled as the "Stake Center" as one of the resources available from the Stake's website. We then developed a set of codes to use to represent the various parts of the buillding that could be scheduled (e.g., KIT = Kitchen; CH = Cultural Hall; MP = Multi-purpose room; HC = High Council room; etc.). Then we informed members of the wards that they could access the resource calendar from the stake page to submit an event request. Requestors could either use the codes or type out the name of the rooms that needed to be used in their request.

The building scheduler would review the requests that were submitted and approve or disapprove them. If an event was approved, the codes were used in the title of the event so that others reading the calendar could see what parts of the building were already in use on a particular date.

As you can see this is not the most convenient way; however, it was a work-around that enabled us to reduce some of the "turf wars" you mention.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:39 am

jonjasperson, your idea, although not the simplest, is not a bad idea. I wonder if as a community, we could develop a more formalized document that describes what you mention here. This allows wards and stakes to continue to use the unit web site for scheduling resources with a more formalized process. Those who choose to follow this process could publish the document in their units for others follow.

Tom

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:03 am

To start the discussion on this, here's my two cents worth.

I can see already a very simple solution to some of this, would require the following:

1. A map layout of the building in question that the scheduler was over. This would be very basic, just a line map of where the rooms are and each resource labeled. Not some of the detailed ones I've seen that almost resemble blueprints such as those that show the pews in the chapel or the kitchen appliences there.

2. A series of pages for each day of the month showing each room and time of day, not sure how best that could be implemented, but it could be done with style sheets. As days passed, the older pages would 'drop off' the site after a day or two or however long it was decided they should stay up.

An advanced version could include some java or other code that would allow you to see the building as scheduled at any given hour, using the building map mentioned earlier. Maybe there's a more suitable language for building such an advanced app, but it might be very useful.

Schedulers would need a way to delete an event and so forth in case conditions warrented, such as the event could not be held because of something happening that resulted in it being rescheduled, that would need to happen in real time so that the room could be rescheduled in the software as soon as the other entry was dropped from the schedule.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:36 pm

As for the back-end database table you could have a simple table of:
ID
WARD_ID
BUILDING_ID
ROOM_ID <- This would correspond to a predefined list of the rooms that are generic to all buildings
TIME_START (Time/Date Format)
TIME_END

As for integration into the picture we can have the rooms separated and tagged to a javascript which just will insert into the database the corresponding information.
- David

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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:10 pm

That simple model is very good, a MySQL table would almost do the trick. When the user input the room and date/time and organization/person scheduling the room, calls to the various fields for each room and date would fill the spaces in the visible form showing everything.

You would then only have to arrange where each field would show up where and when, and when the info would expire (like a certain time after the end time of the event in that resource) so that the system would not get overloaded with old data. The system would self-clean itself of old data.

The image of the meetinghouse would be another table, and using probably simple Java would 'fill in' on the building schematic map the room with an indicator with linkbacks to the visible data showing when that day or any desired day that room was scheduled.

Probably not all that hard to program, using agile development technique I can see something like this being ready fairly quickly for just one building. But since meetinghouses come in all shapes and sizes and even configurations, then the big problem is going to be how to create the graphical image of the building for each particular meetinghouse.

Or is that even desirable?

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greenwoodkl
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Postby greenwoodkl » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:10 pm

As far as building layout, most buildings developed in the last couple decades have been based on standard blueprints that I'm sure the Church could make available for an officially-approved project should this idea get implemented in the future.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:25 pm

From what I can tell, most of the church buildings are based on a set style, (based on if it is a meeting house or a Stake Center and what area of the world) the only problem would be getting a layout of each church. If there was a place to submit the design of the building by a member that would be great too. It would go faster then having SLC making all the maps at least.
- David

mattandmarie-p40
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Experience doing this type of system

Postby mattandmarie-p40 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:28 pm

I implemented a system for the local boy scout council to allow people to reserve facilities at the Scout Camp. The most useful features are the image map as described in this forum. Also, giving the user the ability to select the resource(room, chapel, gym, pinewood derby track, vcr tv combo, overhead projector) and see all dates for the next year in a grid format. Top X Axis is the Dates 1-31 and the Y Axis are the months. and in the cells are the check boxes that the user can select the dates that they would like to reserve. For this system, they reserve a resource for all day so times are not an issue.

Another nice feature gives the user the ability to select the timeframe they need the resource (2 days starting on 1/30/2007) and then it gives them a list of all resources and their availability during these dates.

Or, like I said, they can choose from a camp map the facility that they want to reserve.

Some advanced features would be to have a re-curring reservation.

Matt

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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:23 pm

That's the best way is to have any known printed diagrams of the building and create a PDF initially of that.

New buildings could have their info loaded into the system, and older ones could be added later, etc.

That way, any leader needing a resource could see at a glance where each resource was, and its relative size, even though they know the building from using it every Sunday there is often underestimation or overestimation of the space needed for a particular activity in some cases. That's why at least a PDF of the buidling layout tied to that ward's schedule even if just for reference would be and prove extremely useful, and to have it as part of the scheduling API that might be developed would be a definite plus.


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