What’s new in Universal Resource Scheduling for Dynamics 365 May 2018 Update


Applies to Universal Resource Scheduling solution (version 2.4.2.xx), Field Service application (version 7.5.x.xx), Project Service Automation application (version 2.4.3.xx) On Dynamics 365 version 9.0.x)

Once again, the Universal Resource Scheduling dev team has been hard at work constantly looking to improve the product! Continuing our theme for our update releases, Universal Resource Scheduling May 2018 Update focuses on our customers, with improvements in user experience, feature discoverability, stability, and highly requested scenarios. For a list of bug fixes, read this post.

The May 2018 update breaks into three categories:

Scheduling enhancements

New interactions and options when booking on hourly schedule board

In our last update, we talked about our investment to unify booking actions into the booking panel. Our quest continues by introducing the booking panel to the hourly Schedule Board when searching for availability, also known as the schedule assistant.

But introducing this panel is not all about unification of design; it’s also about introducing an overall better experience (and of course, a feature or two)!

You can now:

  • Select a specific status, including "proposed" statuses, when booking from the hourly board.
    • The default status from the booking setup metadata (BSM) record will be the default "committed" status for that "booking type."
    • The status list will be filtered based on BSM. For more about custom statuses, check out this previous blog post.


Here you can see how you can navigate to resource scheduling>administration>enable resource scheduling for entities, and you can view the default committed status for each entity that is enabled for scheduling:

  • To help with precision when hovering over a recommended slot, you will now see a clock to help precisely show where you are hovering so when you click that time, you know what will be loaded into the booking panel.
  •  Clicking anywhere within a recommended block of time will open the booking panel and pass in the selected time and resource.
    • Don't worry--you can still use the "hovering book" button or right-click shortcut for the same "quick book" experience you know and love. This will book the resource at the selected time in the default committed status as has been the pattern for a long time.

Here you can see a video showing a user hovering over a recommended slot on the hourly board while searching for availability. You will notice the mouse tooltip showing the time the user is hovering over, and upon selecting that time, the booking panel opens with the default status set, and the user can change the status if they choose. Finally, the user can click "book" in the panel to create the booking:

 

Ignore proposed bookings enhancements - Multiday schedule assistant

A few releases back, we introduced an option to control how to treat proposed bookings when searching for availability. You can consider proposed bookings as reserved time, or you can ignore these bookings and consider this time slot as available. Check out more details in this previous blog post in the "ignore or consider proposed bookings" section.

In the last release, we introduced a way to change the default value for this setting.

Now, when finding availability on the multiday Schedule Boards, your decision to ignore proposed bookings or to consider proposed bookings will be reflected in the total available hours displayed on the schedule board.

Below is a screenshot showing that there are 40 hours of proposed bookings for Bernadette the week of 5/6, yet since we elect to "ignore proposed bookings" in our schedule assistant search, Bernadette still shows that she has 40 hours available that week:

Below you will see an identical screenshot, except the "ignore proposed bookings" options has been unchecked. So now, Bernadette shows zero hours of availability the week of 5/6 since she has 40 hours proposed already, and this user elected NOT to ignore the proposed bookings:

User experience enhancements - Schedule board

As we continue to add features, it’s essential that we keep the fundamentals top of mind. By conducting user studies and a sweep of the Schedule Board, we were able to enhance some visuals as well as enhance feature discoverability. While these enhancements do not offer ground breaking functionality by any means, the investments do accrue to create the most optimal user experience possible for our customers. To us, that is essential.

  • Remove resource image from schedule board when the row height cuts off image.
    • In our last release, we released a feature that allows you to shrink the height of each resource row, thereby enabling Resource Managers to view more resources on the board in a single glance. However, depending on the row height, the resource image got cut off. Now, we simply remove the resource image from the resource cell when the height is too small.
      • For new organizations, this functionality will be included out of the box. For existing organizations, if you have yet to customize your resource template, you will also receive this functionality out of the box. For existing organizations that already customized the resource template, you will need to add the following to your resource template for the Schedule Board, and for the Schedule Assistant.
<div class='resource-card-wrapper {{iif ResourceCellSelected "resource-cell-selected" ""}} {{iif ResourceUnavailable "resource-unavailable" ""}} {{iif IsMatchingAvailability "availability-match" ""}}'>
{{#if (or (eq (is-sa-grid-view) true) (eq (is-row-small) false)) }}
{{#if imagepath}}
<img class='resource-image' src='{{client-url}}{{imagepath}}' />
{{else}}
<div class='resource-image unknown-resource'></div>
{{/if}}
{{/if}}

  • Here you can find a previous blog post in which I explain how to add new functionality we introduce into existing templates. The post is in the context of the filter control, but it explains the schema and how to merge functionality. For this change, it is the resource cell template and the that need to be updated.
  • Schedule board view icons
    • Previously, schedule board views that weren’t selected would appear gray. This gave the impression that they were disabled, so we now simply underline them instead.

Before screenshot:

 

After screenshot:

 

  • Styling change to buttons in panels
    • Primary actions such as "book" are designed with a background to attract the user’s attention.

Before screenshot: 

After screenshot:

 

  • Label change for "zoom" functionality
    • A few releases ago, we introduced the ability to seamlessly change your Schedule Board view between hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly, without losing context of the resource and date you are focused on. You can simply right-click to "zoom in" or "zoom out," which changes the Schedule Board view. To make the feature a bit more understandable to new users, these labels are changed, and dynamically describe the action more explicitly. For example, if you are on the daily board, upon right-clicking, the options will be "Switch to Hours Board" (previously "Zoom In") and "" (previously Zoom Out").

 

  • Removed redundant "Cancel" option from multiday boards

Previous state with redundant options:

  • Resource search bar styling
    • We’ve updated the resource search bar styling to include a narrower search area with a border. This will help new users find the search bar easily.

Before screenshot:

 

After screenshot:

 

  • Display notification on booking requirements grid when no results found
    • Resource managers often search through the booking requirements grid at the bottom of the schedule board. We wanted to make the interaction more responsive in case there are no results that match the search criteria. Instead of whitespace, a message is shown to the user.

Before screenshot:

 

After screenshot:

 

  • Double-click timing
    • On our daily, weekly, and monthly schedule boards, there are multiple interactions that require users to select (single-click) a resource cell or a day, week, or month.
    • Our user study indicated that new users were instinctively double-clicking the resource, which would quickly select and then deselect the resource. Our users eventually learn that a single click is the action they need to take, but just in case they double-click, we interpret the user intention and treat it as a normal "select.

 Screenshot of selected resource:

Thank you as always to our engineers who work in overdrive to release these updates at a rapid pace.

Special thanks to the design team for their contributions to this update, driving user studies, and helping to design these incremental improvements on the Schedule Board.

We hope you enjoy these enhancements, as they are driven from your feedback! The team continues to work in overdrive to deliver enhancements and improvements, so please keep blogging, posting, Yammering on the field service group and the project service group and submitting ideas. We are keeping an eye out for what is needed!

Happy Scheduling!

Dan Gittler
Principal Program Manager, Dynamics 365 Engineering

 

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