Still one of my most popular posts ever is the extension I wrote on the Rooms and Equipment Reservations template for SharePoint 2007 which allows you to manage reservations for meeting resources.
The idea behind RER is simple, but the architecture Microsoft chose (and unfortunately me too) is flawed. For each resource there are two types of reservation items; “Available” and “Reserved”. When making a reservation the “Available” item is shrunk, split or replaced with a “Reserved item”. The list of reservation items for a certain resource should thus be continuous based on their respective start and end times.
Since quite a few people from the community and also some customers are using the RERv2, I get a lot of feedback on these flaws, which I tend to ‘consistency issues’. These issues can’t really be traced back to bugs in code but seem to happen at random. For every 100 reservations are made I typically see 3 consistency issues. They don’t all have a great impact; some are not even noticed, others are blocking future reservations for that resource.
Ideally the mechanism would have to be rewritten to just use “Reserved” items. This would make the fault ratio significantly smaller. However that project has been put in the fridge until further notice I’m afraid.
There is a sparkle of light at the end of the tunnel however ! I am releasing a Web Part that allows you to quickly correct consistency issues. And it’s even free ! ;)
The installation package (above) contains a SharePoint Solution (.wsp) to deploy using STSADM:
STSADM -o addsolution -filename RER.v2.ConsistencyCheckWebPart.wsp
STSADM -o deploysolution -name RER.v2.ConsistencyCheckWebPart.wsp -immediate -allowgacdeployment
2) Web Parts
Next in SharePoint create a Document Library (e.g. Pages) in the RER site where you upload the jQuery.js and RERAdmin.txt files from the install package. These make up the formatting and collapsing behaviour of the resources and reservations.
Also create a Web Part Page in this library called RERAdmin.aspx .
Add the ConsistencyCheckWebPart and RERAdmin_CSS_and_JS Web Parts on the RERAdmin page. You can import these Web Part directly if you go through Add Web Part > Advanced Web Part gallery and options > Import
It is best to break permissions and tighten security on the Web Part page so that users don’t inadvertently access the Consistency Check Web Part !
The editor on the bottom of the Web Part will allow you to make changes directly to reservations.
NOTE: The number between square brackets is the item ID of either the resource or reservation item. You will need this to Modify or Delete a reservation !
|ISSUE ||EXPLANATION ||FIX |
|There are no reservations ||The workflow on the Resource hasn’t run (yet). ||Add an “Available” reservation for the resource with no specified end time, or recreate the resource to trigger the workflow. |
|There are two adjacent “Available” reservations ||They should be merged into a single “Available” item. ||Delete one of the items and Modify the remaining item to become ‘continuous’. |
|There are overlapping reservations ||A resource was booked twice. Normally this is prohibited but could occur in some rare conditions. ||Remove on of the items or Modify the start and/or end times to resolve this. |
|Reservations are not continuous ||All items should form a ‘continuous stream’ based on their start and end times. ||Modify the timings so that they become ‘continuous’. |