Customer Case: Booking Meeting Rooms with Virto SharePoint Calendar

The solution for The University of Alabama at Birmingham for conference room reservation with approvement.

Business Requirements

Customer requested that an executive conference room be made available for all people across the organization for reservation.

Reservations should be routed to the room owners for approval.

Details about existing reservations should not be visible to anyone except the conference room owners and the person who created the appointment.

Content should not live in Outlook.

Recurring items are allowed.

Since the room is an executive conference room, existing reservations can be “bumped” by VIPs; cancellation notices caused by this situation should be sent to the person originally reserving the room.

Virto Software Components Used

SharePoint Workflow Activities Kit; Virto SharePoint Calendar; SharePoint List Form Extender; SharePoint User Redirect.

Solution Summary

The solution for The University of Alabama at Birmingham needed to accomplish several unusual things that were difficult to achieve with out-of-the-box components. The public view of the conference room calendar could only show the status of a reservation with the words Reserved and the times. The Virto SharePoint Calendar web part gave UAB the ability to display the public view calendar with a custom column which displayed the word Reserved and the start and end times. Several columns in the list were added to support the administration of the calendar, but these columns could only be viewed by site owners. While custom display and edit forms could be built using SharePoint Designer, the decision was made to use the Virto List Form Extension feature to control the visibility of administrative fields based on group membership. The SharePoint List Form Extension feature also had the additional benefit of simplifying maintenance of the list forms for the site owners, who had no training in customizing forms using SharePoint Designer. Access to views were controlled by the Virto SharePoint User Redirect web part – if a user tried to open a view which was reserved for Site Owners, they would be redirected to the public Calendar page.

Processing the reservation requests had three distinct SharePoint workflows:

  • Initial Request, which sent notification to the Site Owners for review;
  • Initial Response, which sent a variable email message to the requestor based on whether the item was approved or declined (and if the item was declined, the reservation would be deleted from the list);
  • Reservation Revoked, which sent an email to a requestor whenever a reservation had to be changed or bumped by a VIP.

The Virto SharePoint Workflow Activities Kit improved upon the basic SharePoint Designer workflows with the Virto Email action – allowing BCC and a custom Sender address in the email – and the Virto Update and Delete List Items Extended actions.

Related Products:
SharePoint List
Form Extender
SharePoint workflow
SharePoint Calendar SharePoint User Redirect