VirtoSoftware provided The University of Alabama at Birmingham with a solution for conference room reservation with approvement.
- The customer needed their executive conference room to be available for reservation for all the employees across the organization.
- Reservations should be routed to the room owners for approval.
- Details about actual 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, actual 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
The solution for The University of Alabama at Birmingham was meant to accomplish a few uncommon things that were difficult to achieve with out-of-the-box components. A conference room calendar could only show the reservation status and the busy time in the public view.
The Virto SharePoint Calendar web part enabled the customer to display the calendar public view with a custom column which displayed the reservation status and the start and end time. A number of columns were added to the calendar list to be accessible by site owners only.
While custom View 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.
Reservation request processing was utilizing three distinct SharePoint workflows:
- Initial Request sending notification to Site Owners for review;
- Initial Response sending 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 sending 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 BCCs and a custom Sender address in the email – and the Virto Update and Delete List Items Extended actions.