18 February 2013

Resource Booking In Outlook And SharePoint

Calendar Resource booking iconMost companies and organizations need a system for booking common resources. The booking should be easy to handle for the users, doublebookings must be avoided and it should be possible to book supplies with each order and to see an overview of the bookings. Above these basics Business Solutions can add an almost infinite number of features, depending on your needs.

SharePoint app solution
In the demo below Peter Kalmstrom, Microsoft certified SharePoint expert, shows how to create a simple booking system in SharePoint. It is intended for a smaller company only, but it gives you the basics. You can read more about it in the Tips section of the website.

Outlook standard solution

If you need something more advanced but still want to use a standard solution, I suggest the Outlook-addon Calendar Browser. This application gives you a lot more than the simple SharePoint solution shown in the demo, and you can use it with many resouces that are booked by hundreds of people.

Still Calendar Browser is easy to understand and administrate. With Calendar Browser users can search for free resources and see resource descriptions, and for the management there are all kinds of reports on future as well as passed resource usage.

Calendar Browser iconTo choose a standard product like Calendar Browser gives many benefits. It is used by many, so it is in our interest to develop the application to support and take advantage of changes in the Microsoft software we build on. That way we can keep our customers for many years – among our current Community Members are companies that have used Calendar Browser for ten years!

Sponsored solution
However, sometimes the standard solution does not have enough features. Then Business Solutions offers a possibility to sponsor the addition of the missing features to the standard product.

Such a sponsorship has paid for part of the development cost for the next version of Calendar Browser. This version will have several new features sponsored by a big organization who wants to use Calendar Browser but needs the extra features. Thanks to the sponsorship all earlier Calendar Browser users will also get the added features when they upgrade their installations.

Custom solution
In some cases no standard solution is suitable, not even with sponsored additional features.  When an organization has so many special requests that a totally new solution is the best alternative, Business Solutions can offer a custom product built on Outlook or SharePoint.

As you see there are several possibilities to solve the problem of how best to book corporate resources, from the simple SharePoint solution (which any SharePoint admin should be able to create with the help of Peter's tutorial) to standard solutions that are easy to learn and manage and further on to custom solutions that require extensive expert knowledge.

Kate Kalmström
Marketing and Documentation Business Solutions


  1. Dear Kate,
    Above post is really useful and thanks for that.
    I have one issue with my calenders.
    I want to prevent 'double booking' in my sharepoint online (Office 365) calender. By default 'SharePoint Online Calender' allows users to do multiple bookings on same time slot. Could you please advise a method to stop that. This can be done easily on Outlook calender. I tried doing searching on that and could not find any useful information. Please advise how to do that on SharePoint online. I am currently building a 'Reception Hall' booking calender for a community centre and they want to prevent double bookings.

    Kind regards,

  2. Dear Wick. I am glad you like the demo. What I show here is only a simple solution for resource booking. SharePoint has no function for preventing double booking.

    If you need something more advanced I recommend our Outlook add-on Calendar Browser, It prevents double bookings and gives you a lot more features too. Next major version will have a connection to SharePoint.
    Kind regards,
    Peter Kalmstrom