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05 July 2013

Outlook Resource Booking Tool Gives Extra Meeting Information

Calendar Browser logoToday kalmstrom.com Business Solutions has released an update of Calendar Browser, our resource booking tool for the Outlook calendar. The most important change from a user point of view is the enhancement of the Extra Booking Info feature.

Book corporate resources in Outlook
All kinds of resources and supplies can be booked with Calendar Browser, and organizations may group the bookable resources after what kind of resource it is. You may for example have one group for rooms, another for cars, a third for people and a fourth for tablet computers.  The Extra Booking Information is probably most used by organizations who have meeting rooms among the resources bookable with Calendar Browser.

Make an appointment in the resource calendar
With Calendar Browser each resource has its own calendar, and it is as easy for users to book a resource as it is to make an appointment in the Outlook calendar. Users can search for free resorces at a specific time, see descriptions of them and then book by making an appointment in the calendar of the desired resource.
Who will attend?
Sometimes it is necessary to give information about participants of a meeting, and then the Extra Booking Info feature of Calendar Browser comes handy. Of course you can write the participants info in the appointment body, but the Extra Booking Info feature gives you dropdowns for selection of host and attendees in the appointmenant. Additional information for each person, like e-mail or department will be shown automatically when a name is selected in the appointment dropdown.

Write info about new people
In the new version of Calendar Browser it is possible not only to select names but also to write them in the Attendees fields, in case they are not among the people entered by the administrator in the settings. Additional information about attendees may also be written.

Extra Overview tab
The Calendar Browser Overview shows different reports on future bookings. When the Extra Booking Info feature is used, an additional Booking Summaries report with all bookings and their participants for the selected day will be shown in the Overview.
Calendar Resource booking icon
Don't want it?
When the Extra Booking Info is enabled users will get extra dropdowns in the appointments, but maybe you have no reason to register participants? Don't worry, then you will not have to burden users with it. The Extra Booking Info feature has to be enabled in the Calendar Browser administrator settings, so even if it is a useful feature for those who need it, other organizations can just forget about it!

In my opinion this is how a good application should be created. Administrators should be given a lot of options, to be able to customize the tool to suit the organization. But users should not be overwhelmed by a mishmash of features. They should only have to see the features they really need to use.

By Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions