05 February 2014

Calendar Browser Update With Faster Overview

Calendar Browser logo Today we have released an update of Calendar Browser, the resource booking tool for Outlook. Later this year we will come with a new major version, but we wanted to first give users a quicker overview and a new design of the Excel reports. Some bugs have also been fixed.

Resource calendars
Most organizations have resources that need to be booked. It can be rooms, cars, equipment or even people. In Calendar Browser each such resource has its own calendar in Outlook, and you book the resource by making an appointment in its calendar. Also extras and supplies  anything from coffee to computers  can be booked with the resource.
Faster Overview
The resources can be seen, searched and booked in the Outlook calendar view,  but Calendar Browser also has another way of booking and viewing bookings: the Overview. Here the resource calendars, the bookings and the supplies are shown in several different ways for different periods, and it is possible to book resources directly from the Overview.
We have made it easy to use several Calendar Browser installations and group the resource calendars, but in organizations with many resources the Overview will still take long to load  especially if images are used in the Overview.

This has not been satisfying, and the problem has been nagging us. Now we have found a solution, and it will be implemented in two steps. In today's release we are using a new method of reading data that is much faster and has nearly doubled the speed of the Overview loading in our tests. We have also added a progress bar informing users of what calendars are loaded.
HTML5 icon
The second step will come in the next major release, when the Calendar Browser Overview will be rebuilt with HTML5 techniques. As I described in an earlier blog post this development work has already begun, and it will increase the loading speed further.

New statistics design
The Overview gives information on future bookings, but managers also need to analyze passed resource usage. This is done with the Calendar Browser Excel reports.

The statistics reports were implemented with the release of version 8, but at that time we concentrated on the actual appointments and costs reports and did not spend much time on the design. Now we have made the Calendar Browser Excel reports a bit more elegant.
You are welcome to try the new Calendar Browser, and if you are a current subscriber I recommend you to take advantage of the free upgrades.

By Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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