We are a Makerspace that use Discourse Calendar to manage room and equipment bookings. It can get very messy with people overlapping bookings and people booking equipment they do not have permission to use. So we are look for options to improve the processes.
Are there any plugins/toll that could be used to simplify and verify Room and Equipment Booking
Some example conditions/context:
You can only book a room if you have the @Keyholder role
You can only book equipment if the room is booked (you don’t need to be the person who has booked the room - booking the room means the room is open for use for the specified time period for other people to come in a use the equipment)
You can only book the 3D printer if you have the @3DPrinter role
You cannot book equipment if someone has already booked it.
Ideally this will maintain relevant Topic(s) to update the calendar view
I’m still learning Discourse - so any thoughts, comments, pointing in the right direction would be useful
I’d set up a Keyholder group that requires people to request membership. Then create a category that’s visible to everyone, but only Keyholders can reply to topics. Then create a topic with the room calendar in the first post. That way everyone can see the calendar, but only Keyholders can add events to it. This isn’t ideal because you have an entire category dedicated to controlling access to one topic.
I’m not sure this is possible with the Calendar plugin. It doesn’t really track overlapping events so the only thing stopping people from booking equipement outside the proper time is relying on people manually checking the calendar. Also, are the people booking equipment in the Keyholder role? If not, it might make blocking them from replying a problem.
Given that you need another calendar with another role, I’m wondering if you might be better off relying on the honor system than trying to set up a system to enforce the rules. So you’d have an open category for all the calendars and a topic for each specific calendar. Maybe assign people to groups so that people can keep track of who’s who and use social pressure to prevent people who aren’t authorized from booking rooms and equipment. But not try to restrict people using software.
I’d try that and if you can’t get it to work, maybe see if you could get help from marketplace.
We’re struggling to find a solution to this which is preventing us from upgrading (we are currently using Pavilion’s Events plugin which isn’t supported on the latest Discourse releases).
In absence of a Discourse plugin:
Is anyone aware of any good and cheap (ideally) free Room/Desk Booking services/plugins that plays nice with WordPress and/or Discourse? (The only WordPress plugins I can find are appointment making rather than desk/room booking)