Skip to main content

6. Booking System and Permissions (Update)

  • The original idea was to use a calendar for hot desk ( or perches as they're called ) bookings, that students could add their bookings to.
  • The idea was to use a spreadsheet, to essentially show which hot desks ( or perches ) which were already booked.
  • The idea was for the script to add an event to the booking calendar, and add the student to the event as a guest.

All of these lovely ideas would mean that there was one central calendar that admin people could check, that people could add their own bookings and also receive something in their calendar so they wouldn't to forget to show up.

Except, none of this works...

... or rather, because I was cornered into creating a Booking Task Queue sheet because adding events didn't work reliably I therefore ran the event adding code from a Trigger ( once a minute ) rather than as  it happens. This of course means that the script runs as ME ... the script author and not THE STUDENT ... who is using the booking system.

What this then means is that when the student makes a booking, they need to agree via a big ugly authentications dialog that they agree to have ME tinkering on their behalf.

What all this means is that if I use a central calendar I would need to add the student to a Google Group and make that Google Group able to manage all events on that calendar in order to add stuff to that calendar UNLESS I revert back to using a triggered script.

Are you still with me?

It would seem that I need to have TWO separate ways of adding events ( one via a trigger and the other when the student makes a booking) and work with calendars independently ).

That is to say, when a student makes a hot desk booking...

  • An event is added to the students' calendar using... CalendarApp.getDefaultCalendar()
  • An event is added to a task queue which will ultimately use ... CalendarApp.getCalendarById(''); 

This means that as well as having a spreadsheet, that is effectively uncoupled from the calendar which it represents, I also have a central calendar that is completely uncoupled from each an every students' calendar. This means that were I to delete a booking in the central calendar, then the student would not be informed that this had happened.

Does this even matter?

I knew when I started using a spreadsheet as a pseudo-calendar, that it might be a bit of work to "sync" either what was in the calendar with what was in the spreadsheet and vice versa, but I'm now in the position of not actually needing a central calendar, I mean, what's the point of it exactly? I guess the answer to that is different presentation views ( week, day, agenda etc ).

But this get's less useful the more bookings there are ( which was the original need to even begin this project ) because as soon as you have 30 or so booking on one day, the calendar interface starts becoming useless, it's just too jumbled.

So the spreadsheet should become the golden master really.... there shouldn't be a central calendar and maybe that will clear up any permissions issues ( it will at least remove some of the icky corners of the code ) along the way.

Uh oh!

There are now some oddities with regards Google Drive and Google Groups. I think I'll save those for another post... maybe later.


Popular posts from this blog

Writing a Simple QR Code Stock Control Spreadsheet

At Theatre, Film & TV they have lots of equipment they loan to students, cameras, microphone, tripod etc. Keeping track of what goes out and what comes back is a difficult job. I have seen a few other departments struggling with the similar "equipment inventory" problems. A solution I have prototyped uses QR codes, a Google Spreadsheet and a small web application written in Apps Script. The idea is, that each piece of equipment ( or maybe collection of items ) has a QR code on it. Using a standard and free smartphone application to read QR codes, the technician swipes the item and is shown a screen that lets them either check the item out or return it. The QR app looks like this. The spreadsheet contains a list of cameras. It has links to images and uses Google Visualisation tools to generate its QR codes. The spreadsheet looks like this. The Web Application The web application, which only checks items in or out and should be used on a phone in conjunctio

Inserting A Google Doc link into a Google Spreadsheet (UPDATED 6/12/2017)

This article looks at using Apps Script to add new features to a Google Spreadsheet. At the University of York, various people have been using Google spreadsheets to collect together various project related information. We've found that when collecting lots of different collaborative information from lots of different people that a spreadsheet can work much better than a regular Google Form. Spreadsheets can be better than Forms for data collection because: The spreadsheet data saves as you are editing. If you want to fill in half the data and come back later, your data will still be there. The data in a spreadsheet is versioned, so you can see who added what and when and undo it if necessary The commenting features are brilliant - especially the "Resolve" button in comments. One feature we needed was to be able to "attach" Google Docs to certain cells in a spreadsheet. It's easy to just paste in a URL into a spreadsheet cell, but they can often

A Working Booking System In Google Sheets

Working with Andras Sztrokay we had another go at a booking system. This time it was to enable staff to book out a number of iPads over a number of days. You select the days you want, then select the Booking menu. Andras did an amazing job. It even creates a daily bookings sheet so you can see who has which iPads. To see this in action, go  here  and  File > Make a Copy (I won't be able to support you this is just provided to maybe give someone else a leg up, good luck!)