Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Doug Anderson
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Posted: 3 Jun 1999
Too many wants chasing too few resources. This is the aphorism that creates an economy, causes us to organize, to band together to make sure we each get our fair share. Working in an office can be like that. Have you ever tried to schedule that conference room with the big bay window or check out the IBM ThinkPad for your business trip? Taking a stab at the finer things in life can certainly reveal your place in the Great Chain of Being, can't it? Well, say hello to GroupWise, the great equalizer. With GroupWise, resources can be anything anyone in the organization might need to share. More importantly, with GroupWise, if everyone needs access to a resource, everyone gets access to it.
Resources are pretty much anything you want, usually things that can be scheduled for meetings or other uses. That is, conference rooms, overhead projectors, cars, and that sort of thing. But they can include anything, from laptop computers to cd players, actual cds to the corporate box at Chicago's United Center. The sky's the limit. Or, actually, the system administrator is. He or she defines a resource by giving it an identifying name and assigning it to a user. In other words, a resource is just like any user in the Address Book, except for the being-owned-by-someone-else part. The administrator assigns a user to a resource as the owner, and that user has full proxy rights to receive notification of appointments and accept or decline appointments. So while resource owners can be all-powerful tyrants, it might help the egalitarian atmosphere of your organization to think of them more as "caretakers."
Resources can affect your life in one of three ways: you can create one, own one, or (and this would be most of us) you can try to schedule one.
The power to create resources lies entirely within the purview of administrators. If you're not one, you might want to skip to another section, like scheduling a resource. Not that creating a resource is difficult; it's not. But you've gotta have the right tools. NetWare Administrator for example. We'll give you the basic steps for creating a resource here. For information about defining additional resource properties, deleting resources, and so forth, search for Resources in the GroupWise Admin online Help.
To create a resource, do the following from within NetWare Administrator:
1. Right-click the organization or organizational unit that will contain the resource. Click Create, then double-click GroupWise Resource.
2. Enter a resource name. Try to be a bit descriptive, but limit yourself to 32 characters.
3. Click the icon represented below to select the post office for the resource.
4. Click the icon represented below to display a list of potential owners.
5. Select the lucky owner.
6. Click Define Additional Properties to do that, or click Create Another Resource to do that.
Remember, these steps are just to get you started. You'll find the real poop in the GroupWise Admin online Help.
Here's a hint for defining the properties of certain really valuable resources, like the only conference room that doesn't smell: make the resource a blind user. That way, the resource remains your own little secret, and the only people who will be able to schedule it are the people you give the name to. In other words, if you're in Marketing, you can keep the Sales people from using your stuff.
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Being the owner of a resource isn't quite as glamorous as you might think. In short, a resource owner is responsible to accept and decline appointments for the resource. And that task, in all its glory, can usually be accomplished by setting up a rule or two. Resource owners owe their power to the full proxy rights given them by the administrator who created the resource in the first place. Once a resource owner sets up some accept and decline rules, they become like absentee landlords, while actual conference room maintenance is left to the whims of the janitorial staff.
Creating Rules for Resources
As the owner of a resource, you have full proxy rights to that resource, including creating rules. For example, the following steps show you how to create a rule that accepts all requests for an available resource. And while that would be mighty magnanimous of you, you might want to temper your generosity by also creating a rule that declines requests for a resource that is already scheduled.
To create a rule that accepts all requests for a resource,
1. Click the resource you own in the Proxy list in the bottom-left corner of the Main Window or Calendar. If the resource you own isn't listed in the Proxy pop-up list, click Proxy, type the name of the resource you own in the Name text box, then click OK.
2. Click Tools, Rules, New.
3. Type a name for the rule, for example, "Accept."
4. Click Appointment. Make sure the other item types are deselected.
5. Click No in the Appointment Conflict Exists drop-down list. This is important. By selecting No here, you ensure that the rule won't fire if a conflict exists, and you avoid the ugly fisticuffs (have you ever seen lawyers actually fight with their hands?) that result from conference room overbooking.
6. Click Add Action, then click Accept. You can type a comment here if you want, but it will only show up if a user looks at the properties of the appointment. A better way is to add another action that replies to the scheduler telling him or her if that the appointment has been accepted (see Step 7). Remember, if the appointment isn't accepted, this rule won't fire anyway. We'll create a different rule to take care of the rejections. Click Ok to close the Accept With Comment dialog box.
7. Click Add Action, Reply, then click OK.
8. Type a message that indicates that the appointment has been accepted. You know, something like "Your appointment has been accepted." Click OK. Your completed rule should look like this:
9. Click Save, Close. And there you have your accept appointments rule.
You should also create a rule for rejecting appointments when a time conflict exists. Follow the exact same steps as you did for the accept appointments rule, with the following changes:
Step 3: the rule name should be Reject instead of Accept.
Step 5: Select Yes in the Appointment Conflict Exists drop-down list. This ensures that the Reject rule fires when someone tries to double-book the resource.
Step 6: The action should be Delete/Decline.
Step 8: Your message should somehow get across the message that the request has been rejected. Something like "NO."
These rules are simply examples of all the wonderful things you can do to control your resources. Use your imagination. Go crazy.
Receiving Notification for Resources
As the owner of a resource, you get to accept or decline all requests for that resource. Although the easiest way to handle your awesome responsibility is through rules, as we've mentioned, you may want more granular control. That is, if you're a micro-manager, or simply a control freak, you may want to subscribe to notification so you are notified each time the resource is requested.
To receive notification when a user requests a resource,
1. Click Tools, Options, double-click Security, then click the Notify tab.
2. In the Notification list box, click the resource. If you don't see the resource listed, click the Address Book icon, click the View menu, Predefined Filters, Filter for Resources. Now click the resource that you own, then click OK. Now click Add User.
3. Make sure Subscribe to Notification is selected, then click OK.
To accept and decline resource requests (that is, each one, individually, for that nice, personal touch),
1. Click the resource you own in the Proxy list. If the resource you own isn't listed in the Proxy pop-up list, click Proxy, type the name of the resource you own in the Name text box, then click OK.
2. Double-click the miserable request you are accepting or declining.
3. Click Actions, Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down (that is, Accept or Decline).
Remember, you get to accept or decline resource requests only if you are the owner and have been granted read and write access rights. You and the resource you own must exist on the same post office. Sorry, that's just the way it is.
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You schedule resources just like you schedule people. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, there's nothing complicated about how you schedule resources; you just enter them in the To field of an appointment. Resources can also be included in a Busy Search, just like users. For all the poop on scheduling users and resources, and using Busy Search to make it easier, read our very fine article called Schedule Meetings without Leaving Your Desk, which was written by our very fine friend, Pamela Ann Pawlowski Kubricky.
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