The Scheduling module is an additional module that may be enabled in PathfinderCore PRO through a license add-on. It works as an addendum to the Day of Week and Date/Time timers. Specifically, this module allows you to define resources and event templates and then apply them on an easy-to-use drag and drop calendar in order to easily schedule changes.
This feature requires a scheduling license. For evaluation, we can also supply a 90-day demo license. Events created using this demo license will continue to function properly after the demo expires but without the ability to view them in the calendar. After demo expiration, the events will still be viewable and editable via the normal timers editor dialog. Because these timer events use a different object type, events created with the scheduling demo feature may not work if you downgrade the software to a previous version on PathfinderCore PRO software. In addition to the demo license, there is the ability to open a demo calendar that has non-functioning data so that the concepts may be evaluated; this does not require a license.
The scheduling module adds an optional calendar-based scheduling system into PathfinderCore PRO. While scheduling of time-based events has always been possible, the scheduling module simplifies this process with a drag and drop calendar user interface and the ability to dynamically combine properties and values during that process.
The scheduling module is comprised of 4 objects:
Resources: A container for a set of events which also may include properties and values that interact with templates that are dropped onto the resource.
AirChains1, 2, and 3 are resources in the picture above.
Templates: An event template with duration and start and end actions.
Templates are displayed in the list of rectangles on the left side of the screen in the picture above and can be drug onto the calendar.
Calendars: A calendar-based visualization of resources and their associated events along with drag and drop visualizations of templates.
This image above is a calendar with three resources, 4 currently displayed ResourceEvents, and 4 templates.
ResourceEvents: An event with a start and end time and action to perform at the start and end. The action data may be comprised of information from both the resource and template used to create the event.
The events are displayed at the time values in the calendar.
The user workflow involves selecting an event template and dragging it into the correct resource in the calendar, then adjusting the time duration or placement by dragging the event or event bottom edge. Details of the event may be further manipulated if the user has the rights to do so by clicking on the event as shown below:
In the calendar shown earlier, each event makes a route change of the studio source defined in the template to the AirChain destination which is defined by the resource. So when we drop a studio onto the resource, the destination from the resource is combined with the source from the event template in a new event with the correct time parameters that we define by dragging the duration. This allows the scheduling of studio to airchain routing to be a simple drag and drop procedure.
It is also important to note that no changes take effect until the Apply button is selected. The apply and cancel buttons will flash when there are pending changes that have not been committed.
Let’s dig a little deeper into how resources, templates, calendars, and resource events are created and interact. As an Administrator to create a calendar such as the one we see above, we would first need to define the resources and templates. To do this, click on the Timers navigation bar link and then click on the Resources tab.
Click on the plus icon to add a new resource:
Each resource can have a name and description, a color, a start property and value, and an end property and value. The start property and value determine what happens at a newly created event start, and the end property and value set what happens at a newly created event end. In each case where the start and end property fields are used (resources, templates, and events), if an end action is not defined, nothing will happen at the end of the event time range.
It is important to understand that the values defined here are designed to be overridden by the template when a new template is dropped on the resource unless the template says to take data from the resource. We will see more of this when we get to the templates section below. So for example, we could leave all of the Start and End fields blank and define what happens only in the template. In the Studio and AirChain example above, we clicked on the ellipsis button and defined destinations and blank sources in these fields. The dialogs for property and value selections are the same as the Date/Time and Day of Week timers described in the Timers section of the manual.
Click on the ellipsis buttons for each field and select the air chain destinations. The sources can be set to none or anything you like as we will override them in the templates section below.
A color can also be picked. The clone resource link allows for quick duplication where you need to create several resources with only slight differences between them. Each resource requires a unique name.
After creating several resources with different destinations for your Airchains, click on the templates tab and then use the plus icon to define a new template.
You will notice a checkbox next to several fields called Assigned by Resource. Enabling this checkbox indicates that the field will be obtained from the equivalent field in the resource when the template is dropped onto the resource. So for example, use the import from resource drop-down to import the settings for the properties and values from one of the Airchain resources you created earlier as it is easier than manually selecting them again. Then provide a name and enable the checkboxes on the start and end properties. The duration is the default duration that will be used when dropping the template in the calendar but then can be adjusted by dragging the event. The result will look like this:
What we are saying is that when this template is dropped onto the resource, the template will provide the source values and the resource will provide the property (destination) and color values.
It is important to understand that if we had not turned on any of the “Assigned by Resource” checkboxes, all of the parameters from the template would be used. Why is it useful to split the parameters up in this way? If we look at our original calendar again we will see its usefulness.
Here if you drag studio 1 onto Airchain 1, then the event will have the airchain destination and the studio source. If you decide you made a mistake, you can drag the event to Airchain 2, and the routing destination for the event will update to reflect the change.
Going back to our Administrative configuration again, we still need to actually create the calendar. To do that, click on the calendars tab and click the Plus button. The calendars dialog allows us to create a new named calendar and configure what resources and templates are allowed to be used by the calendar.
Supply a name and description for the calendar and then select the resources and templates that are available for use. It is important to note that the same resources and templates can be used on multiple calendars. Think of a calendar as a view of resource based events and the templates as the available events that may be applied. After applying the new calendar settings, it becomes available in the calendar list and the view button will allow a user to start working with it.
While all of the examples so far have been to make route changes, they do not have to be. Any property in the system can be used in a resource or template and therefore scheduled. So for example we could change the resource and template to use ZipOne dialing parameters. When creating the resource after clicking the ellipsis button, use the Endpoints button to obtain the normal logic flows endpoint selector.
Therefore if we create our resource to look like:
And our template to look like:
In this instance the resource defines the Zip one Connect property as well as the Zip one drop property and value. And the template only supplies the dial location. Using this methodology we could create a calendar for scheduling Zip one dialing such as:
In this example our event templates are dial locations and our resources are the Zip One to use for the dialing.
As one last example, we could create a calendar to schedule the loading of show profiles on a console:
In this example, the templates are show profiles and the only resource on the calendar is the fusion console on which they are being scheduled.
The point we are trying to make with these examples is that anything Pathfinder Core PRO knows about can be used for scheduling and multiple calendars may be created in order to schedule different types of things.
The calendar has a time zone selector in the top left corner. By default when the calendar is displayed, it queries PathfinderCore PRO for its current time zone and sets the calendar time zone to that time zone. Changing the time zone changes how the events are viewed. Adding events while in a different time zone than the Pathfinder Core PRO time zone will cause the event times to be converted to the Pathfinder Core PRO time zone when the apply button sends the changes to the system.
Several controls exist across the top of the calendar. On the right hand corner, there are several buttons which change the view.
Clicking these buttons will change the calendar view to one of the following:
Month: Dropping templates onto the month view is prohibited as there is not enough resolution for time selection.
Week: Dropping a template onto a week view will always assign the template to the first resource assigned to the calendar. This can then be adjusted if necessary in the day view.
Day: This is the primary and default scheduling view.
List: This view is for informational purposes only and cannot be a drag and drop target.
On the left hand side is a today button that will bring the view back to the current day as well as left right arrows for navigating to the next day/week/month depending on the view.
The apply and cancel buttons apply or cancel any pending changes to the Pathfinder Core PRO timer engine. These buttons will flash if there are pending changes. Events which have not been applied will not exist or be acted upon by PathfinderCore PRO.
You can define colors in the templates, resources, and in the events themselves and there is some internal logic as to which color is used when an event gets created. If the template has the Assigned by Resource checkbox enabled for the color then the resource color will be used. This is the default because when viewing the calendar using a week or month view where the resource columns are not visible, events associated with a specific resource will all have the same color making it easy to tell which events belong to which resource. However you may prefer to have the color relate to the template that created the event, in which case deselecting the Assigned by Resource checkbox in the template will cause newly created events to use the template color. Finally, once an event is created it can be edited by clicking on the event and a color specific to that event instance can be selected.
After an event is created, if the settings generated by the resource/template combination are not what you want, you can click on the event and edit it to do whatever you wish.
This is basically the same timer editing dialog that is discussed in the timers section of the manual above. The only differences are the presence of the color, template, and resource fields and different options in the timer type field. Calendar based timers must be of type Resource Event or Recurring Resource Event. These two types equate to the DateTime event type and the DayOfWeek type but are designed to work with the calendar. You can change the name of the event from the default one that is generated, but the name must be unique within the timers in the system.
When creating an event template or editing an event, it is possible to create it as a recurring event rather than a one-time event by selecting the Recurring timer type.
This will add fields for selecting the days of the week on which the event should occur.
Dragging a recurring template onto the calendar will cause it to appear at the selected timeslot on all days of the week for which the template is configured.
One thing that can cause confusion is if you drag a recurring event to a day view on a day of the week that the recurring event is not scheduled to take place. This will appear to have no effect, but if you use the week view to zoom out you will see that the event has been added and applied to the correct days.
It is also important to note than changing the length or any of the properties of a recurring event will make that change in the base recurring event and will therefore affect all days the event takes place. For example, in the week view above, if you grab the duration handle on the bottom of one of these events and make the event longer, all of them will change because they are all just views of a single recurring event.
When editing an event, you should also notice the trashcan icon in the bottom right corner.
To delete an event that has been added to a calendar resource, click on the event and then click on the trash can icon. The system will ask you if you are sure you want to delete the event. It is important to note that deleting a recurring event will delete all instances of that recurring event. There is currently no way to delete a single day of a recurring event. Instead you would need to disable that day in the event and then re-enable it afterwards if you want it to happen on that day in the future.