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Troubleshooting the Appointment Booking System

This section provides some recommended values for the various setup configurations as well as providing a checklist that you can run through if problems occur when using the ABS.

Before beginning the checks, note that all of the following settings are required for running the ABS:

  • Service region for each activity
  • Earliest Start and Latest Start values for each activity
  • Server key mappings
  • Time windows
  • Parameter set
  • Parameters:
    • Month Start Date
    • Week Start Day
    • ABS - Days to Start
    • ABS - Days to End
    • Optimizer - Default Priority

Service Region Configuration

Service regions should have the following items:

  • A defined schedule
  • A defined time window
  • A defined parameter set
  • Employees who are assigned to a service region and have a schedule defined for them.
  • ZIP codes that are associated with the service region. This configuration allows service regions to be automatically associated with activities.

Activity Configuration

Activities that need to be scheduled should have the following items:

  • A defined service region
  • A specified duration and work time. For testing purposes, set the duration and work time to 30 minutes.

    NOTE:  Work time can be less than or equal to the duration of the activity.

  • A cleared Lock Schedule check box on the Activities screen > Activity List > Schedule view. If you are using Assignment Manager, clear the Lock Assignment check box also.
  • A selected Allow Breaks check box if the activities are long (they span more than a day, or the schedules have breaks in them).

Appointment Booking System Parameter Set Configuration

The parameter values for the ABS should be set as described in Table 37.

Table 37. Recommended ABS Scheduling Parameter Values
Recommended Value

Month Start Date

This value should generally be set to 1. This is primarily relevant if you are using constraints around monthly capacity.

Week Start Date

This value should generally be set to 1. This is primarily relevant if you are using constraints around weekly capacity.

ABS - Days to Start

This value should be set to at least 1. You can also set this 0, which allows booking on the same day.

ABS - Days to End

This value should be greater than ABS - Days to Start, but less than 60. Setting this to a higher value will result in longer loading times and may run over the 10,000 record limit.

ABS - Logging Level

This value is the logging level for ABS, which is separate from the general logging level. Typically this is set to 3, but when problems are encountered, set it to 4.

ABS - Default Number of Slots

This value should generally be between 5 to 10.

ABS - Timeout

This value should generally be set to 5.

Use Assignment Manager

If Assignment Manager is being used, this value is set to 1. For debugging purposes it can be set to 0, in which case, all employees in the service region who are on duty will be considered.

Schedule Configuration

For testing purposes, create a simple 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. schedule for both employees and the service region.

NOTE:  The service region schedule overrides the employee schedule. If the service region schedule indicates that there should be no work carried out over weekends, then employees will not be scheduled, even if their schedules indicate weekend work.

Employee Configuration

All employees in the service region should have defined schedules. For those employees who do not currently have a defined schedule, use a schedule that has no times defined. You could call this Empty Schedule, for example.

NOTE:  If Assignment Manager is being used, the employees should have the appropriate skills.

Time Window Configuration

Time windows should be set up contiguously, large enough to cover the maximum activity duration attempting to be scheduled.

Server Key Mapping Configuration

Appointment Booking System Server Component Parameter Configuration

The server component task parameters should be set as described in Table 34.

Assignment Rule Configuration

This section applies if you are using Assignment Manager.

  • Check all assignment rules. In each of them, the Check Employee Calendar check box should be cleared. It is not used for the ABS.
  • Try to assign the activity by using Assignment Manager in interactive assignment mode. You perform this assignment by selecting an activity record (on the Activities screen > List view), clicking the menu button on the Activity form and selecting the Assign option. The result returned should be a list of candidates for that activity, if the Assignment Manager rules are set up correctly.
  • For debugging purposes, it is recommended that you disable the Assignment Manager. This can be done by setting the Use Assignment Manager parameter to 0. See Appointment Booking System Parameter Set Configuration for more information.

Appointment Booking System Constraint Set Configuration

Constraint sets can be a cause of loading or booking problems if the constraints are contradictory. For testing purposes, set the constraint set in the service region to blank and then check whether the problems are fixed.

Disabling Scripting on the Activity Business Object

If you have checked all the configuration values listed in the preceding sections and the problem still exists, try disabling the scripting on the Activity business objects.

CAUTION:  The Action business component has a number of data integrity checks on it. Overriding or removing these checks can introduce subtle errors into the scheduling process.

The following recommendations should be noted when changing the Activity business objects, particularly the Action business component:

  • Do not change the code around work time and duration.
  • Be careful not to disable calculated field logic.
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