If you’re a user of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE and use the schedule board, then you’ve probably asked yourself these questions in the past:
- How come Time Off Requests only show in gray on the schedule board?
- How can we see the details of why someone is blocked for a period of time?
Well, there is a way to show your schedulers the details of such requests and it’s fairly simple. Thanks to Universal Resource Scheduling’s (URS) capability to schedule any entity, I will show you just how easy it is.
First, determine reasons why resources can request time off that you want to capture: PTO, Mandatory Training, Optional Training, Vehicle Maintenance, etc. Add this field to your Time Off Request entity and form, including your Field Service Mobile form and view (using the Woodford configuration tool for the Field Service Mobile App).
Navigate to Resource Scheduling and add Time Off Request as a new entity that can be scheduled against. Click ‘Publish Customization.’
Next, set up the Booking Setup Metadata for Time Off Requests. The image below shows how I’ve done it, but you can change it up a bit if you’d like. I choose not to create a requirement record as the bookings will occur automatically once approved.
You’ll notice (above) I also created a new Booking Committed Status called Out of Office. I’ve had customers call these many things from time off to unavailable time, etc. The point here is to make it clear that this is time when Bookable Resources are not available for work.
After completing the metadata setup, you should update your Schedule Board Settings for Time Off Requests, particularly the Booking Template. I’m not talking about the settings once you are in the schedule board; I’m referring to the Default Schedule Board Settings, shown here when setting up the metadata.
My Booking Template for this entity would look something like this:
Once the scheduling setup is complete, I turn my attention to creating the booking record once a Time Off Request is Approved. Currently, all Approved Time Off Requests become Inactive. Side note, I previously submitted an idea to the Microsoft Idea site approve/reject a Time Off Request. Currently Time Off Requests can only be Approved, not Rejected.
In my current environment, I have a workflow kick-off in the background once a time off request record is set to inactive. (You can and should use Power Automate to do the same, but for this example, I’m sticking with what I already have set up).
I also set the Time Off Request field on the Booking to the Time Off Request Record. This creates additional linkage for reporting needs or ease of finding bookings related to Time Off Requests (or even filtering them out).
Once the Time off Request is Approved, it will appear on the schedule board like this. (Keep in mind this is currently limited to the Hourly Board. The Day, Week, Month Boards will not show any custom booking templates.)
There are additional functions you can perform – such as moving or canceling a Time Off Request and having it cancel the Booking. Use the above details to assist in your efforts