Posts Tagged: Venue Blocking

New Bypass Venue Blocks Permission

As the wet and windy wintry weather shows no sign of letting up here in the UK, we continue to put the finishing touches to the next update to our MIDAS web based room booking and resource scheduling software, v4.24.

In our previous article, we announced support in v4.24 for a new multi-select custom list field. In this blog post, we’re revealing a new user permission we’re adding to our forthcoming update.

“User Permissions” in MIDAS allow administrators to precisely control what each user account within the system can access. From very restrictive “view only” permissions to fully-fledged administrator – and everything in between! In fact, there are in excess of 30 individual permissions you can set on a per-account basis. A full list of these permissions may be found here.

For v4.24 we’re adding a new additional user permission: “Can Bypass Venue Blocks”. To understand the purpose of this new permissions, we first need to understand what “Venue Blocks” actually are..

What are venue “blocks”?

Back in 2014, we introduced “Venue Blocks” to MIDAS. You can read more about this cool feature in this blog post. Essentially, venue “blocking” allows administrators to set up rules so that when a certain venue is booked, another venue is then automatically blocked from having any bookings during the same time period.

An example of where this may be useful is in a Church environment where you have a quiet prayer room adjacent to a sports hall. It may be desirable to prevent noisy bookings taking place in the sports hall when there’s a prayer meeting happening in the room next door. This is where Venue Blocking comes in.

Another example might be a large room which can either be hired as a whole space, or sub-divided and hired as two separate, smaller rooms. Obviously, if one of the sub-divisions is booked, another booking couldn’t take place in the space as a whole at the same time. Again, this is where Venue Blocking in MIDAS becomes really useful, as you can easily prevent such occurrences.

Bypassing Venue Blocks

Until now, however, there has been no way to “override” venue blocks, short of removing the blocks from venues themselves. That’s why we’re introducing the new “Can Bypass Venue Blocks” permission for v4.24:

Bypass MIDAS Venue Blocking Rules
New “Bypass Venue Blocks” permission in v4.24

This permission isn’t granted to any user by default. However, any user account subsequently granted the “Can Bypass Venue Blocks” permission, can then make bookings regardless of any venue blocking rules in effect.

We’re sure this additional user permission will be of considerable use in helping you manage your bookable spaces more effectively. And once again, this improvement is being implemented as a direct result of feedback from our users. We love hearing feedback and suggestions for improvement and new features from our customers. Why not vote on some suggestions and let us know what you’d like to see in MIDAS in the future!

Improved Bulk Venue Modification

In the very early days of MIDAS, each “venue” (room/bookable space) you added to the system could have a name and a maximum occupancy level (capacity) setting.

Over the years as MIDAS has developed and improved, the number of venue options has greatly increased; today you can set hours of operation, simple and complex hire rates, venue managers, venue blocking rules, alternatives, and rich HTML descriptions.

These additional options have given our software even more flexibility for a wider range of applications. However, when increasing the number of individual venue settings/options available, this in turn can increase the time taken to setup or make changes to a venue.

That’s why last March, in response to customer feedback, we introduced a way to allow you to “bulk modify” venues. Users now no longer have to modify settings for each venue one at a time.

Manage Venues Screen
Manage Venues Screen

The “bulk modify” venue feature allowed more than one venue to be selected at a time from the Manage Venues screen. When the “Save Changes” button was clicked, the current venue settings/options would be applied to all selected venues.

However, some users didn’t appreciate that all venue settings/options (with the exception of the venue name) would be applied to all selected venues, including capacity, rates, hours, managers, etc.

Therefore, in order to provide even grater flexibility for users, for v4.21, we’re making it even simpler!

Now, when you have multiple venues selected on the Manage Venues screen and you click ‘Save Changes”, MIDAS will prompt you to select which particular settings to apply to your selected venues:

Bulk Modify venues in MIDAS
Bulk Modify Venues Options

This new additional dialog gives users full control by making it easier to make specific bulk changes to venues. We’re sure you’re going to love the enhanced flexibility!

Check out some of the other new and improved features coming in v4.21 here.

Venue “Blocking”

In the next update to our room scheduling software MIDAS, we’re introducing a powerful new feature called Venue “Blocking”.

Venue Blocking allows you to define a set of “rules” for making some rooms become automatically “Unavailable” when certain other spaces are booked.

Let’s take a closer look at how “Venue Blocking” can be useful in a typical usage case…
Say you have a large “Sports Hall” that can either be booked in its entirety, or divided into two halves that can each be booked separately…

Sports Hall Booking system
Sports Hall Scheduling System

The 3 different spaces available for booking (“Sports Hall”, “Half Hall A” and “Half Hall B”) can each be added to MIDAS as individual venues:

Sports Facility Management System

Now, if someone books the entire “Sports Hall”, you then want to prevent anyone else from being able to book a half hall at the same time – and that’s where Venue “Blocking” comes in!

You can setup a few simple blocking rules to prevent the “Sports Hall” from being booked if either half (or both halves) of the hall have been booked, and vice versa. This is achieved from the new “Blocking” tab on the Manage Venues Screen (MIDAS Admin Options → Manage Venues). In the screenshot below you can see that “Half Hall A” and “Half Hall B” have both been set to be blocked when “Sports Hall” is in use:

Venue Blocking

Once your blocking rules have been defined, MIDAS will then apply them accordingly when checking booking availability. In the below example, we’ve tried to book all 3 spaces at the same time, and because of the blocking rules that have been defined, MIDAS prevents us from booking all 3 spaces:

Booking Availability

So as you can see, “Venue Blocking” is a very useful and powerful addition to our web based software, that’s coming with our next update, MIDAS v4.05.