Improving Business Efficiency with a JavaScript Planning Calendar

Confucius once said that a man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door. It is hard to argue with these words of wisdom especially when it comes to achieving success in the highly competitive world of modern business. In everyday life, we can use cellphones or paper calendars for day planning, but business people require more complex tools for scheduling and organizing various activities. Thus, they often invest in the development of business web applications complemented with a corresponding tool — a JavaScript planning calendar.

In this article, you will get an insight into planning calendars, common use case scenarios, and their key functional capabilities using the example of DHTMLX Scheduler.

What is a Planning Calendar

Time is one of the most valuable resources in any undertaking and a planning calendar helps to use it more productively. This time management and scheduling tool enables users to map out different kinds of activities along the timeline. In business, such calendars primarily serve to organize and follow work schedules (including appointments, daily briefings, negotiations, etc.) as well as be aware of important upcoming events such as deadlines or release dates. Such a tool also facilitates transparency, as it allows all team members to be kept up to date on the agenda.

Resource management is one more aspect covered via a planning calendar. It helps to give you a clear picture of how all available resources are used for various tasks. Under resources, we mean employees, equipment, office locations, etc. that can be assigned to events placed in the calendar.

Companies from various fields (public administration, healthcare, trade industry, etc.) utilize planning calendars for more effective interaction with clients or internal communication.

This demo app was designed by the DHTMLX team with the help of the Scheduler component. The drag-and-drop interface of this system enables users to easily monitor booking statuses and conditions of all rooms, find the necessary type of room via filtering and show UI elements in different colors. This demo can be a foundation for the development of more advanced apps with extra features.

Some businesses take advantage of Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, Apple’s iCal. These free tools are very popular all over the world. But it is often a problem to adjust them to specific requirements. It can also be challenging to use these software solutions in local networks and store data in your database. These limitations can be a serious obstacle. In such cases, it is reasonable to create a custom scheduling solution using ready-made JavaScript planning calendar components such as DHTMLX Scheduler.

Let us consider what you can get in terms of functionality by integrating DHTMLX Scheduler in a web application.

Key features of DHTMLX planning calendar

DHTMLX Scheduler is a fully customizable JavaScript library designed for creating multifunctional and good-looking event calendars with intuitive drag-and-drop UI. It comes with a range of useful features that are commonly expected from a modern planning calendar. Here are the most notable of them.

Calendar views

When working with a planning calendar, it is really important for users to have the opportunity to see all scheduled activities in different ways. With DHTMLX Scheduler, you are not constrained to use just basic views (Day, Week, Month, Year), as this JavaScript component also provides extra views for navigating through the calendar and managing events with ease.

For instance, the Timeline view suits well for monitoring the progress of various tasks. It gives the right perspective on the available resources and tasks assigned to them. It is also possible to add custom content in the Timeline view to make it more informative.

Another option to visualize events for several resources is the Units view. It helps to show separate calendars (as columns) for each available resource on one page.

If the calendar includes a large number of events, it can be more convenient to apply the Agenda, Week Agenda, or Grid views for reviewing the upcoming events in the form of lists. The Map view allows you to show not only events but also their locations on the map.

If that’s not enough, DHTMLX also offers the possibility to create a custom view. The image above shows a custom workweek view that depicts only the working days of the week.

Event handling options

In business, planning processes are rarely limited to one-day tasks or appointments. DHTMLX Scheduler includes a couple of features to give some flexibility in this direction. You can schedule tasks lasting for several days in a row using multi-day events. If users have to deal with activities that are repeated continuously over hours or days, it is possible to make them recurring by setting a template for the corresponding event type.

If a specific event is assigned to multiple resources in the Timeline or Unit views, it must be shown simultaneously in several sections of the calendar. It is done with multisection events.

All calendar events can be complemented with extra information via tooltips. If needed, it is also not a problem to prevent users from creating new events at specific time intervals or date ranges or even make the whole calendar non-editable by enabling the read-only mode.

Localization

If you want to create a world-ready web application for planning events, it is crucial to make it understandable to representatives of different nations. With DHTMLX Scheduler, you can easily adapt the app’s interface to the language and cultural requirements of a specific locale. It also includes an RTL mode dealing with languages that belong to right-to-left writing systems.

Accessibility

Apart from overcoming language and cultural barriers, it is also important to make sure that users with disabilities will not experience any difficulties in using your planning calendar. DHTMLX Scheduler follows the accessibility standard by providing several key features. For instance, this JS component supports keyboard navigation, WAI-ARIA attributes, and high-contrast themes.

Touch support

It is really nice to have all the information about upcoming events at your fingertips without being tied up to any workplace. That is why the possibility of interacting (drag-and-drop, scrolling, editing) with the planning calendar via tablets or smartphones is demanded by many users. DHTMLX Scheduler provides support for touch devices to help end-users stay informed and productive at any location.

Exporting/Importing calendar data

Sometimes it may be necessary to be able to work with calendar data offline or send it by email. In such scenarios, various exporting/importing options can be a valuable addition to any online scheduling system. DHTMLX Scheduler offers APIs to export data to popular formats (Excel, PDF/PNG, iCal, JSON, XML). Moreover, DHTMLX-based calendars are synchronizable with Google calendar or MS Project.

Final Words

Summarizing the above, we can conclude that the use of JavaScript planning calendars in web apps can significantly boost the working efficiency of a company’s staff. Such tools allow properly organizing all work activities with required resources and keeping track of their timetable. To my mind, DHTMLX Scheduler is a good instrument for implementing feature-packed planning calendars with minimum time and effort. Interested in trying this tool in your own project? Download a free 30-day trial version and estimate its benefits. If you have any other interesting scheduling tools in mind, feel free to share your suggestions in the comment section.

Here we post news about our JavaScript UI libraries. In addition to this, we also share useful tips, news and articles about JavaScript.