Appointment scheduling on macs
November 3, 2010 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Please tell me my options for appointment/resource scheduling for 15 users on Macs (local applications, server based, online based).

We are looking for an appointment scheduling software.

I find products in the following categories:

1. Online (Genbook)
2. Server app & Clients with Standalone software (we use Team Agenda, and besides project management software there seem to be few options)
3. Server app & Clients in Browsers (Meeting Maker)
4. Filemaker (Practice Maker, SeedCode Calender Pro)

For reliability & privacy reasons I would prefer a non-online version. I would like the functionality to search for free appointments based on certain conditions (for example: after 18.00 with the participation of two ressources).

I would prefer a non filemaker/do-it-yourself option - as this seems to be an invitation for things to break, and lots of fidgeting with adaptable details.

There seem to be many only options but very few Mac options - could you show me more of 2 and 3?

Thank you!
posted by lenehan to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
We use Google Calendar to schedule equipment and appointments in our research lab of about that size. Reliability is very high and you can set calendars to private very easily.

Our university has used dCal (Oracle software with both web and desktop applications) and Meeting Maker at various times, but they're a lot less user-friendly in my experience.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:25 AM on November 3, 2010

Is iCal Server not an option? (Do you have a Mac server? Any server?)
posted by misterbrandt at 10:35 AM on November 3, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, we have a mac Server, so the iCal Server would work. But it doesnt provide any of the more advanced functionality (searching for appointments within a Range with multiple attendees) at least I think so. I will check it out another time.
posted by lenehan at 1:22 PM on November 3, 2010

I've found iCal server on OSX to be a complete PITA if the user's aren't homed in the same OD hierarchy as the server in question. Perhaps I'm doing it wrong, and perhaps it works better if you follow a "proper" enterprise-style OD managed OSX deploy, but that's my experience.

I'm not aware of a built-in appointment search feature in iCal like you describe but you could make it easy-ish for the end-users to do themselves with a bit of account delegation, as long as the calendar entries aren't private (ie. as long as it's ok for Alice to know that Bob isn't available because he's got an appointment with Mark, rather than just knowing "he's not available at that time").

I know a couple of sites that use Zimbra and claim it provides the same level of functionality as Exchange for email and calendaring, but I also know a couple of other sites where they actually use Zimbra calendaring and have ongoing issues (appointments disappearing, people being unable to accept meeting requests, etc).

I haven't used anything based on FileMaker since ~2004 because every "commercial" FileMaker app i saw was a creaking straining pile of junk on the verge of falling over and losing all the client's data. But perhaps it (and the ecosystem) has improved in the last 6 years.

Finally, I know a couple of independent consultants who swear by Kerio, but I'm not sure how many of their clients really use it for calendaring rather than just email.

I'm not sure how helpful that bundle of pro and con suggestions is... :)
posted by russm at 4:17 AM on November 4, 2010

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