Where time and space are arranged
November 5, 2012 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Looking for an online solution to booking and scheduling resources in a large workshop

We're a large artist workshop with a bunch of different departments — graphics, ceramics, metal, wood, hacklab, etc — and I'm responsible for the silkscreen workshop. Because we have a lot of members who live out of town, we're looking into online solutions to booking resources and spaces. Currently, it's scribbled in a paper calendar at the workshop, and it's a bit of a hassle, especially for out of town members.

The workshop as a whole has been talking about migrating to digital solutions for a while, but since we're all working for free there's plenty of turnover and no-one has really taken the time to solve this. I figure we might experiment at the graphics department at first, and then add the other shops once we're up and running.

We have some 140 members in graphics, and they should all be able to:

1) Easily navigate among some twenty odd resources and spaces (Silkscreen dept -> UV vacuum table)
2) See what resources are booked in advanced, by whom. (With automatic contact info of the bookee)
3) Book resources / spaces for themselves (Within the limits of their privileges — for example, "no more than 2 days in a row" or whatever)

And at the same time the software would preferably have an administrative interface where we can add resources, members, and member privileges.

Ease of use is important since the computer literacy varies a lot among our members, but we're a couple of people who could muck about in simple code if we have to fiddle with the back-end. I've thought about using Filemaker, but it's slow and as I understand it I'd have to buy the server software. We'd rather go with free–as–in–beer if possible and make up with work what we can't afford, but would consider buying licenses as long as it's not too expensive, is well supported and scales to <400 users.

Now is the time to commence with dispensation of glorious advice! Thanks.
posted by monocultured to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
phpScheduleIt will do this well, if you have a place to host a PHP/MySQL app.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 3:30 PM on November 5, 2012

Coming back to say that phpSheduleIt was a very good fit. Constant small improvements, and somewhat wonky user / group administration, but it's good enough for us at the moment.
posted by monocultured at 3:37 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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