What’s new in Universal Resource Scheduling for Dynamics 365 December Update 2

Applies to Universal Resource Scheduling solution (version 2.3.x), Field Service application (version 7.3.x), Project Service Automation application (version 2.3.x) On Dynamics 365 version 9.0.x)



From investments in bug fixes and performance, to usability and new features, this Universal Resource Scheduling update is directly driven by feedback we have received from you, our customers and partners. We hope you enjoy!


For a list of bug fixes, read this post


Major Performance Improvements when searching for resource availability


When using the schedule assistant, we know you need the results fast! And sometimes fast needs to be even faster! We have made major improvements in this area. We have greatly decreased the wait time from the time you click “find availability” until the results are returned and actionable. The most drastic improvements are in scenarios where you are searching many resources. Here are a few sample scenarios to share the improvements.


There are many factors that play a role in search performance many of which are data related, so please treat this as general examples.


When searching for a 30 minute requirement across one day, when searching 500 resources, we are getting results back four times faster. For 1000 resources the results are 18 times faster!!


When searching for a 30 minute requirement across seven days, when searching 500 resources, we are getting results back three times faster. For 1000 resources the results are 12 times faster!!


When searching for a 25 hour requirement across 30 days, when searching 500 resources, we are getting results back two and a half times faster. For 1000 resources the results are five times faster!!


To learn more about searching for 1000 resources, here is a blog post if you are interested in the details.


Enhanced Support for Partially Available Resources


Resources that do not have the entire duration being searched can now easily be returned when searching for availability!


Previously, when searching for availability, in order for a resource to return in the schedule assistant results, the resource had to have availability for the entire duration being searched, within the date range being searched.  Meaning if there are 125 hours needed across one week, regardless of how the breakdown of the requirement is structured, only resources with at least a total of 125 hours of availability across that week would return.


Resource available for entire duration


We still showed resources that may be partially available for a specific segment within the requirement, but the resource needed to have all the requested hours over the date range.


Resource partially available


Now, when searching for availability, as long as the resource has a certain percent of the hours available within the searched date range, they can return in the results. For example, when searching for 100 hours of availability in the month of January, while you would prefer to find a resource with all 100 hours, you may still want to consider resources that have at least 50 hours available.


This is completely configurable on a per “schedulable entity” basis. Perhaps for work orders, which are typically a few hours’ worth of time, you only want resources who can fulfill the entire duration, but for projects, typically longer, you would like to see resources who only have partial availability.


To enable partial availability, navigate to the sitemap:


Resource Scheduling>Administration>Enable Entities for Scheduling


Enable entities for scheduling


Then, double click the entity you would like to change for partial availability and set the “Available Duration Minimum(%)”.


Track Proposed Hours for Requirements


We have added an attribute that tracks the total proposed hours on a given requirement giving users a clear picture of where a requirement is in the fulfillment process when viewing a requirement form or view.


We have been storing the Total Duration, the Fulfilled Duration, and the Remaining Duration. Now that we have added tracking of the total “Proposed Duration”, the full picture is at your fingertips.


Tracking total proposed duration


Tracking total proposed duration



We know that you already have existing requirements, don’t worry, when you upgrade, an upgrade script will run and set the proposed duration for you on existing requirements.


Usability Improvement for Booking Creation


In our July 2017 Major update, we introduced a new set of booking options when scheduling a multiday requirement. We introduced booking methods called “Remaining Requirement” and “Full Requirement” and options to “double book a resource if needed” as well as “cancel existing bookings” for that requirement.


These options added a ton of power, flexibility, and choice to users, but we received some feedback that understanding all the options was a bit complex.


While the functionality remains the same in this release, we made a change to help users understand the intent of these options a bit better.


Now, when you change your booking method, or change the “double book if needed” flag, the duration field updates to reflect what will happen when you book.


For example, below, there are 6 requirement hours remaining to be booked on Wednesday 12/20. Allison only has 2.2 hours of capacity remaining. Since we are not double booking the resource, we will only book up to the hours Allison is available since that is the fewer of the two numbers.


You can see that by default when we select Wednesday for Allison, the duration to book defaults to 2.2, Allison’s remaining capacity, but when the user “checks” the double book if-needed option, this now changes to the remaining hours for the requirement in that date range (6), since you are trying to book the remaining hours of the requirement within that range, and are willing to double book the resource. As you check or uncheck the box, the duration changes making it clearer to the user what will happen.


Requirement hours remaining to be booked



Below you will see that if the user changes the booking method to “full requirement”, this means that don’t care about what is already booked, rather they still want all 8 hours and will figure out what to do with the hours that have already been booked. (they can check the “cancel existing booking” option as an example).


So when the user changes the booking method, the duration changes to 8 since that is the requirement duration for that date range. But when the user unchecks the “double book if needed” option, then the duration changes back to 2.2 since that is the total capacity the resource has.


Duration change when user changes booking method



Easily see how many requirements are in your booking requirements tab.


We have exposed the record count for the booking requirements tab on the bottom of the schedule board so you can easily identify how many requirements there are in a particular view being.


Easily see how many requirements are in booking requirements tab



Enhanced Legend Capabilities


We know that when you use a new product, it can take a few runs before you learn some of the changes in user interface. That is why we have expanded our legend.


Enhanced legend capabilities


The legend now explains the resource summary cells.


Schedule Board:


Schedule board


Schedule Assistant:


Schedule assistant


Expand and Collapse Resource Rows on Schedule Board with One Click


We know that sometimes you want to see the bookings for many resources at once from the schedule board. Instead of expanding each resource one at a time to see their bookings, you can now do this all at once!


Just click the expand and collapse buttons on the top of the board.


Expand and Collapse Resource Rows on Schedule Board



Non-Intrusive Error Messaging


When using the schedule board, there are circumstances where we need to display messages to users. Previously, these messages blocked the user from continuing to use the schedule board until clicking “ok” on the error message. While some circumstances require input from users, when there is no input needed, we will display these notifications in a non-intrusive manner.


Non-Intrusive Error Messaging


Non-Intrusive Error Messaging


Specify Pattern tooltip


When using the specify pattern feature, we made a tweak to help with discoverability for users. When hovering over the specify pattern board, you will now see a tooltip explaining that you can drag on the empty space to create a requirement detail.


Specify Pattern tooltip


We hope you enjoy these enhancements as they are driven by you, our customers and partners!



Happy Scheduling!


Dan Gittler

Sr. Program Manager, Dynamics 365 Engineering.


Just in case you missed it, here is a link to “What’s new in December Update 1”