Appointment Confirmation and Notification Settings

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Beginning with Aeon 5.2, reading rooms can be configured to require that appointments booked in the room by patrons on the Aeon web interface are manually reviewed and confirmed by staff. Manual appointment confirmation is an optional feature that is configured on a reading room-by-reading room basis in the Aeon Customization Manager. If manual appointment confirmation is not needed for a specific reading room, the room can be configured instead to automatically confirm all appointments as soon as they are booked and bypass the manual appointment confirmation workflow.

To accommodate appointment confirmation options, all appointments have an associated status indicating the current state of that appointment: confirmed, unconfirmed, or cancelled. This status is viewable to patrons on the web interface and modifiable by staff in the Aeon Client using the Appointment Confirmation interface and/or Appointment form. Several different appointment notification options and email templates are also configurable at key points in the appointment scheduling/confirmation workflow based on the status of the appointment and the confirmation options in place for the associated reading room.

Workflow Overview and Options | Configuring Appointment Confirmation and Notification SettingsAppointment Status | Confirming Appointments in the Aeon Client

Workflow Overview and Options

The appointment confirmation workflow will be initiated when a patron schedules a new appointment on the Aeon web interface. Optional email notifications and reminders can be configured to be sent automatically by Aeon or manually by staff at various key points in the confirmation workflow. A visual diagram and a written step-by-step overview of the appointment confirmation workflow and notification options are both available below.

Confirmation Workflow Diagram

Appointment Confirmation Workflow

Aeon will consider both confirmed and unconfirmed appointments as occupied, unavailable "seats" when calculating the room's availability for patrons booking appointments on the web interface. Appointments created by staff in the Aeon Client will always have an initial status of Confirmed.

Workflow Step-by-Step

A step-by-step explanation of the appointment confirmation workflow and notification options is available below. All configuration settings, email templates, and Aeon Client interfaces mentioned in these steps will be explained in more detail throughout this article:

  1. The appointment is booked by the patron in the Aeon web interface:
    • The Appointment Received email template will be automatically sent to the patron as soon as the appointment is booked/requested on the web if the Notify Appointment Received option is checked (enabled) in the configuration settings for the reading room in the Aeon Customization Manager

      The Appointment Received email will not be sent for appointments created by staff in the Aeon Client.
  2. The appointment will have its initial status set based on the reading room's configuration in the Aeon Customization Manager:
    • If the Auto-Confirm Appointments option is checked (enabled), the appointment status is set to Confirmed
    • If the Auto-Confirm Appointments option is unchecked (disabled), the appointment status is set to Unconfirmed
  3. Unconfirmed appointments will appear in the Appointments to Confirm list located on the Home form of the Aeon Client, notifying staff of new appointment requests from patrons that require manual review

    Confirmed and unconfirmed appointments will both display in the calendar interface for the reading room under the Appointments tab in the Aeon Client.
  4. Double-clicking on a row for a reading room in the list will open up the Appointment Confirmation form where staff can view, confirm, or cancel unconfirmed appointments.
  5. After reviewing an unconfirmed appointment's information on the Appointment Confirmation form, staff can either:
    • Confirm the appointment and optionally send the patron the Appointment Confirmed email template to notify them of their appointment's confirmation
    • Cancel the appointment and optionally send the patron the Appointment Cancelled email template to notify them of their appointment's cancellation
  6. The Appointment Reminder email template can be disabled or automatically sent for confirmed appointments a configurable number of days before the appointment's start date/time based on the value in the Reminder Days setting for the reading room in the Aeon Customization Manager

  7. If the appointment is rescheduled at any time by the patron on the Aeon web interface, the Appointment Rescheduled email will be sent and the confirmation workflow will begin again from step 2 

    Appointments rescheduled by staff in the Aeon Client will remain in the Confirmed status. Staff can also optionally choose to send the Appointment Rescheduled email to the patron when the appointment is rescheduled from the Client.
    If the appointment is rescheduled by staff in the Aeon Client or by the patron on the web interface, a new reminder email will be scheduled and sent out once the appointment is confirmed and the Reminder Days date is reached for the appointment based on the new start time. This email will be sent even if a previous reminder email was already sent for the original appointment time. If the rescheduled time for the appointment is already within the Reminder Days date configured for the room, then a reminder email will be sent immediately once the appointment is confirmed (either manually by staff or automatically by the reading room's Auto-Confirm Appointments setting).

Configuring Appointment Confirmation and Notification Settings

After reviewing the appointment confirmation workflow, confirmation options and notification settings should be configured individually for each reading room in the Appointment Scheduling tab of the Aeon Customization Manager. These settings determine whether appointments booked for the reading room by patrons on the web should be automatically confirmed upon receipt and when/if Appointment Received and Appointment Reminder emails should be sent for appointments in the room. The text for these email templates and for other email templates used at key points in the appointment confirmation workflow are not configured individually for each reading room but are configured once in the Email Templates tab of the Customization Manager and then shared by all reading rooms.

Configuring Reading Room Confirmation and Notification Settings | Configuring Appointment Notification and Reminder Email Templates

Configuring Reading Room Confirmation and Notification Settings

Appointment confirmation and notification options are configured for each reading room on the Aeon Customization Manager's Appointment Scheduling tab. These settings are found under the Status-Specific Policies grid of the Policies sub-tab for each reading room and can be configured to apply in the same way for all Aeon users booking appointments in the reading room or to apply differently for Aeon users of different statuses (e.g., faculty, staff, etc.):

Confirmation_and_Notification_options.png

For detailed instructions on configuring the settings in the Status-Specific Policies grid, including information on how to create rows for default and status-specific settings, see Configuring Reading Room Calendars
Auto-Confirm Appointments

If checked (enabled) then all appointments booked by patrons of that status for the reading room in the Aeon web interface will be automatically confirmed and will not need to be manually reviewed and confirmed by staff

If unchecked (disabled) then all appointments booked by patrons of that status for the reading room in the Aeon web interface will be unconfirmed until staff manually reviews and confirms the appointment in the Aeon Client

Reminder Days

The number of days before a confirmed appointment that the Appointment Reminder email will be sent.

Example: Entering "1" into this field will notify the patron of a confirmed appointment 24 hours in advance of its start time/date (e.g, an appointment scheduled for 9am on Monday would have the reminder email sent at 9am on the Sunday before)

To disable reminder emails, set the value of this field to -1.
A value of 0 will send the reminder email at the appointment's scheduled start date and time.
Notify Appointment Received

If checked (enabled) patrons will receive the Appointment Received email upon booking/requesting an appointment in the room from the Aeon web interface.

Configuring Appointment Notification and Reminder Email Templates

The email templates used at key points in the appointment confirmation workflow to send the patron appointment notifications and reminders can either be used without modification (using the default text) or configured with customized text. These email templates are shared by all reading rooms configured for appointments and cannot be configured to contain different hardcoded text for each room, however, several appointment-and-reading room-related merge fields are available to be added to each of the templates in order to customize them with reading-room-specific policies or other information.

Appointment emails for appointments created by a researcher's proxy will be sent to the researcher.

Appointment Email Templates | Adding Customized Reading Room Policies to Appointment Email Templates

Appointment Email Templates

The default email templates that are available to be used as notifications/reminders for patrons during the appointment booking/confirmation workflow are listed below. These templates can be used out-of-the-box with their default text or modified in the Email Templates tab of the Aeon Customization Manager. New custom appointment email templates can also be created from this interface and then sent manually to patrons by staff from the Aeon Client.

For more information on creating and editing email templates, see Configuring Email Templates.
Appointment Received

Will be sent automatically by Aeon when a patron schedules/requests an appointment on the web for a reading room in which the Notify Appointment Received option is checked in the Aeon Customization Manager.

This email will not be sent to the patron if the appointment is manually created by staff in the Aeon Client.
Appointment Confirmed

Will be sent to the patron when the appointment is confirmed if the Send Email option is used when manually confirming the appointment in the Aeon Client.

This email will not be sent when an appointment is automatically confirmed by the Auto-Confirm Appointments setting for a reading room configured in the Customization Manager, or if the appointment was created by staff in the Aeon Client and initialized in the Confirmed status.
Appointment Cancelled Will be sent to the patron when the appointment is cancelled by staff in the Aeon Client if the Send Email option is used.
Appointment Reminder

This email will be sent to the patron automatically by Aeon for confirmed appointments based on the appointment's start date/time and number of days configured in the Reminder Days setting for the reading room.

Reminder emails can be disabled for a reading room by entering -1 into the Reminder Days setting for that room in the Customization Manager.
Appointment Rescheduled

Will be sent to the patron when the appointment is rescheduled by the user in the Aeon web pages or when the appointment is rescheduled by staff in the Aeon Client if the Send Email option is used.

Adding Customized Reading Room Policies to Appointment Email Templates

Each of the appointment-type email templates above will be shared and used with the same text by all reading rooms configured for appointments in Aeon. In order to populate the template with text customized to the specific reading room in which the patron's appointment is booked, the Reading Room Description setting can be configured for each reading room in the Aeon Customization Manager with reading-room-specific policies or other information related specifically to that room and then added to the appointment email templates as a merge field. After this merge field is configured on an appointment email template, Aeon will check the patron's appointment when sending the email to determine in which reading room it is booked, and then pull in the Reading Room Description text configured for that room in the Customization Manager's Appointment Scheduling tab (see image below)

Note: The Reading Room Description field is only used on email templates and will not be displayed by default to patrons on the web interface. This field is limited to 1000 characters.
Reading Room Name, Maximum/Minimum Appointment Length, and all fields in the Appointments database table are also available to be used as merge fields on the appointment email templates. For more information on adding merge fields to email templates, see Editing Email Templates.

Reading_Room_Description.png

Appointment Status

Each appointment will have its current status tracked in the Appointment Status field. An appointment's status can be viewed both by staff in the Aeon Client and by patrons on the Aeon web interface. Changes to the appointment's status are logged and viewable by staff in the History tab of the Appointment form in the Aeon Client.

Appointment Status Overview | Viewing Appointment Status in the Aeon Client | Viewing Appointment Status in the Web Interface

Appointment Status Overview

The Appointment Status field will track and display the current confirmation status of each individual appointment. This field is viewable in several places in the Aeon Client for staff and on the Aeon web interface for patrons. An appointment can be in one of three statuses:

Unconfirmed

An appointment will initially be in this status when it is scheduled by a patron on the web interface for a reading room where the Auto-Confirm Appointments setting is unchecked (disabled) in the Aeon Customization Manager. It will remain unconfirmed until it is reviewed and manually confirmed by staff.

Confirmed appointments can also be manually unconfirmed by staff in the Aeon Client.
Confirmed

An appointment will be in this status after it is manually confirmed by staff in the Aeon Client or if it is scheduled by a patron on the web interface for a reading room where the Auto-Confirm Appointments setting is checked (enabled) in the Aeon Customization Manager.

Appointments created by staff in the Aeon Client will always be automatically confirmed upon creation even if the Auto-Confirm Appointments setting is unchecked (disabled) for the associated reading room in the Customization Manager.
Cancelled An appointment will be in this status when it is cancelled either by the patron on the Aeon web interface or by staff in the Aeon Client. Cancelled appointments are not considered "Active" and can be filtered and removed from certain views/lists of appointments in the Aeon Client and web interface. 

Appointment Status and Reading Room Availability

Aeon will consider both confirmed and unconfirmed appointments as occupied "seats" when calculating appointment availability for patrons booking an appointment in the reading room from the web interface. Cancelled appointments will not be counted as occupied spots when determining appointment availability. 

Viewing Appointment Status in the Aeon Client

The status of an individual appointment can be viewed by staff in the Appointment Status field located in several different appointment-related interfaces in the Aeon Client.

Appointment-Related Grids

Appointment Status will be available on all grids containing appointment information, including the grid within appointment association control on the Request form and Request grids:

Appointment Status Client Grids

Note: Users updating from a previous version of Aeon to v5.2 will need to add the Status field manually to any grids that had been customized prior to updating. For instructions on adding fields to grid layouts, see Adding and Removing Columns on the Grid.

Calendar Interface

Appointment status will appear within the information displayed for an individual appointment on the Aeon Client calendar interface located under the Appointments tab:

Appointment Status Calendar

Expanding Appointment Details

The full appointment details, including the appointment status, may be collapsed in certain calendar views due to a lack of space on the calendar interface. Hover over the appointment to display the full details:

Hover Appointment View

Appointment Form

An appointment's status will display in the Status field located within the Detail tab of the Appointment form:

Appointment Status

Viewing Appointment Status in the Web Interface

This feature is only available when using the updated Aeon 5.2 appointment scheduling web pages.

The appointment status can be viewed by patrons on the web within the list of the user's scheduled appointments and on the detailed information page for a single appointment. The status of each appointment will be clearly indicated on both web pages:

Appointment Status Web

Confirming Appointments in the Aeon Client

Appointments to Confirm List | Appointment Confirmation Form | Confirming an Appointment from the Appointment Form

If manual appointment confirmation workflows have been configured for your reading room(s), appointments booked by patrons for the room(s) on the web interface will be unconfirmed until reviewed by staff. New unconfirmed appointments will display in the Appointments to Confirm list located on the Home screen of the Aeon Client. Double-clicking a room in the list will open the Appointment Confirmation form from which unconfirmed appointments can be easily reviewed and confirmed or cancelled. An individual appointment can also be confirmed, unconfirmed, or cancelled from the Appointment form.

Note: An appointment history entry will be added to the History tab of the Appointment form each time an appointment is confirmed, unconfirmed, or cancelled.

Appointments to Confirm List

A summary of the number of unconfirmed appointments awaiting staff review for each reading room will be displayed on the Home screen of the Aeon Client under Appointments to Confirm:

Appointments to Confirm

Appointment Confirmation Form

Appointment Confirmation Form Grids | Appointment Confirmation Ribbon

Double-clicking a row in the Appointments to Confirm list will open up the Appointment Confirmation form. This form contains several different informational grids to aid staff during the appointment confirmation decision process, as well as an Appointment Confirmation ribbon with options to confirm or cancel appointments in the list:

Appointment Confirmation

Appointment Confirmation Form Grids

Several grids are displayed on the Appointment Confirmation form to assist staff in the appointment confirmation decision-making process:

Unconfirmed Appointments

This grid is located at the top left of the screen and displays all currently unconfirmed appointments grouped by reading room. The reading room that was double-clicked on the Appointments to Confirm list to open the Appointment Confirmation form will be the expanded group by default.

Click on an appointment in the list to select it. Double-clicking the appointment will open the Appointment form.

Appointments for Same Day and Reading Room

This grid is located at the top right of the screen and displays other confirmed and unconfirmed appointments for the same date and reading room as the currently selected appointment.

Cancelled appointments will not be displayed here.
Requests This grid is located at the bottom of the screen and displays requests associated with the currently selected appointment. Double-clicking on a request in the grid will open the Request form.

Appointment Confirmation Ribbon

Once staff has reviewed the information for the appointment in the grids above, the following options are available for confirming or cancelling the appointment:

Confirm Appointment

Click the Confirm Appointment button to confirm the currently selected appointment in the Appointments to Confirm grid and optionally send the Appointment Confirmed email to the user based on the toggle options selected to the right of the button:

  • Send Email: If the Send Email toggle option is enabled (shaded with a grey background), the Appointment Confirmed email template will be sent to notify the user that the appointment is confirmed when the Confirm Appointment button is clicked
  • Edit Email: If the Edit Email toggle option is enabled (shaded with a grey background), the Appointment Confirmed email will open in a new window when the Confirm Appointment button is clicked, allowing you to edit the email before sending:

    Confirm Appointment

    The options for sending the Appointment Confirmed email will be remembered and applied in the future whenever the Confirm Appointment button is used.
Cancel Appointment

Click the Cancel Appointment button to cancel the currently selected appointment in the Appointments to Confirm grid with the following options:

  • Clicking the bottom half of the Cancel Appointment button will display a dropdown menu with one selectable checkbox option:
    • Cancel Requests: If the Cancel Requests? option is checked, then all requests associated with the appointment will also be canceled after clicking the top half of the Cancel Appointment button

      If appointments are required in the selected reading room for the appointment, then this option cannot be disabled and all requests associated with the appointment will be cancelled when the appointment is cancelled.
  • Send Email: If the Send Email toggle is enabled (shaded with a grey background), the Appointment Cancelled email template will be sent to notify the user that the appointment is canceled after clicking the top half of the Cancel Appointment button
  • Edit Email: If the Edit Email toggle is enabled (shaded with a grey background), the Appointment Cancelled email template will open in a new window when the top half of the Cancel Appointment button is clicked, allowing staff to edit the email before sending:

    Cancel Appointment

  • Clicking the top half of the Cancel Appointment button will cancel the appointment and optionally send the Appointment Cancelled email and/or cancel the associated requests based on the options that were selected as described above

    The options for cancelling the appointment's associated requests and sending the Appointment Cancelled email will be remembered and applied in the future whenever the top half of the button is clicked.

Confirming an Appointment from the Appointment Form

An appointment can also be confirmed from the Appointment form using the Confirmation group buttons in the Appointment ribbon:

Appointment Form Confirmation Options

Confirmation Options Buttons

Confirm

Click the Confirm button to confirm the appointment and optionally send the Appointment Confirmed email to the user based on the toggle options selected to the right of the button:

  • Send Email: If the Send Email toggle option is enabled (shaded with a grey background), the Appointment Confirmed email template will be sent to notify the user that the appointment is confirmed when the Confirm button is clicked
  • Edit Email: If the Edit Email toggle option is enabled (shaded with a grey background), the Appointment Confirmed email will open in a new window when the Confirm button is clicked, allowing you to edit the email before sending:

    Confirm Appointment

    The options for sending the Appointment Confirmed email will be remembered and applied in the future whenever the Confirm button is used.
Unconfirm

Click the Unconfirm button to change a confirmed appointment's status to unconfirmed. 

The user who booked the appointment will not be automatically notified when their appointment is changed from confirmed to unconfirmed by staff. It is recommended to manually contact the user via email to communicate any important information regarding the appointment's change in status. 

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