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
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
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:
- 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 ManagerThe Appointment Received email will not be sent for appointments created by staff in the Aeon Client.
- 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
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 reviewConfirmed and unconfirmed appointments will both display in the calendar interface for the reading room under the Appointments tab in the Aeon Client.
- 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.
- 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
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
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 2Appointments 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
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.):
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
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 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.
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.
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.
|Will be sent to the patron when the appointment is cancelled by staff in the Aeon Client if the Send Email option is used.
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.
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)
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
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:
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.
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.
|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 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 will appear within the information displayed for an individual appointment on the Aeon Client calendar interface located under the Appointments tab:
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:
An appointment's status will display in the Status field located within the Detail tab of the Appointment form:
Viewing Appointment Status in the Web Interface
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:
Confirming Appointments in the Aeon Client
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.
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:
Appointment Confirmation Form
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 Form Grids
Several grids are displayed on the Appointment Confirmation form to assist staff in the appointment confirmation decision-making process:
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.
|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:
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:
Click the Cancel Appointment button to cancel the currently selected appointment in the Appointments to Confirm grid with the following options:
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:
Confirmation Options Buttons
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:
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.