I have been asked to review an existing room booking application.

The main use case is that a user chooses a day and then chooses a room to have the meeting in. A user may opt to make the booking recurring or ad-hoc recurring, where random future days can be selected for the meeting.

I am having problems with the recurring and ad-hoc recurring use cases: the system will have to check ahead that the room is free for all the dates set by the user otherwise there will be a conflict. Ideally, I want an option where system automatically chooses a free room if there is a conflict (if there is one available). This override feature can be set by the user.

Problems: This could mean that the new room does not have the facilities needed by the user (a requirement from business) or: no rooms are available at a time in the future, system must flag conflict.

So my question is:

  • How do I integrate recurring bookings into my system?
  • Should I start the user down a different path eg by picking room first then date?
  • Have you ever booked a room with ad-hoc recurrance? How do you book a room? Do you look for the room first or time first?
  • Reminds me of this question. Do you have any user feedback on the current system to work from?
    – Matt Obee
    Jun 13, 2014 at 14:41

2 Answers 2


Pragmatically, You must ask the user to set the reoccurrence range.

Asking them for a range allows the system to properly search for availability, display conflicts in the time range, and give a UI for choosing alternative solutions (for those days/reschedule it all)

You still much build a UI that allows specification of criteria for the necessary resources (videophone, projector, room size, etc)

Priority / 'class' of the requestor is more complicated, IMO, and this is why you should not have time-unbounded room reservations: you will be temped to decide whose request is more important. This will teach inequity, which is not the right way to solve the problem.

If executives need assurance of room availability, then the room itself should not be available generally for anyone to schedule. it should only be available to certain users, and all others are waitlisted until 'moderation' grants them access or not, after confirming with executives that none are requiring the room.

Once someone is committed to a room, you can't take it from them without their permission. They are relying on this resource for proper image and continuity of business.

  • there is nothing in the spec about priority bookings (incidentally, there is something about provisional bookings but this is dumb). Had not thought about the limits of recurrance. What about the ad hoc use case? This sounds really weird to me.
    – colmcq
    Jun 13, 2014 at 15:12

As New Alexandria says, you shouldn't allow infinitely recurring meetings. Even Outlook calender doesn't allow this.

What about guaranteeing the correct resources are available by keeping the room fixed for ad-hoc booking, and change the date/time? I would say you can allow the user to select the room first, a day/time, and length of recurrance. If the fixed recurring booking is not available, auto-populate a calender with as many of their preferred day/time instances as possible, and then show the availability of this room for other days/times where there is a conflict (with a default selected, but an option to go in and edit if necessary).

  • I like this. yes, the system would flag a conflict be returning user to calendar with alternatives highlighted
    – colmcq
    Jun 13, 2014 at 15:13

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