Kraus, Elizabeth elizabkr at
Fri Jun 29 15:43:15 EDT 2007

Many thanks to all of you who took the time to respond.  You are the reason
that this list is the wonderful resource that it is.

For those of you who asked (and those who didn¹t), here is the summary of

1.  I would strongly urge you to contact Greathill Software ( <http://> ) (Calendars on the
Web) -talk to Jay.  We have used this for about 6 years and it is working
great.	I know a number of other labs also using it.  They can actually host
it for you so you don't need to set up a server yourself.  It is actually
better (we used to do it ourselves and switched over last year - they do all
the work - you get access to upgrades faster, etc)

2.  We use Resource Scheduler which is a web based booking software, works
fine in PCs and MACs not sure about the price but it works. You set up log
in for each user and in our case they can book analyzers but not sorters so
you can get your IS department to set up different levels of users depending
on what you want.

3.  Our core facility has 5 bench-top instruments and have found that
outlook calendar works well when using the following procedure.
1. Users can book weeks in advance but not during current week.
2. Every Monday the outlook calendar for each instrument is printed off and
posted outside the core facility.
3. During current week users can book instrument time by checking available
time on the posted schedule.

Since outlook does not have a lock out procedure we find that the Monday
print out becomes the cut off point for the week.  Anyone that has not
booked in advance can still check the posted schedule for available times.
This method does not eliminate the use of paper, but it does streamline the
booking procedure.

4. We've used Calendars for the Web very successfully for years. You can
look at our implimentation through our web site http://	(go to
Scheduling on the left) or link directly at
cgi-bin/calweb/calweb.cgi The software is relative cheap  (~$200) and
they will host it for you for a very modest fee ($50/yr?).

5.  We use to schedule 4 Caliburs, FACScan, 2 LSRIIs, X-ray
irradiator and 3 cell sorters.	It believe it also has all the options you
looking for.  I hope this helps, it seems to be a very good system for us.

6.  we use a php protocol, look at the following link:

7.  phpScheduleit was originally written by Nick Korbel for the Immunology
Applications Core Facility and the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research at
University of Chicago.  It's open source, so it's free and can be rewritten
suit your lab's individual needs.  Kat Folz-Donahue (at Dana Farber Cancer
Institute) and I modified phpScheduleIt to collect administrative
information (purchase order and project numbers, institution, PI, etc) and
experimental information (which fluorochromes, cell types, etc) for each
Interestingly enough, after other cores saw the rewritten DFCI version, it
seemed to spread like wildfire through the other flow facilities in the
To run it, all you need is a server running Apache, PHP4 or PHP5, and MySQL;
to tweak it up all you need is someone willing to learn a little bit of
HTML, some of PHP, and some free time!  If you have a helpful IT department
I'm sure they could give you a hand, but if you have the time, just dig in
to the code and you may find that it is simpler than you think to modify.
To create an account, a new user must input their institution, PI, project
number, etc.  That goes into a "user" table in the MYSQL database.  Then
when the user makes an appointment, they input experimental information. 
After the appointment, we input instrument usage and cost into a usage
table.  All that can be exported at billing time in a big text file readable
by Excel or whatever you like.
The main website for phpscheduleit is here:
You can get the latest version from Sourceforge along with a helpful pdf
called "Extending phpScheduleIt":
Many development and extension questions have been addressed at the
phpScheduleIt forum:
Dana Farber currently runs a modified version of phpScheduleIt 1.0.1, and I
am currently tweaking rewriting the newest version to suit the needs of my
current facility.

8.  We use outlook for our scheduling.  If you are made the owner of the
calendar, you have the rights to limit who can make appointments by granting
permissions.  Also the permissions can be limited to only viewing the
calendar, to being able to make appointments but not delete, or they can
edit all or only their runs.  In other words you grant the user the
permissions you want them to have.  But, I have not found a way to prevent
double bookings or to look down the calendar.
All and all, we are very happy with the calendar setup.

9.  We currently use Outlook to schedule our four cytometers, and it works
quite well. An instrument is scheduled by a user as a resource: the
individual invites the resource and if the time is open, Outlook will give
the message that the resource was successfully booked. If the resource is
already booked for the requested time, or part of the time, it will not book
the time and let the scheduling individual know they need to adjust the
requested time.
I don't know if the schedule can be locked for changes in Outlook.

10. I use outlook for all of my cytometers and analysis computers, it will
not lock down on a time but will do everything else,

11. For my online scheduling software I use "Calendars for the Web" by
Great Hill.

I am able to have multiple calendars, one for each machine and able to
give permissions to users for each individual cytometer that they are
certified to use. The sorters must be scheduled by the operator so we do
not give anyone permission for this (we would never get a lunch and be
here for 14 hours a day!), but they can view it before they e-mail us
requesting time. You are also able to change the color scheme and even
write html into the header and footer as I have done. I left the
"Calendars for the Web" ad at the top until I can get a neat flow logo
to replace it. You can find the company site by clicking on it.

12. We use Outlook calendar for the 3 analyzers.  The only draw back it has,
it allows for double booking.  But this has not been an issue.

13. Elizabeth, our laboratory has gone to outlook online scheduling.  We
have provided individual log-in names for the nurses and doctors who request
our services.  They have access to a shared calendar, and the log ins allow
for scheduling, but not cancellation.  Only certain people in the laboratory
have rights to cancel.  Our users need to email or call us to request to
We cannot prevent double booking, or schedule lock ­down at this time.  We
really do rely on our users to play fair.  The advantage is that if anyone
does not play fair and abuses the calendar, the logins should be able to
tell us who was the perpetrator.

we learned of it from Kathy at U Wisconsin

Elizabeth T. Kowalski
Manager, Flow Cytometry Core Facility
3434 Live Oak St. Suite 200.1
Dallas, TX. 75204
elizabkr at

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