Building an Open Source Meeting room booking system | Roomify

Building an Open Source Meeting room booking system

by
Cecily Borzillo

 

Meeting and conference room bookings
 

We here at Roomify specialize in all types of website booking solutions - from hotels to cruises, yoga sessions to equipment rental, and we do it all on an open source platform.  Our (free) open source offering is the Drupal BAT module - a tool utilizing our BAT php library, that developers can use to build any sort of booking system.  It is almost endlessly flexible, but by the same token is quite complex, and not for the faint of heart!    

 

Fortunately, we are experts at turning esoteric technical capabilities into beautiful and customer friendly website based booking systems. One of the most highly requested use cases is meeting and conference room bookings. BAT lends itself extremely well to this use case, given its ability to book time in any increment (although anything under 15 minutes is unlikely to be practical).  The open source underpinnings of our development allow us to capitalize on the efforts of the community, and greatly increases the cost efficiency of Roomify projects.  This allows us to go far beyond basic room bookings to handle any sort of business logic that is required for your particular needs.  

Here are some of the customizations that we have done for previous clients:

Role Based, tiered pricing

A client came to us with a very particular set of pricing requirements for their room bookings.  Prices are based on the number of people booking a space, which is simple enough.  However, the pricing per person was based on tiers, such as 1-3 people, 4-6 people, etc.  Complicating things further, the pricing tiers were themselves based on the context in which a customer was making a booking.  Non-Profits were free, but required administrator approval before the booking could be made, the general public had a certain set of rates, and could book immediately, and members were also able to book immediately, but at reduced rates.  

This sort of booking flow requirement could not be satisfied by any of the available conference room booking services, but was absolutely possible for us.

 

role based tiered room pricing

 

Meeting Room Provider Marketplace - with automatically distributed online payments

Another client came to us with a requirement for a meeting room marketplace.  Each meeting rooms availability and bookings are managed by the meeting room provider.  Online payments are taken via credit card, and the marketplace site retains a percentage of the booking, with the remainder being remitted to the provider.  Utilizing Stripe connect, we built the clients a site that met all of these needs.  Payments taken online are automatically distributed by Stripe in the set percentages, eliminating the need for the site managers to track income per provider and make monthly remittances manually.

 

Providers can sign up with Stripe from within their locations, allowing for a simple and seamless user experience.

 

Provider Stripe Connect Signup 

 

Enquiry based bookings - via Conversations

A very common requirement for booking sites, particularly in the education sector, is bookings that cannot be made instantly, and must go through some sort of approval process.  Perhaps a conference room booking requires approval from an administrator, or it needs to be checked against a paper schedule, or additional equipment availability will need to be confirmed first.  There are any number of reasons to require an intermediary approval before bookings can be made.  

An approach that we frequently take is a system that we have developed called Roomify Conversations.  A user wishing to make a booking submits an enquiry (with times, dates, names, and other pertinent information), that in turn creates a conversation.  The conversation enables a provider/administrator to send messages back and forth with the user, to ask follow up questions, confirm availability of equipment, confirm eligibility for booking, negotiate price, or anything else that may need to be said.  When all is settled, the user can book from within the conversation, and a record of questions/answers is retained for all to refer back to.

 

 Conversation for Meeting Room Booking

 

 

These are, of course, only a few of the many customizations that we have made. If you have other requirements, no matter how complex, don't worry! Anything is possible!  To learn more about what we can do for you, or to get your project started - 

 

Get in Touch!
Cecily Borzillo
Cecily is a co-founder at Roomify and can usually be found waist deep in JIRA tickets .