Create a Free Blocks, Maximum Hours, Maximum Workspans, or Resource Breaks constraint

After you create time blocks, you can use them as part of Free Blocks, Maximum Hours, Maximum Workspans, and Resource Breaks constraints.

Free Blocks

A Free Blocks constraint ensures that at least the specified number of time blocks remain free of activity, from those selected as part of the constraint. For example, you can ensure that members of staff have at least 1 day free every week. To do this, select each time block that represents a working day (in the Time Blocks row), then set Free Blocks to 1.

Maximum Hours

A Maximum Hours constraint ensures that a resource is used for no more than the specified amount of time, during each of the selected time blocks. For example, you can ensure that members of staff teach for no more than 6 hours each day. To do this, select each time block that represents a working day (in the Time Blocks row), then set Max Periods to a value that represents 6 hours. If your institution uses 30 minute periods, set Max Periods to 12.

Maximum Workspans

A Maximum Workspans constraint ensures that a resource's activities span no more than the specified amount of time, during each of the selected time blocks. It imposes a limit on the amount of time between the start of the resource's first activity and the end of their last. For example, you can limit the length of a member of staff's working day.

Resource Breaks

A Resource Breaks constraint ensures that a resource remains unused for the specified number of consecutive periods, during each of the selected time blocks. For example, you can ensure that members of staff get a lunch break of at least 1 hour between 12:00 and 14:00. To do this, select each time block that represents the time range that the break must fall within; you might have a block for each weekday, such as 12-14-Monday. Then, if your institution uses 30 minute periods, set Min Consecutive Free Periods to 2.

To create one of these constraints, follow these steps:

  1. In the main EDRDM window, find the Time Constraints area.
  2. Click New in the relevant row in that area. The Time Constraints area contains the following rows: Free Blocks, Maximum Hours, Maximum Workspans and Resource Breaks.
  3. EDRDM opens a form that you can enter the new constraint's properties into.
    • Single-line text properties such as Name and Description: Click the property box, then type. If you do not specify a host key in the Host Key box, EDRDM will generate a unique host key.

      Example text in a single-line text property

      Single-line text property

    • Multi-line text properties such as User Text 1: Click the property box. In the popup window that is displayed, click and type, then click OK.

      Example text in a multi-line text property

      Multi-line text property

    • Department: In the Department row, click the property box. Then, in the list that is displayed, select a value (Note: the example below is from the Suitability form). In conjunction with the permissions that are specified in Authorisation Manager, the Department property can determine who is able to edit or delete this constraint.

      An item selected in a list that you can select a single item from

      Single value selection property

    • Tags: In the Tags row, click the property box, then select values.
  4. To begin specifying the constraint, click the property box in the Time Blocks row. Select the time blocks that this constraint will apply to.
  5. The next steps of the process depend on the type of constraint that you are creating:

    Type of constraint

    Instructions

    Free Blocks

    1. To specify the minimum number of those blocks that must remain free, click the property box in the Free Blocks row. Then, type a value. Or, to select a value, use the arrows at the end of the property box. For example, if the time blocks represent days, and you want to ensure at least one day remains free, enter 1.
    2. To prevent periods of resource unavailability from fulfilling some or all of this constraint's free time requirement, select the Consider Availability box. For example, a part-time member of staff might already be prevented from working for 2 days a week, because Monday and Tuesday are unavailable in their availability pattern. If the box is selected, the scheduling engine will identify any whole, selected time blocks that the resource is unavailable during. The constraint will not include those time blocks within those that it uses to satisfy the constraint. So, it will enforce free time in addition to the unavailable time.
    3. To ensure that the constraint causes the same time blocks to remain free each week, select Consistent Across Weeks.

    Maximum Hours

    To specify the maximum number of periods that a resource can be used during each of the selected time blocks, click the property box in the Maximum Periods row. Then, type a value. Or, to select a value, use the arrows at the end of the property box.

    For example, if the time blocks represent days and your institution uses 30 minute periods, and you want to ensure that use of the resource is limited to 6 hours, enter 12.

    Maximum Workspans

    To specify the maximum number of periods that can elapse between the start of a resource's first activity and the end of their last, during each of the selected time blocks, click the property box in the Maximum Periods row. Then, type a value. Or, to select a value, use the arrows at the end of the property box.

    For example, if the time blocks represent days and your institution uses 30 minute periods, and you want to ensure that a resource's activities span no more than 6 hours, enter 12.

    Resource Breaks

    To set the minimum number of consecutive periods that must remain unoccupied during each of the selected time blocks, click the property box in the Min Consecutive Free Periods row. Then, type a value. Or, to select a value, use the arrows at the end of the property box.

  6. To save the new constraint, click Apply. Or, to save it and close the form, click OK.
  7. Note: If you have not yet clicked Apply and you do not require the new item, click Discard; the new item is deleted. Or, to discard the item and close the window, click Cancel.

Alternatively, if you want to look at other constraints when you create one, click Show (beside the New button). EDRDM opens a list of constraints. In that window, click the plus icon below the item list (see below) to create an item. In the new row, enter the new item's properties, then click Apply to save the item (or OK to save the item and close the window). If a property that you want to use is not present, add it to the table.

A red square that indicates the position of the "plus" icon

The "plus" icon below the item list



Scientia Ref: 4283. For Enterprise Desktop Reference Data Manager 3.15.1. Copyright © Scientia Ltd. 2019