Creating Charts

Introduction

This section explains how to create and define charts, which provide a graphic display of scheduled tasks, using the GANTT program. These charts consist of four principal elements:

  • Time range
  • Employees/resources
  • Tasks (any kind of operation (e.g., work order) that can be displayed in a chart)
  • Task dependencies (applicable only in an industrial setting)

The GANTT program supports three kinds of charts:

  • Gantt: The X-axis is a variable timeline; the Y-axis consists of employees/resources.
  • Calendar: The X-axis is a 24-hour timeline; the Y-axis consists of a main scale displaying days and a sub-scale displaying employees/resources.
  • Group Schedule: The X-axis is a 24-hour timeline; the Y-axis consists of a main scale displaying employees/resources and a sub-scale displaying days.

The user can perform the following operations in a chart:

  • Add new tasks
  • Update/delete existing tasks
  • View task details
  • View employee details
  • Toggle between chart types (Gantt/Calendar/Group Schedule)
  • Vary the timeline
  • Access the task in Priority
  • Access the employee record in Priority

Defining a New Chart

To create a new chart, you need to define a procedure that activates the GANTT program. You must also define an interface to the appropriate form, to be driven by the GANTT program when updating or adding fields.

A procedure for building charts consists of two distinct sections:

Section 1: Begins with INPUT and/or SQLI steps and ends with the activation of the GANTT program.

Section 2: Query steps for data retrieval.

These two sections are separated by an END step.

Section 1: User Input and Activation of the GANTT Program

As in other procedures, this section requires user input, to determine which resources to display and during what time period. When run as an Action, there is no need for an INPUT step, but you do need to initialize the necessary parameters (e.g., display mode, time range) in an SQLI step.

Whether you run the GANTT procedure as an Action or from the menu, you must define a parameter of FILE type, indicating a linked file of records. This parameter is used to execute a link to the table on which the procedure will run. All queries executed by the GANTT program, in which data is retrieved from that table, are executed against the linked table (this is similar to passing a linked table to a report).

When the procedure is run as an Action, you can define a specific task as “selected”, by passing the task identifier in question to the GANTT program. In such a case, the chart opens with the specified task displayed. It is recommended to define a distinct and vivid display color for this task.

The following parameters must be defined for the GANTT program, in the following order:

  1. The current procedure name (in order to retrieve queries from the second section).
  2. From Date: The date from which chart data should be displayed.
  3. To Date: The date until which chart data should be displayed
  4. LINK file: Usually the employee/resource table from the procedure’s INPUT step. You can also execute calculations before running the GANTT program, and link the table containing the calculation results.
    Note: If you indicate the USERGANTT table, the procedure does not execute a LINK to the table, but rather uses the original table.
  5. The name of the linked table.
  6. The name of the interface that updates/adds tasks.
  7. The name of the form which the user can access for task details.
  8. The name of the form which the user can access for employee details.
  9. The flag permitting/preventing revisions to the chart (0/1).
  10. The flag permitting/preventing additions to the chart (0/1).
  11. The default display option (1 = Gantt, 2 = Calendar, 3 = Group Schedule, 0 = the last display viewed by the current user, 4 = either the Calendar or Group Schedule display, whichever was last viewed by the current user).
  12. Identifier of the selected task.
  13. Identifier of the employee/resource assigned to the selected task.
  14. Record null parameter for this position.
  15. Record null parameter for this position.
  16. Record null parameter for this position.
  17. Record null parameter for this position.

  18. An additional identifier, whose value appears in the variable OTHERID.
  19. A second additional identifier, whose value appears in the variable OTHERID2.
  20. The chart title.
  21. The flag determining whether the chart is multi-company (0 = No, 1 = Yes).

Section 2: Defining Parameters

The following is the list of parameters to be defined in the second section of the procedure (all steps are Type C; their order is not important).

Name of the Step Returns  
RESOURCE The list of employees to display  
RESOURCE_DETAILS The details of a specific employee  
TASKS The list of tasks to display  
TASK_DETAILS The details of a specific task  
TASK_TEXT The text of a specific text  
TASK_INSERT Opening/updating a task via a form  
TASK_EDIT Query to define input fields in the dialogue box  
TASK_REFRESH Updated display of task details  
TASK_CUSTOMDATE Adds a custom date label to the chart View Definitions (Windows interface only)
WORKHOURS Office hours for each day of the week  
DAYSOFF Non-working days  
RESOURCE_WORKHOURS Work hours per employee (instead of the previous two steps)  
RELATIONS Task dependencies (applicable only in an industrial setting)  
RESOURCE_CHOOSE Employee Choose list  
RESOURCE_CHOOSE2 Additional Choose list (2)  
RESOURCE_CHOOSE3 Additional Choose list (3)  
RESOURCE_UPDATE Update after choosing an employee  
RESOURCE_UPDATE2 Update after additional Choose list (2)  
RESOURCE_UPDATE3 Update after additional Choose list (3)  
TASK_PRINT Preparation of a LINK file before producing reports  

Note: Click here for a detailed explanation of each step.

Procedure Messages

You can dynamically define procedure messages to serve as field titles for retrieved task or employee details. Such messages should be assigned numbers greater than 20.

Messages 1 through 20 are already used by the GANTT program for various display titles. Consequently, when defining a new procedure you should always start by filling in the first twenty messages. The following table explains how these messages are used:

No. Explanation Example
1 Chart name Calendar
2 Chart title Calendar
3 Title while initializing employees Loading employees…
4 Title while initializing tasks Loading tasks…
5 Title while initializing dependencies Loading dependencies…
6 Title for adding a task New Appointment
7 Title for updating a task Update Appointment
8 Title for the subject field when updating/adding a task Subject
9 Title for employees/resources Employees
10 Error message when adding a new task Do not add a task
11 Error message when updating a task Do not update a task
12 Error message when deleting a task Do not delete a task
13 Title for the Resource Search dialogue box Search for Employee / Date
14 Title for the Resource Search field Employee
15 Title for the employee Choose list Employees
16 Title for additional Choose list (2) Groups*
17 Title for additional Choose list (3) Team leaders*
18 Title for activating the employee Choose list Choose an employee
19 Title for activating additional Choose list (2) Choose a group*
20 Title for activating additional Choose list (3) Choose a team leader*

* Different lists may be defined, at the discretion of the programmer. For example, in charts used to schedule technicians, you can allow users to retrieve records by service call type, rather than by team leader name.

Defining the Interface for Updating/Adding Tasks

The interface is defined against the GENERALLOAD table. Define an interface for any form against this table, and record the name of the interface as an argument in the call to the GANTT program. The interface will always run when the table contains a single record whose code is 1 (in the Form Load Designer).

The values for adding/updating a task appear in the table in the following fields:

Field Value
INT1 Task identifier
INT2 Employee/resource identifier
INT3 From hour
INT4 To hour
INT5 Previous employee/resource identifier (before update)
DATE1 From date (DATE 8)
DATE2 To date (DATE 8)
DATE3 From date/hour (DATE 14)
DATE4 To date/hour (DATE 14)

Notes:

  • You can use either separate fields for date and time, or a single field for both.
  • When the user adds a new task to the chart, the interface runs with task identifier 0.
  • In addition to the constant fields, which appear in the above chart, values are transferred to additional fields, as defined in the TASK_EDIT step.