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From Ankit Srivastava: Event integration with Salesforce Scheduler’s Appointment Distribution

Salesforce Scheduler is getting capability to equitably distribute meetings between eligible Service Resources in Winter ’22 release. It will support an implementation of Load Balancing logic working on Service Appointment records to do the Appointment Distribution.

In following sections we will see the architecture of Appointment Distribution feature and how can we enhance it to include Events (Salesforce Calendar) also in the utilisation calculation for Appointment Distribution.

Design of Appointment Distribution

Appointment Distribution feature is built upon two main sObjects:

  1. AppointmentScheduleAggr
  2. AppointmentScheduleLog

For all practical purposes, individual utilizations that make it into AppointmentScheduleLog entity are rolled up as summary records in AppointmentScheduleAggr entity (if IsUsedForResourceUtilization parameter is set to true).

AppointmentScheduleLog entity supports any of Service Appointment, Resource Absence or Event as a polymorphic lookup in its RelatedRecord field. Out of the box, Salesforce Scheduler only inserts records for corresponding Service Appointments in AppointmentScheduleLog entity.

Incorporating Event in Appointment Distribution’s utilisation

As evident from the design showcased above we can incorporate Event in Appointment Distribution’s utilisation with some coding and customisation. Let us now create a demo trigger which can be used to demonstrate this.

Salesforce Scheduler creates Event entries if “Event Management” setting in turned ON. If “Aggregate Resource Use” is also ON in same org then we will get 2 entries instead of 1 in AppointmentScheduleLog entity; one due to ServiceAppointment record and other through its associated event.
Therefore, as a prerequisite before deploying this trigger we should turn OFF “Aggregate Resource Use” in Salesforce Scheduler settings if “Event management” is turned ON.

Pseudocode

Let us first discuss the pseudocode for trigger when new Event records are created.

  • Create a trigger which runs after Event records are inserted. This trigger should run in global context.
  • Loop through individual event records: For each evt in Inserted Events:
    • Is evt != Recurrence Pattern? (I am not handling recurring events as part of this PoC)
      • Yes →
        • Does evt belong to a User who is also a Service Resource (SR)?
          • Yes →
            • Calculate Event Date (D1)
            • Does AppointmentScheduleAggr record (ASA) for SR & D1 exist?
              • Yes →
                • Get ASA.Id
              • No →
                • Create ASA record for SR & D1 combination & return ASA.Id
            • Calculate Event Duration (d)
            • Create AppointementScheduleLog record and insert it

Demo Code

Disclaimer: The following code is meant to be verbose and easily understandable from a Salesforce Developer perspective. Given a choice between performance vs readability I have strived for the latter. It is a proof of concept to demonstrate the feature and should be modified and tested thoroughly as per different data shapes and existing code in the org.

Trigger:

/**
* Created by Ankit Srivastava.
*/

trigger EventUtilization on Event (after insert, after update, after delete, after undelete) {
if (Trigger.isInsert) {
List<Event> events = Trigger.new;
//Insert records in AppointmentScheduleLog and AppointmentScheduleAggr entities for all newly created Events
EventUtilizationUtil.processInsertEvents(events);
} else if (Trigger.isUpdate) {
List<Event> previousEvents = Trigger.old;
List<Event> updatedEvents = Trigger.new;
//Modify records in AppointmentScheduleLog and AppointmentScheduleAggr entities for all updated Events
EventUtilizationUtil.processUpdateEvents(previousEvents, updatedEvents);
} else if (Trigger.isDelete) {
List<Event> deletedEvents = Trigger.old;
//Delete records from AppointmentScheduleLog entity for all deleted events
EventUtilizationUtil.processDeleteEvents(deletedEvents);
} else if (Trigger.isUndelete) {
List<Event> undeletedEvents = Trigger.new;
//Insert records in AppointmentScheduleLog and AppointmentScheduleAggr entity for all Events removed
//from Recycle Bin
EventUtilizationUtil.processUndeleteEvents(undeletedEvents);
}
}

Helper Class:

/**
* Created by Ankit Srivastava
*/

public without sharing class EventUtilizationUtil {
public static void processInsertEvents(List<Event> events) {
//I am not handling recurring events as part of this PoC code
List<Event> nonRecurringEvents = removeRecurringEvents(events);

//Remove events that meet following condition:
// Events that are for any User who is not a Service Resource
Map<Event, ServiceResource> relevantEvents = filterNonRelevantEvents(nonRecurringEvents);

List<AppointmentScheduleLog> appointmentScheduleLogs = new List<AppointmentScheduleLog>();
for (Event evt : relevantEvents.keySet()) {
Date eventDate = getEventDate(evt.StartDateTime, evt.ActivityDate, evt.IsAllDayEvent);
ServiceResource sr = relevantEvents.get(evt);

//Get existing AppointmentScheduleAggr record for current event's
//Service Resource and Date. If no such record exists then create one
//This method call is doing SOQL calls & DML in a loop, this is for
//ease of understanding & will be less performant than Bulk code
AppointmentScheduleAggr asa = getAppointmentScheduleAggrRecord(sr, eventDate);

AppointmentScheduleLog asl = new AppointmentScheduleLog();
asl.ServiceResourceId = sr.Id;
asl.RelatedRecordId = evt.Id;
asl.AppointmentDate = eventDate;
asl.UsageType = 'LightningScheduler';
asl.IsUsedForResourceUtilization = true;
asl.AppointmentScheduleAggrId = asa.Id;
asl.ResourceUtilization = getEventDuration(evt.DurationInMinutes, evt.StartDateTime, evt.EndDateTime, evt.IsAllDayEvent);

appointmentScheduleLogs.add(asl);
}
//Insert all AppointmentScheduleLog record.
//Rollup to AppointmentScheduleAggr will happen automatically
insert appointmentScheduleLogs;
}

public static void processUpdateEvents(List<Event> previousEvents, List<Event> updatedEvents) {
//TODO
}

public static void processDeleteEvents(List<Event> deletedEvents) {
//TODO
}

public static void processUndeleteEvents(List<Event> undeletedEvents) {
//TODO
}

/*
This method is used to remove Events without attached user record who is also a service resource
*/
private static Map<Event, ServiceResource> filterNonRelevantEvents(List<Event> events) {
Map<Event, ServiceResource> resp = new Map<Event, ServiceResource>();
if (events != null && events.size() > 0) {
Set<String> ownerIds = new Set<String>();
for (Event event : events) {
ownerIds.add(event.OwnerId);
}
ServiceResource[] serviceResources = [SELECT Id, RelatedRecordId FROM ServiceResource WHERE RelatedRecord.Id IN :ownerIds AND isActive = TRUE];

for (Event event : events) {
for (ServiceResource sr : serviceResources) {
if (sr.RelatedRecordId == event.OwnerId) {
resp.put(event, sr);
break;
}
}
}
}

return resp;
}

private static List<Event> removeRecurringEvents(List<Event> events) {
List<Event> filteredEvents = new List<Event>();
for (Event e : events) {
if (!isRecurringEvent(e)) {
filteredEvents.add(e);
}
}
return filteredEvents;
}

private static Boolean isRecurringEvent(Event evt) {
/*
https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.object_reference.meta/object_reference/sforce_api_objects_event.htm
*/
return evt.IsRecurrence == true || evt.IsRecurrence2 == true;
}

private static Date getEventDate(Datetime startDateTime, Date ActivityDate, Boolean isAllDayEvent) {
/*
https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.object_reference.meta/object_reference/sforce_api_objects_event.htm
*/
if (isAllDayEvent) {
if (startDateTime == null) {
return ActivityDate;
}
}

return startDateTime.date();
}

private static AppointmentScheduleAggr getAppointmentScheduleAggrRecord(ServiceResource sr, Date appointmentDate) {
AppointmentScheduleAggr[] asa = [SELECT Id FROM AppointmentScheduleAggr WHERE ServiceResource.Id = :sr.Id AND AppointmentDate = :appointmentDate];

if (asa != null && asa.size() > 0) {
//Return existing AppointmentScheduleAggr record
return asa[0];
}

AppointmentScheduleAggr asaToInsert = new AppointmentScheduleAggr();
asaToInsert.AppointmentDate = appointmentDate;
asaToInsert.ServiceResourceId = sr.Id;
insert asaToInsert;

//Return newly created AppointmentScheduleAggr record
return asaToInsert;
}

private static Integer getEventDuration(Integer durationInMinutes, Datetime startDateTime, Datetime endDatetime, Boolean isAllDayEvent) {
/*
https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.object_reference.meta/object_reference/sforce_api_objects_event.htm
*/
if (isAllDayEvent) {
return 1440;
}

if (durationInMinutes != null) {
return durationInMinutes;
}

return Integer.valueOf((endDatetime.getTime() / 1000 / 60) - (startDateTime.getTime() / 1000 / 60));
}
}

The above code is for handling creation of Event records. Similar code can be added in processUpdateEvents(), processDeleteEvents & processUndeleteEvents() methods to handle complete CRUD of Event entity.

The source code is also present at https://github.com/anardana/salesforce-scheduler–appointment-distribution-events-integration

P.S. We can write similar logic for including ResourceAbsence in utilisation for Appointment Distribution.

Tele or virtual Scenarios using Salesforce Scheduler

Salesforce Scheduler can be used to cover Tele scenario or Virtual scenarios too. Here is how…

Setup Steps

1. Create a Virtual Territory

Create a single territory which will be treated as a Virtual Territory and add your resources in here

2. Skip Territory flow

Click here to see how one can Skip the territory selection and hardcode the flow to select a virtual territory

3. Integrate with external Video conferencing providers

a. Click here to integrate Scheduler with Webex

b. Click here for Visual Remote Assistant


Note: There are other models too where you could have the same resource in multiple territories as a secondary resource. Now if a customer selects a face to face appointment, you could call a scheduling policy with only only Primary Resources flag and if your customer selects a video / phone call you could also have the Secondary Resources flag checked which will allow this customer to setup meetings with all your primary and secondary resources, there by giving you additional capacity.

Performance Considerations

Precision scheduling is a performance intensive affair and it considers several different elements while coming up with the available time slots – skills, skill levels, resource holidays, working hours, location, etc.

Performance improvements tips

1.Remove Event checks in Scheduling Policy

If you are not checking Salesforce Calendar for Resource Availability then disable it.

2.Reduce Time range

Reducing the time range that you fetch the Resources & Time Slots for, helps improve the performance of the Scheduler algorithm and allows you to query more eligible resources. Using this mechanism, you have certain controls present

Flows: Use Time slot multiplier to reduce the number of days you are querying for from 14 (default) to 7 by reducing this Time Slot Multiplier flow variable to 1. Click here for details

APIs: Use Start Time & End Time to reduce the number of days you are querying the system for (default is 31 days.) Click here for details

3.Appointment Distribution

Using the new capability introduced in Winter 22: Appointment Distribution

One of the biggest bottlenecks is the number of resources whose calendar needs to be checked. As the number of eligible resources increases, Salesforce scheduler takes longer to fetch the resource list. For a 14 day period it is recommended that we keep around 20 eligible resources ie: In other words 20 resources with the same skill in the service territory if you are using the out of the box flows.

If the above doesn’t give you the performance boost needed then consider the new capability introduced in Winter 22 which will only look for the calendar of the x least utilised resources at that point and hence circumvent this problem.
Since you are considering the least utilised resources and showing up their slots, you will likely get most of the available slots and automatically balance the workload of your resources.

Here x is configurable(Click here for release notes)
Use the new Number of Resources to Show (Appointment Distribution) attribute in flows. This attribute is available in the Select Service Resource, Select Service Appointment Time, and Select Service Resource and Service Appointment Time screen components. If you’re using APIs, use the resourceLimitApptDistribution parameter. This parameter is available in the getAppointmentCandidates REST API and the available-territory-slots Connect API.

A simple test allowed me to manage a territory of 300 resources too using this feature on the flows shipped with the product, as long as I restricted the number of eligible resources (x) to 20.

Note: The above figure could change based on customisations and the specific data shape so would recommend running a test or proof of concept on your specific setup before moving ahead.