TMA makes use of Gantt charts within the application. TMA uses an IT2BE plugin which utilizes the VARCHART JGantt JavaBeans from NETRONIC.
One of the solution’s core modules is the Scheduler, used to schedule and view a technician’s workload featuring a Gantt chart. The chart includes a tree representation of the schedules, grouped by technician. Unscheduled work is shown at the top with available technicians displayed on the left. The illustration below shows a daily Gantt chart.
When a technician is dragged and dropped on a work order, the technician’s schedule is updated and displayed as a task on the Java Gantt chart. One or more technicians can be scheduled to one or more work orders at once. The task can be easily rescheduled by dragging it to a new time or by dragging the right edge to update the duration.
Additional tabs are utilized to display differing elements and views of the scheduling process: a list view of information in the Gantt chart, parts, tools and purchase requisitions. The TMA Scheduler optionally includes a technician’s backlog items, allowing the user to view previously scheduled, but not yet completed, work orders. This allows the technician’s backlog to be rescheduled and considered when scheduling new work.
Users can control which schedules are presented on the Gantt chart using several selections, including date and shift.
TMA incorporates many functions of VARCHART JGantt JavaBeans to visually assist the user with the scheduling process. The summary bar is used to indicate the earliest and latest work scheduled for the technician; the summary bar indicates when a technician has been overscheduled for the shift (displayed in red). The length of each task on the chart conveys the duration of the scheduled work, while task-level tool tips on the chart display details about each scheduled task.
TMA makes use of context menus to offer general and task-specific functions, such as viewing work order details and un-scheduling the work order.
The Properties option displays an interactive dialog allowing the user to modify information about the schedule and add comments.
"TMA developers worked in conjunction with the NETRONIC team to fine-tune and improve TMA’s experience with the VARCHART JGantt bean. TMA developers have found the bean to be easy-to-use, saving valuable development time in creating this module," says J T Young, Chief Technology Officer of TMA Systems.