Customizable APIs for Project Scheduling Software

Maintain your competitive edge by integrating with the right project scheduling software.

Tasia Potasinski | July 28, 2021

The Challenges of Building your own Project Scheduling Software

Completing a project on time is integral in the business world. Deliverables, milestones, kickoff meetings, stakeholders, Gantt charts, and countless other moving components constitute each project that must be completed in a timely manner for the growth of the business. However, a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which reviewed 10,640 projects from 200 companies in 30 countries and across various industries, finds that only 2.5% of the companies successfully completed 100% of their projects. Furthermore, a survey reveals that $1M is wasted every 20 seconds by organizations around the world and that organizations that undervalue project management report much higher project failure rates. It is clear that integrating project scheduling software into your app is a surefire way to provide the functionality that your users sorely need. But how do you do it strategically to budget for time and money when faced with the many challenges of building project scheduling software? 

Creating a realistic project schedule and sticking to it is one of the biggest challenges a project faces. Before starting a new project, project managers must set deadlines that the team needs to hit along the way. If these deadlines and milestones aren’t properly identified, it’s very likely that the project will not be completed. Your project scheduling software users may be customers looking to plan their wedding—who may lose the venue because the reservation payment was not made in time—or they could be a project management agency helping customers of their own with a wide range of use cases, such as acquisitions, technology implementation, corporate business services, and labs enhancing scientific processes, to name a few. Either way, they have in common the need to schedule recurring tasks, meetings, milestones, and dependent tasks so that hand-offs can happen in a timely manner. Meetings about high-level planning and structure workflows must be scheduled, and keeping track of resource allocation for managing costs are critical. 

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Having your project scheduling software address these day-to-day and long-term scheduling tasks will help you attract and retain users while also increasing user engagement. However, here are just a few of the challenges in building your own project scheduling software:

  • Calendar Connectivity – Figuring out secure authentication for real-time bi-directional sync for every calendar provider in the world; automatically identifying primary calendars for booking, and incorporating different defaults for each provider.
  • Recurring Events – Complex protocols differ from provider to provider; navigating one- off changes and timezone transitions.
  • Availability Logic – Getting to the bottom of pre-fetching and caching availability of participants to be resilient to downtime and latency spikes and using provider webhooks and event streams to keep caches up-to-date.
  • Time Zone Support – Deducting time zone information given a complex array of data from the provider and normalizing for time zones across hemispheres.
  • Event Reminders – Accounting for the many common vagaries of scheduling; everything from language consistency to making sure the guest is notified if the meeting has been cancelled even if they haven’t already declined.
  • Building Scheduling UI –  Sussing out all the edge cases your users may run into and making sure each workflow is intuitively designed.
  • Race Conditions – Implementing instant synchronization so that users don’t get double booked when two people try to book the same slot simultaneously. At the same time, making sure that the solution doesn’t impact sync speed.

Not to mention, the time and resources devoted to building these will divert from building differentiating features for your app.

Save money with Nylas, the Fast, Secure Integration

With a powerful project scheduling software solution like the universal Nylas Calendar API, it takes just 18 days and one engineer to build full calendar integrations with 100% of providers in the world. In addition, Nylas comes with pre-built security features that provide a more secure, reliable connection than you’d get integrating with the service providers directly – out of the box, we’re SOC 2 certified, GDPR compliant, Privacy Shield certified and HIPAA and FINRA ready.

The Nylas Calendar API not only provides all of the basic features delineated above, but it also offers a full suite of robust features that will make using project scheduling software a streamlined, effective, and easy experience for your app’s users. Let’s take a look at one feature in particular, recurring events, which is integral to staying on top of a project’s timeline.

Recurring Events 

One of the most important aspects of planning a project is regularly evaluating the progress with check-ins and updates to make sure everyone is on the same page and things are on track. This requires having an easy way to set up recurring meetings so that scheduling is one less administrative task your users have to take care of.  Working with RRULEs can be notoriously difficult, but with Nylas, it’s as simple as making a call to the /events endpoint:

curl -X POST \
 https://api.nylas.com/events \
 -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
 -H 'cache-control: no-cache' \
 -d '{
   "title":"coffee",
   "location": "cafe grumpy",
   "calendar_id": "b464omkvjd1831vyzk70nowtze",
   "participants": [
       {
           "email": "[email protected]"
       },
      {
           “email”: “[email protected]”,
           “status”: “yes”
      }
   ],
"recurrence": { "rrule": [ "RRULE:FREQ=WEEKLY;BYDAY=MO" ],
"timezone": "America/Los_Angeles" },
"when": { "start_time": 1574100000, "end_time": 1574103600 }
}'

Take a look at our docs to see how updating and deleting a recurring event is just as simple.

Summary

Selecting a scalable API for your project scheduling software empowers your users to manage projects and costs with confidence. Providing a solution that links tasks and schedules, all without leaving your application, boosts your user retention, satisfaction, and bottom line. Learn how the Nylas Calendar API can help you provide full scheduling functionality for your construction scheduling software today. Sign up and try the API for free today, or schedule time to speak to a platform specialist now.

Tasia Potasinski

Tasia is the Director of Product Marketing at Nylas. She's passionate about communications and helping connect the world through APIs. In her free time, she writes and produces music.