Look and feel of the visual schedule

The graphical part of the schedule

The graphical part - the diagram - is one of the three main areas in your schedule and is positioned in the middle of the view

The diagram shows you which machine center is working on which production order routing line/operation and when.

    The elements of the graphical part in detail


    Each production order routing line/operation of a production order is represented by a bar that is either colored or white. The colored area of a bar indicates that this timespan is during the work time of the underlying machine center. The white area of a bar indicates that this timespan is during the non-work time of the underlying machine center (also see below "Calendar". The bar color depends on the selected color scheme (see below). 

    The following information can be gathered from optical indicators:

    • Currently marked operation


    • Operation changed but not saved yet 


    • Violated due date


    • Pinned operations
      The operations context menu allows to pin operations so that they can't be moved.

    The different options are visually indicated as follows:
      • Pin operation without consuming capacity

      • Pin operation consuming capacity

      • Link violation after having pinned an operation. The picture below shows that the predecessor of a pinned operation was moved behind this operation

    • Setup times

      The setup times can be visualized as light grey section at the beginning of the bar.  

      You can switch between showing or hiding the setup times by a menu item:


      The color representing the setup time can be easily specified in the VAPS color settings:


    • Display mode for overlapping operations

    Usually, overlapping operations are shown in an "optimized" way, meaning that the resource row with the respective operations gets extended in height so that the operations are completely visible. Since the VAPS schedules with finite capacity, overlapping operations are avoided, and hence this is a rare case.

    However, some customers have contacted us with the following use case: They need to create operations with a length of zero to define a common starting point for parallel routings without blocking capacity. These operations will then be scheduled at the first possible position which will result in a very high stacked resource. For these cases, we added two new context menu items so that users can now decide whether overlapping operations are to be shown overlapped in one row or stacked. 

    The picture below illustrates the different display modes:

    • Info symbol indicates comments on the routing line

      In Business Central, users can add additional information to a production order routing line by creating comments, e.g., for describing certain specialties that need to be followed during the production process. As this is, of course, valuable information, the VAPS now helps the planner to quickly recognize whether a production order line has such a comment so that the special requirements are not overlooked.

      VAPS - comment symbol on operation

      To activate this feature, tick the according option in the "General" settings of the VAPS setup dialog:

      VAPS - general settings - show comment symbol

    Earliest Start Date

    The VAPS comes with the convenient automatic scheduling functions "Add all", "Fill idle times", "Apply routing," and "Tighten operations". With the new version, users can limit these functions to only schedule production order routing lines/operations so that they start at or later than the date defined. This is done by the new field "Earliest Start Date" that has been implemented on production order, production order line, and production order routing line level. Clicking an operation with an earliest start date will display an according date line. 

    vaps - earliest start date

    If the earliest start date is defined on all levels, the latest available date will be used for scheduling and if the "Consider EMAD" option is activated, this date will also be taken into account, meaning that the latest of all four dates will be considered.

    Operations with an earliest start date can nevertheless still be dragged manually to an earlier start.


    The grey and white area in the background visualizes the work and non-work periods of the respective work/machine center. They are derived from the respective shift calendars.

    • Show/hide non-woking periods

    vaps-show-hide non-working-times

    This feature, activated by a menu item, allows to hide or show the common non-working period. 

    • Support of visual connection between timescale and diagram/ planning area
      Some of our customers use a 24-hour working calendar and, as they told us, sometimes have difficulties navigating and planning by day in the diagram area because the change between the days and/or weekends and working periods are not clearly visible. This, in turn, forces the planner to constantly look back and forth between the timescale and the plan. So we set to work and implemented three new visual elements to create a better connection between timescale and diagram area:

      • vertical separation lines between individually selectable intervals

      • an individual background color and transparency degree for weekends

      • an individual background color and transparency degree for the standby resource

    In the picture below, the date line grid mode is set to "Daily", the background color for the weekend to a light blue, and the Standby color to a slightly darker yellow with a high degree of transparency:

    VAPS - set standby and weekend color

    The according settings can be found in the "Appearance" area of the VAPS setup dialog:

    • Dateline Grid Mode

      VAPS - dateline grid mode auto

    The "Auto" mode causes the grids to automatically adjust to the resolution of the time scale resulting from zooming in or out.

    vaps-gridline mode - auto
    • Weekend coloring

    If you want to color the weekends individually, you can activate this here. By clicking you open the Color Picker dialog where you can

      • select the desired color
      • adjust the transparency:

        VAPS - weekend color picker

      • reset the weekend color to default comfortably and at one click:

        VAPS - reset weekend color to default

    • Standby color

      The procedure for editing the standby color is the same as for the weekend coloring:
    VAPS - edit standby color
    A note on transparency: weekends, standby and calendar grids may overlap and by setting the transparency the user can determine what should be hidden or what should shine through. For example, if you want to see the calendar grids or the weekends on the standby resource, you have to make the standby color translucent accordingly.
    • Handling of standby resources
    Currently, the calendar of the related work center is applied to standby resources, so that when the non-working period is hidden, the non-working periods that are shared by all calendars will not be displayed and the timescale gets collapsed during these periods.
    On the other hand, switching the non-working periods on means that those periods that are common to all calendars will be displayed.


    For production order routing lines of released production orders a progress bar is displayed below the actual bar based on the posted quantity consumption. The color of the progress bar appears as follows:   

    • finished: black


    • still in progress: grey
    • still in progress but more quantity booked than initially planned: red


    Predecessor/successor relations are shown as arrows ("links") between the bars. They are only shown for the production order that is currently selected.
    • links between operations of one production order
    • links between operations of different production orders if they are linked to each other by reservations (make to order) OR links between production order lines coming from one production order (make to stock)


    A red vertical line in the chart indicates the workdate, this usually being the current date.

    Required due date

    The required due date is a specific VAPS field, that you can set on the "Production Order" card:

    This date can only be set and changed by the user. We recommend to set this date in case you have hard due dates for one or more specific production orders.

    The tooltip

    The tootip of the VAPS provides further details about an operation and is customizable.

    VAPS customize tooltip

    The "Standby" resource

    The standby resource does not exist in your Dynamics 365 Business Central machine centers. It is a virtual machine center that we automatically create in every work center. It contains all production order routing lines/operations that are not yet scheduled from within the VAPS, and hence are just scheduled by the Business Central scheduling run. The standby resource gets highlighted by a yellow background (and an infitiy symbol next to its name in the table part):

    Please note that
    • the standby resource always is treated as a resource with infinite capacity
    • all other machine centers are treated as finite capacity resources (with a capacity of 1)