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We have a small number of teams, each ranging from 3-10 people. Obviously, people are going on vacation, get sick (children), or have other forms of absence.

One primary goal here is to make sure that each team has a reasonable number of people present at any time, and to get an overview of when people will be absent.

Another primary goal is to make reporting as painless as possible, and ideally automated (drawing from existing sources, say, our individual Outlook calendars). Currently, we are being asked to register absence in 4-5 different applications, excluding our own (work and private) calendars, which is a cause of grief for a number of people.

We recently switched over to MS Outlook, with the majority of users using Windows and Mac clients, but with a significant percentage of users using Linux and therefore being stuck with the (frankly incredibly crappy) "OWA" web app.

I'm looking for software that:

  • is easy to use from an employee ("reporter") perspective;
  • can provide a good per-team overview on a per-week level (and has some form of config for who's in which team);
  • (bonus) allows for absence to need, or not need, approval from a department head, as a per-team setting.

I know that Outlook has some form of API, and I expect I could hack up something that scans for "all day events marked as 'away'". I also know that one of the reporting app has some form of API, and I expect I could hack up something that posts new absence (gleaned from Outlook). But, I would prefer using an existing solution over writing an in-house thing from scratch.

(I had written a similar question in another stack, but it got closed as irrelevant and now I can no longer find it.)

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