See also: Bumblebee User's Guide.
To understand how Bumblebee will report the usage of your instruments and calculate the costs associated with this, you will need to understand how Bumblebee views the relationships between users, and the research groups to which they would belong. The system has been designed to allow the maximum flexibility and with flexibility comes a little complexity; however, it is still straightforward to use Bumblebee in situations which do not require the layered management approach used here.
Bumblebee uses a three-tiered approach to the problem of accounting for instrument usage incorporating "Research Groups", "Projects" and "Users". Between each of these tiers there is a many-to-many relationship, which is where the flexibility comes in. The structure is exactly what one has in a modern collaborative research environment, although the way it is codified here might seem perculiar at first:
To explore this further, consider the research group of Prof. Jane Smith.
Prof. Smith has a number of researchers working for her in two main areas (Ceramafiable Olefins and Cold Fusion). Most of her researchers are working on just one of these projects; however a Dr John Citizen, a post-doc working with her is working across both of these areas. The relationship between the Groups, Projects and Users for Prof. Smith's research activities could be represented as follows:
As Prof. Smith is a leading researcher in her field, she also has many collaborative projects. In particular, she has started a new research project on Doppler Gravity Measurements in collaboration with Prof. Robert Jones. They agree to share the costs of doing this research 50:50. A PhD student will be working on this project along with Dr Citizen, Prof. Smith's post-doc. The above diagram can now be expanded to include this collaboration.
The various administrative features of Bumblebee are accessed from the menu that is displayed on each page. While logged in as a regular user, this menu does not include the admin functions; while logged in as a user with administrator privileges, the full feature set is shown.
Note that when you "Delete" Users, Projects, Groups, the entries for these objects are not actually deleted from the database, merely marked as deleted. Consequently, they can be easily undeleted using the Undelete interface (where provided) or a tool such as phpMyAdmin. The objects are not deleted to ensure the integrity of the data that is already in the database; for example, if you were to delete a user from the database, then all the bookings made by that user would become invalid data in the database and your log book and billing summaries would contain strange entries.