In the last couple of days I've released new versions of Timesheets Lite and Timesheets MTS. Timesheets MTS was taken to version 2.5.7 and the only change was a fix to the Summary Hours Report. Timesheets Lite was taken to version 3.5.4. The only change made to that version was to check for the command line parameter "MultipleInstance". When set multiple instances of Timesheets Lite can be run on the same computer.
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Recently in Timesheets Lite Category
May 13, 2013
April 3, 2013
Timesheets Lite Version version 3.5.2 has just been uploaded. This new release of our employee time tracking software fixes up a display bug on the main timesheet screen when the activity column was displayed. It also fixes an issue with column widths not being saved and restored correctly. A change has been made to the scaling method used when columns are resized automatically when the main window is resized manually. A final change is the addition of an "AutoFit Columns" menu item on the right click timesheet menu.
March 15, 2013
Timesheets Lite has just been updated to version 3.5.1. There's just a few things to mention about it here. First there was a very minor performance tweak made to the Employee Timesheet report. Secondly, the Detailed Activity Report has been pretty much re-written (again) with an aim to improve performance especially when the database is on a network. The final change is to fix a minor bug with the routines that import data from old versions of Timesheets Lite.
March 3, 2013
I've spent most of the last week working on improving the performance of Timesheets Lite when it's using a network shared Microsoft Access database. Version 3.5.0 is the result. Here's a list of the changes in this new release:
- Much data on the Add/Edit Time screen is now pre-emptively cached to speed up loading.
- Many hours spent improving performance of the timesheet display when multiple times are displayed (think the unlikely case of 50+ times in a single day).
- Much time spent optimizing the process for loading large collections of times. This should result in much improved performance right across the whole program.
- Much time spent optimizing the time data object to pre-emptively cache project, employee, and activity data. Again should result in improved performance.
- Several single table queries have been replaced with cross tab queries to reduce the number of database accesses. Again, should result in program wide performance improvements.
- Most of the queries used by the employee timesheet report have been optimized or changed to cross table queries to speed up report generation.
- Time spent on the generation speed of the Detailed Activity report.
- Filter text box added to the Manage Projects screen.
February 13, 2013
I've spent the last couple of days working on Timesheets Lite focussing on improving performance in some key areas and adding some tweaks that have been suggested by users of the software. The result is version 3.4.7 of our employee timesheet software. Here's a list of the changes in detail:
- The time task checkbox has been removed from the Add/Edit time screen and replaced with a time task button.
- The icons for the Start / Stop timer buttons on the main timesheet have been changed.
- The login screen now only displays active employees.
- Added the "No Employee Posting" setting to the Project Information screen. When set the project cannot have times posted to it by Normal employees. Project managers and super users can still post times to the project.
- When setting the common activity of a time the description of the activity will automatically be added to the time description if there's no existing description.
- A couple of tweaks made to configuration file handling to speed up access for non-existent configuration settings/values.
- Complete re-write of the way various lists are populated. Those with very long project/employee/activity lists should see a decent speed improvement in screen loading time.
- Fix to monthly timesheet total when editing a timesheet for an employee other than the current logged in employee.
- Fixed the title on the Employee Timesheet report.
February 7, 2013
Pyramid Displays in Queensland, Australia are specialist exhibition and tradeshow booth designers, suppliers and manufacturers. They also happen to use our employee timesheet software, Timesheets Lite to track all of their project work. David Van Gent, the project manager at Pyramid Displays was kind enough to spend 30 minutes with me earlier this week taking me through how his company uses TImesheets Lite. David did this via phone hookup also shared his computer desktop with me so I could actually see Timesheets Lite in action.
Key things to come out David's presentation were:
- Pyramid Displays makes heavy use of the background color features of both projects and common activities. They use the colors to categorize projects and activities and match activities with particular project types.
- Timesheets Lite was the best match they could find to the way they did business. They had considered several (much) more expensive timesheet products but they were simply too complex and the cost could not be justified.
- They enter projects into Timesheets Lite while still in the quote phase and would love a feature to prevent employees from booking time to a project while it is still in a quote stage.
- Employees make use of the calendar based timesheet to drag and drop times between days. This speeds up the process of creating a timesheet for a new day.
- The volume of projects they put into TImesheets Lite is large and they'd love a way of archiving projects.
- Having a common activity list accessible to all projects is great but from time to time they'd like to be able to restrict the activities that are available to certain projects.
I'd like to thank David for the time he took with me and would heartily recommend contacting Pyramid Displays if you're looking for trade show or exhibition booth design or equipment hire on the Gold Coast in Australia!
January 8, 2013
A recent release of our employee timesheet software Timesheets Lite added the ability for some users to edit other employee timesheets. Above you can see a screenshot of the employee timesheet with the employee timesheet dropdown highlighted in red.
If the logged in employee is a super user (see here for a discussion on employee security levels in Timesheets Lite) then they'll be able to select other employees names from the dropdown. When another employee is selected their timesheet data will be displayed. That data can then me added to, edited, or deleted exactly the same as the employee's own data. The task timer cannot be used to record time for another employee. This is the only real restriction on working with another employees data.
January 8, 2013
Another new release of Timesheets Lite today. Version 3.4.6 now allows super user employees to edit the timesheets of other employees. The other minor change is to set the selected timesheet day to the current day when an employee first logs in. This will only really effect users who have multiple employees using the same computer to record their timesheet data.
January 2, 2013
Add / Edit Time Screen with Colors!
Happy New Year to all Timesheets MTS Software Blog readers! I've taken the opportunity given by the usual slow Christmas/New Year period to spend several days working on Timesheets Lite. I added a few new features in this release but most of the time was focussed on performance issues for users with very long project and employee lists. It was an interesting exercise that taught me two things. First, I am kicking myself for the truly dumb ways I tried to handle large datasets and the impact this had on performance. Second, I am amazed by some of the performance improvements I've managed to eke out. The best improvement is in the speed of display of the Employee Login Screen. Testing against my reference database gave a loading speed that was 80 times faster than previous versions.
Anyway, enough chatter, here's the details of all the changes.
- Common activities can now have a fore and back color. These colors are visible on the Manage Common Activities screen and on the activity drop down on the Add/Edit times screen.
- Project fore and back colors are now displayed on the project drop down on the add/edit time screen. See the screenshot above for what the add/edit time screen can look like.
- Use Non Billable Fields checkbox added to the Interface Options screen. When checked employees can mark a time as non-billable and will see a non-billable column on the employee timesheet.
- Project colors are applied correctly to the Manage Projects screen after an existing project's colors are changed.
- An internal system has been added to allow the addition of new tables and columns to the Timesheets Lite database.
- Much time spent working on the load speed of the employee login screen. Good performance improvements seen.
- Internal loading speed of employees improved greatly. Should reflect in better report generation times.
- Much time spend working on the Add/Edit Time screen for users with very long project lists (1000+ projects). Much of the data is now cached or pre-emptively loaded. While the first load of the Add/Edit Time screen may be a little slow for very long project lists subsequent loads will be much faster.
December 28, 2012
Timesheets Lite version 3.4.4 was released yesterday. This included two bug fixes. The first fixes a problem with the task timer. If the timer was paused and then the stop timer button was pressed the incorrect time could be recorded. The second bug occurred during the process for importing data from old versions of Timesheets Lite. A hard crash could happen if a user clicked the Cancel button when choosing an old Timesheets Lite database to import data from.