Build a simple to use time recording system that is intuitive to use and manage on a day to day basis. The time recording system must handle various types of timers (Phone, email, etc.) and provide the users with visual feedback of time recorded against a task.
Integration with Access Accounts is required for assigning Time against clients, and the facility to export a Time Record to Laserfiche as a Filenote should be provided. Security should be integrated with Active Directory to provide authentication.
We approached this project with ease of use as the primary goal. Nobody likes recording their time, but for fee-based organisations it's critical, so making the system easy to use and unobtrusive helps to minimise issues with user acceptance. We implemented a simple Microsoft Office-inspired user interface using large clear iconography to provide simple visual clues to each action.
Under the covers, the system uses an SQL Server database as it's information store and hooks into Active Directory for user authentication. Integration with Access Accounts (thanks to the guys at i-Bos Limited for their assistance) and Laserfiche (again with help from Manx Business Solutions) ensures that the system seamlessly transfers data into the other line of business systems used within the organisation.
Click Once deployment was used to ease installation and to make all updates available over the Internet.
What The Client Thought
"When you are busy it is so easy to focus on doing the work for your client and often the important task of time recording gets overlooked until the end of the day when you suddenly wonder "What have I done today?", so keeping on top of time recording as you go along is essential in order to keep records accurate for billing and cost recovery. With this in mind, we decided that we needed a tool that had to integrate with the costing module of our accounting system, Access Accounts, but had also to be very user friendly if it was to gain ready acceptance by colleagues.
As a user of LaserFiche, we were using an add-in called MailFiche developed by Antelle that enables us to file emails into LaserFiche as they are sent so it seemed a natural choice to approach Tony Jones at Antelle to develop a utility that would enable us to begin to record our time as soon as a task is commenced be that a email, phonecall, meetings etc.
Within days of the initial meeting, Tony developed a working prototype for us to "play with". After a few requested tweaks had been made, Tony installed a beta version of Time Tracker for testing across our systems. Following successful testing over a relatively short time, the utility was quickly accepted by colleagues and then rolled out accross our company in two phases - firstly to the administration team and secondly the accounts team.
We anticipate that within the first quarter of use, Time Tracker will have paid for itself since time previously "lost" is now being accurately recorded.
Overall, we are very pleased with Time Tracker and Tony's assistance in realising the initial concept.
Kevin Perry, Managing Director
- Database Design
- Systems Integration
- Analysis and System Design
- Setup and Distribution Kit
- Access Accounts
- Active Directory Integration
- Custom Controls and Libraries
- Document Management
- Microsoft .Net Framework
- Microsoft SQL Server
- Microsoft Visual Basic .Net
- Microsoft Visual Studio