Today sees the release of Version 6 of Time Clock MTS, the culmination of what has been 6 months of work. You’ll only have to take a quick look at the new release of the software to understand how much has changed, the biggest areas being the user interface and the reporting engine.
The New Employee List
Every form and screen in Time Clock MTS has been upgraded to reflect the latest look and feel that you’re used to seeing in Windows 10 and Windows 8. I won’t bore you with the details but we’re talking about nearly 100 screens and nearly 10,000 screen components that have been improved. Additionally we’ve made just about every button, list, check box, drop down box and label bigger and easier to read, as well as using a clearer font. This makes the software much more pleasant to use on large, high resolution monitors. It’s also much easier for employees to use on touch screens, whether they have big 24” touch screens or are using a 10” screen on a Surface Pro tablet.
You’ll probably also notice that a lot more elements on Time Clock MTS screens provide more instant feedback to your actions. That’s because we’ve upgraded many components with more modern versions that provide you with more responsive interface.
The New Report Display
We bit the bullet here and tossed out the old report display and printing engine in Time Clock MTS and re-built it from scratch. The reports you’re used to are still there, but they are now all displayed in an attractive print preview screen which allows you to customize the look and feel of your reports. There are proper tables, grid-lines, headers, footers, and pretty much anything you’d expect to see. Reports can be emailed easily directly from within the software as PDF files or via various Excel formats. Reports can also be easily exported to PDF, HTML, RTF, Excel, CSV, Plain Text and to various image formats such as JPG and GIF..
The software registration key system has been overhauled. The need to enter the number of clients and employees has been removed and some smarts have been put in place to automatically fill in the registration screen if you’ve copied your registration keys from one of our emails. It certainly works more smoothly and will prevent a lot of frustration for users new and old who are trying to register their software. It should also stop the registration details being dropped from time to time as Windows rolls out major updates.
As is usual with any major version upgrade of Time Clock MTS any user with a current support contract or who has purchased it within the last 12 months is eligible for a free upgrade. You’ll receive an email explaining how to upgrade, or you can view this page for instructions. If you don’t have a current support contract you’re still eligible for a 40% upgrade discount, just contact us and we’ll give you an upgrade coupon.
There’s been a bunch of other things changed in the software that I won’t bother detailing in full here. You can read the full release notes here for more details. However, here’s a few key things that may be of interest:
- The system used to get the time from our internet time server has been re-written a removed to an external component.
- The Add Punch and Insert Missing Punch have been enhanced to allow for easier data entry.
- Jobs can now be entered on the Bulk Add Time screen.
- The size of text on the Employee List has been increased and an extra large text size option added.
- The employee bulletin screen and all the logic behind it have been rebuilt. The way the screen worked before was, uh, interesting, now it’s a lot more logical.
We’ve been working on Time Clock MTS Version 6 for the last four months and as we’re coming to the conclusion of the testing phase we thought it was a good time to share some screenshots of the new version. As you can see the look and feel has changed completely and the reporting system has been completely re-written. Exciting times ahead!
Time Clock MTS Administrator Software
After spending the last two months working hard I’m glad to say that today (26 January 2014) we’ve released Time Clock MTS Version 5. This new version includes more than 40 distinct changes in the release notes and takes the first steps toward making Time Clock MTS more “internet friendly”. It also marks the debut of the Time Clock MTS Web Extensions helper program.
For existing users of earlier versions of Time Clock MTS who are thinking about upgrading you should be aware that Version 5 makes changes to the time clock database that render it incompatible with earlier versions. So make sure you back up your data BEFORE upgrading. Read More Here.
No doubt I’ll be writing a series of entries about the release of Version 5 but I thought it well worth the effort of summarizing the major changes in this blog entry.
Key New Time Clock Features
- Email Alerts – email alerts can now be sent based on certain events occurring in Time Clock MTS. Right now alerts can be sent when a new Time Off Request is raised, when a Time Off Request is approved or denied, or when an employee punches in or out.
- Green / Red Punch Indication Lights – both the Employee List and Keypad interfaces of Time Clock MTS provide a visual indication of a successful or failed employee punch.
- Emails – there’s a new screen for managing email addresses. These are used for email alerts but will be used for direct emailing of reports in the future.
- Client Specific Translations – you’ve been able to adjust the time clock screen labels for a while but now the labels can be different for each client computer. Allowing (for example) a time clock terminal in Spanish and one in English.
- New Reports – we’ve added three new reports.
Key Time Clock Enhancements
- Keypad View Timecard – employees using the keypad interface can now view their own timecard.
- Add Multiple Times Enhancements – a lot of time was spent automating the add multiple time punches screen to make entering time punches more efficient.
- 12 Character Badge Numbers – due to a design decision made a long time ago the employee badge number was restricted to 9 characters. We’ve managed to extend this out to 12 characters.
- Other Report Periods Added – the report configuration screen has some more time period buttons added to speed things up for users with semi monthly payroll periods.
- Edit Times Enhancements – the Edit Times screen has been enhanced. More information is now displayed for each time punch and the screen can (finally) be resized.
One of the major new features that is will be included in Time Clock MTS Version 5 (due to for release in January 2014) is email alerts. Email alerts can be configured by the time clock administrator and will automatically send emails to recipients of your choosing based on certain events happening in your employee time clock. Email recipients are configured on the manage time clock emails screen I spoke about a few days ago. Email alerts are set up on the new Email Alerts screen (see below) which will be available from the Tools->Email Alerts menu from within the Time Clock MTS Administrator software.
This screen is used by the administrator to manage email alerts.
The Email Alerts screen looks like many other screens in the software. A new alert is added using the New Alert button, existing alerts are edited by double clicking on them in the list or by selecting an alert and clicking the Edit Alert button. Deleting alerts is simply a matter of selecting an alert on the list and clicking the Delete Alert button. The initial release will include three different types of email alerts. The first is a raised when an employee creates a new time off request, the second is raised when the status of a time off request is changed by the time clock administrator, and the final type can be raised when an employee punches in or out (or both). I’ll preview the detailed features of each of these types of alerts in another blog entry in the next week.
As we get feedback from Time Clock MTS users after Version 5 is released we’ll be including more types of email alerts as time goes by.
The Manage Emails Screen
Above you can see what the Manage Emails screen is going to look like in Time Clock MTS Version 5 (due for release in January 2014). This screen will be available from the Tools->Options menu in the Time Clock MTS Administrator software.and is used to add, edit, and delete emails from the master email list. In the initial release of the new version emails will be used to send email alerts. In the future time clock emails will also be used to allow direct emailing of PDF versions of reports from the reporting screen.
It is suggested that you create emails for the time clock administrator, department supervisors, payroll supervisor, and any other employee supervisor. Of course each of these people will need to actually have an email account they can check. It doesn’t matter if this is their work email or a web based email system like GMail.
The Time Off Request Report
Above you can see the employee time off request report which is a new addition to our employee clockin software. If you’re not sure what Time Clock MTS employee time off requests are you can read more about them here or watch a video explaining how employees place a request.
The employee time off request report allows users to break down requests by status and date. The way the report is generated is different to most other reports in Time Clock MTS because it is not configured from the report configuration screen but rather is run directly from the screen administrators use to manage employee time off requests. Here’s an image of that screen:
Figure 1 – The Administrator Time Off Requests Screen
The report is run by clicking the button with the printer icon on it. The actual data displayed on the report is determined by what data is displayed on the screen at the time. So, if for example, you’re showing requests from All Time (selected from the time period drop down) and only displaying Pending requests (because the Pending checkbox is ticked and the other two boxes are not) then the report will show Pending requests regardless of the date the requests were made.
Another example would be to display all Approved requests from the the previous month. To accomplish this we would select “Last Month” from the time period drop down and check the “Approved” checkbox and uncheck the others. To view the report click the Printer button.
In conclusion if you do need to record and track employee time off requests from your employee punch clock software then the time off request report is an ideal way of reporting on those requests. Don’t forget that there’s also dozens of other time clock reports available from within Time Clock MTS and one of those is bound to fit your requirements.