Category Archives: Oracle-Primavera

HMS Renews key technical alliances with Microsoft and Oracle


Microsoft / TimeControl Resources Portal

HMS recently renewed its Microsoft certifications in the Enterprise Project Management / Portfolio Project Management  and t he Independent Software Vendor competencies.  As a Silver partner in the Microsoft Partner Network, this renewal makes the 9th consecutive year that HMS has been officially designated as a Gold or Silver partner.  Yet, the relationship with Microsoft was established long before this.  With the first release of TimeControl for Windows in 1995, HMS became one of the first Microsoft Project Solution Partners and has had a continual relationship with the Microsoft Project team since.
The references between HMS and Microsoft are so numerous that HMS has recently established a central portal with links to a wide range of webcasts, links, white papers, factsheets and other collateral.  This new TimeControl / Microsoft portal can be found at
Microsoft.timecontrol.com.

Oracle / TimeControl Resources Portal


HMS has also recently renewed as a Gold Certified Partner in the Oracle Partner Network.  The relationship with
Oracle started from multiple directions in the 1990s.  HMS was an Oracle Technology Partner and many clients had deployed TimeControl with Oracle Financials, JD Edwards and PeopleSoft ERPs.  These products would all become part of the Oracle family.  HMS became a Primavera technology partner in 1997 and there has been a continuous link between TimeControl and Primavera since.  Primavera is also an Oracle company.

HMS and Oracle have many points of contact and to help clients navigate through the myriad links and materials available, HMS has created an Oracle Technology Portal with ties to many elements of collateral in the TimeControl site.  This TimeControl / Oracle Portal can be found at oracle.timecontrol.com.

An all new and improved Primavera Solution Portal

We have many clients who use TimeControl with their Oracle-Primavera system.  Perhaps it’s no surprise.  TimeControl has integrated with Primavera since 1997 with P3 and we’ve maintained that link all the way up to the most recent P6r8 release even once Primavera was purchased by Oracle.  Primavera clients who need a single timesheet to update not only the task progress in Primavera but also Payroll, Billing, Finance, Job Costing or HR have looked to TimeControl to provide multi-purpose timesheet functionality that will allow a single point of timesheet entry and multiple back-end uses.
Our relationship with Primavera goes back to 1997 and our relationship with Oracle separately tc6_p6_linkalso goes back to 1997 when TimeControl was first able to store its data in either SQL Server or Oracle (We now also support MySQL which is coincidentally also owned by Oracle).  So the relationship has many facets and runs deep.
We’ve done a little work to remake our TimeControl and Primavera Solution Portal with a range of new materials that we hope you’ll find useful.  Aside from a remake of the portal itself, we’ve got new factsheets, slide presentations, white papers and an all-new on-demand webcast that shoes TimeControl 6 and Primavera’s P6 interacting back and forth.
The integration options between TimeControl and Primavera are extensive.  Not only can you bring into TimeControl Primavera tasks, resources, steps and assignments, you also have abilities on how to match employees to generic skills and Primavera codes to TimeControl user defined fields.  Updating your Primavera project data with TimeControl timesheets is incredibly flexible.  You can update hours and costs, Primavera Step progress, ETC, Financial periods and more.
The new and improved TimeControl / Primavera Solution Portal covers some of the benefits of integrating these two world-class tools including:

  • Automated Business Validation Rules
  • Extensive Rate Management
  • Management of Vacation, Sick Leave, Personal time banks
  • Management of Banked Overtime
  • Included integration with P6 and other project systems
  • TimeControl Mobile interface for tablets and smartphones
  • Missing timesheet management
  • The Matrix Approval Process for Labor Actuals™

Access to the portal and its resources is free.  Find out more at www.timecontrol.com/solutions/primavera.

TimeControl and Primavera P6R8 tested

O_GoldPartner_clrFor those using TimeControl 5 or TimeControl 6, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve completed our testing under the just-released version P6r8 and that TimeControl and release 8 are working together just fine.  No new TimeControl upgrade is required in order to do your Primavera upgrade as the current releases of TimeControl 5 and TimeControl 6 flew through our tests with flying colors.

Using TimeControl with project management resource skill scheduling

Using TimeControl with Project Management tools and their skill scheduling, role scheduling and generic resource scheduling capabilities.
It has long been a common feature of enterprise project management tools from Oracle-Primavera, Microsoft and Deltek to allow resource assignments to be planned at a high level in the early stages of a project.

Deltek’s Open Plan calls this skill-scheduling. Microsoft Project/Project Server refers to it as generic resource scheduling and Oracle’s Primavera calls it role-scheduling.

Regardless of the product, the concept is the same. There are a small number of unnamed resource categories that are to be assigned to tasks for some time in the future. The tasks or perhaps the entire project is either not in production or is not soon enough to be ready to name an actual individual to that task yet if no assignment is made, it will be impossible to do forward looking resource capacity planning.

Once a project is ready to go into production or that phase of the project is close enough in time that we know who will be working on those tasks, the skill, generic or role-based entry in the tasks is expected to be replaced with the actual resource code. In many cases this might be the actual named resource who will perform the work but it might also be a category type of resource.

TimeControl’s link to the resource assignments in these project management tools expects to find the category or named resource. We import the assignment information to help populate the resource table then ask that each employee be associated to a resource entry in the project management system through the TimeControl Resource table. This allows the flexibility of going to a named or category resource. When TimeControl sends actual hours and costs back to the tasks it does so at the assignment level. TimeControl first looks for the task. If it doesn’t find it, it stops. If it does find it, it then looks for the assignment that matches the actual resource it’s about to update. If it finds it, it updates that assignment with the actual hours and optionally costs. If it doesn’t find that it polls the resource table in the project management system to find out if that resource exists anywhere. If it doesn’t, it stops. If it does, then depending on the options chosen in the TimeControl transfer, it adds an assignment to that task and updates the hours and costs.

This brings up dozens of possible conditions that TimeControl might find.

  • What if a task was assigned to Joe but Bill did the work? The result will be an unfulfilled assignment in the task for Joe and a completed assignment by Bill.
  • What if a task was assigned to a category or group resource and the employee is part of that group in TimeControl (by associating the group resource code to the employee). The result will be an update of the group assignment.
  • What if the project management user still has an assignment for a skill or generic resource but in TimeControl the resource is an individual? The result will be an unfulfilled assignment for the skill and an additional assignment for the individual.

So, why not carry the ability to move data back to skill categories in the project management tool? For the same reason that each of these tools recommends a best practice of replacing the temporary placeholders of skills with named resources as the project goes into production. The possibility is very real of double-counting resources. Skill scheduling makes perfect sense as a forward looking analytical practice, but in all of these tools, resources can have more than one skill. So, Bob is also an Administrator and an Engineer and a Designer. This might mean that while we think of Bob rather flexibly in forward planning, in day-to-day activities, he can only do one thing in each moment.

Reference Guides for all these products carry the same recommendations: Use skills in your forward planning exercise but replace them with resources before you get the task started. TimeControl follows this same recommendation in its design.

TimeControl supports Primavera “Steps”

TimeControl 5.1.2 became available yesterday and along with several improvements came long-awaited support for updating Primavera Steps within the TimeControl Timesheet. As you can see by clicking on the screen at right, there is a new tab called Activity Steps which displays the sub-task level steps and the percent complete for each one. The resource which is designated in Primavera as the ‘primary’ resource will be able to edit the Step progress. Other resources will be able to see them only. New Steps cannot be added within TimeControl. They must be done within Primavera itself. You can see a quick video of Primavera Steps working within TimeControl 5.1.2 on the TimeControl 5.1.2 Steps Screencast.