Category Archives: TimeControl 6

Meet the new TimeControl Report Interface

Meet the new TimeControl Reporting environment

You know TimeControl as one of the most flexible timesheets on the market today but the release of version 6.5 has put reporting of your labor actuals into a whole new category.  GraphicsReportExampleTimeControl was released in 1994 and the flexible Excel-like reporting environment (which is still included with TimeControl) was introduced in 1999.  Since then, it has delivered thousands of reports in a tabular column and row approach which end users could print or save as Excel spreadsheets.  As flexible as that was, there were requests for more.  Could we fix the report format to show a company logo?  Could we do a graphics report?  Could we do a report with multiple lines or long fields that would automatically wrap their text? Could we have calculated fields that did formulas inside the report?  The new report interface brings all of this and more.  While there are some example reports in the new reporting system, the capabilities of this module of TimeControl are vast. 

The new TimeControl Report Interface comes in two parts, a Designer and a Presenter.  The Designer is Charge_Table_rerport_in_iPaddesigned to be used by a TimeControl Administrator and brings a rich collection of tools to a Windows PC to design and create report formats.  The TimeControl Report Designer is installed using Microsoft’s Click-Once technology.  The Presenter requires no installed code on the local terminal.  It follows TimeControl’s.Net architecture and will present any report that has been made available to that user.  The TimeControl Report Interface follows all the same security structures which are already a part of TimeControl.  If a user has access only to certain data, then regardless of which report format is selected, only the data to which they have rights will be displayed.  If the user is prohibited from viewing certain fields, then even if those fields are in a report format, they will not display to that user.

That’s the basic structure but what now becomes possible?

A lot.

The new report environment includes a WYSIWYG report designer that lets you control fonts, insert objects such as pictures, text, calculations, graphics charts, tables, pivot tables and, of course, data from TimeControl.  ReportDesignerGuideCover_200x259The new functionality is so extensive we’ve needed to create a brand new manual called the TimeControl Report Designer Guide which adds over 230 pages of new report functionality to consume.  Graphics charts include pie charts, histograms, curves and more.  For the first time, TimeControl can generate its own burn-down charts and spending curves. 

Tabular reports are vastly improved as well.  TimeControl now gives font control to every element on the report.  There can be some data in a small font, and headers somewhat larger.  Fonts can be colored for emphasis and conditional formatting can even show some data in one color and other data in another color based on the values displayed.  Tabular reports for the first time can display multiple lines per reporting element and control over formatting extends to dates, currency and more.

Calculated fields let us create effects like transposing the words “Active” or InActive” for the Inactive User field which only contains a T/F flag for (true/false).  Or, use calculated fields to calculate budget vs. actual or change person-hours to person-days.

The presentation of reports has also seen a light year leap forward. Having the report presenter created in TimeControl’s .Net environment means that for the first time, reports can be delivered using browsers other than Internet Explorer and in non-Windows environments.  Reports can be presented on an iPad or other tablet or even your Smartphone.
Once a report has been created, it can be saved not only as an Excel file (yes, don’t worry Finance people, we would never take that out of the product!) but also as a PDF, an HTML or MHT page, an RFT file, bot XLS and XLSX file, a flat CSV or Text file or even an image file. 

There is so much more to this new environment that we can’t possible cover in a single communication and to be honest, we know that the best reports that will come from this new system will probably come from the inventiveness of our own clients. You can see the new TimeControl Report Interface in action on the site in our Online Lessons area or contact HMS to have us show you how these new reporting capabilities extends TimeControl’s reach in the market.

To find out more about TimeControl’s reports, visit or contact HMS at

What’s new in TimeControl 6.5

TimeControl 6.5 is now available and it represents a major evolution of TimeControl since 6.4.  Aside from HMS Software’s ongoing work to migrate administrative functionality away from ActiveX controls and our improving TimeControl’s ability to allow Administrators to use multiple devices and browsers to access and administer the system, HMS has added a major new reporting-writing engine, a completely new link option for linking to our new alliance partner Hard Dollar’s HD project cost and estimating system and significant improvements in both performance and other functionality.  These notes reflect updates in TimeControl since version 6.4.4. 
To see full size images of the screen shots here, just click on the image.
An all new report writer
GraphicsReport_12Long known for its incredible flexibility, TimeControl now extends that philosophy to reporting with a new WYSIWYG reporting engine that allows both tabular and graphic reports, complete format control and even calculated fields.
The new TimeControl Report Designer is so extensive; we’ve only just scratched the surface of its capabilities.  Users will be able to quickly create TimeControl reports by just dragging and dropping fields into the layout and, once they have been designed, reports can be displayed on almost any browser including even tablets and Smartphones.
Administrators can create new tabular or graphics reports and can group and summarize at will using the new TimeControl Report Designer.  NewReport_ReportDesigner_ProjectTable PreviewThe designer also allows things that TimeControl users have asked about including complete font control element, by element, the ability to add logos, images, shapes and control colors, the ability to conditionally change formatting (for example, displaying negative numbers in red), and even the ability to add calculated fields.
Once created, the new reports are displayed in TimeControl’s multi-browser architecture which means they are able to be displayed on many different pc browsers and devices.
In addition to being able to save data in an Excel format, just as the old report writer did, Users can also save data in PDF, XML, JPG and a variety of other formats.  The new TimeControl Report Designer comes with a new 230 page Guide which will help you learn your way around the new functionality.
For those who are now hyperventilating, thinking of all the investment in your existing TimeControl reports, don’t worry.  We are maintaining support for both report writers for the foreseeable future.
New Dashboards
Dashboard_PieChart_2We’ve done a complete rewriter of the TimeControl Dashboard creator in our multi-browser architecture and even added a brand-new pie-chart type.  You’ll now be able to create or update Dashboards for the system or for users in any browser or device.  TimeControl’s support to display dashboards in any browser or device remains unchanged. 
Updated System PreferencesSysPrefs_GeneralTabWe’ve rewritten System Preferences within our multi-browser architecture and that means Administrators for the most part can update settings for TimeControl from any device or browser without requiring an ActiveX installation.  The new updates have been improved not only for look and feel but also for ease of use and effectiveness.

Updated Validation RulesValidationRuleWe’ve rewritten the Validation Rule creator to allow you to use any browser of device and be much more effective working through adding or editing a business validation rule.

All new Manage LanguagesThe multi-lingual module of TimeControl has been rewritten into TimeControl’s multi-browser Manage_Languages_2_Grouped_by_Categoryarchitecture and while doing so we’ve improved not only the look and feel but also the find, replace and pilot grouping capabilities similar to the Drill Down Analyzer that will make managing multiple languages in TimeControl much more effective.  The function will no longer require an ActiveX to load which means you can use this function in any browser, pc or tablet device.

Manage External Tables
Manage_External_Tables_Manage_Links_ShortTimeControl 6.5 moves the Manage External Tables module to TimeControl’s multi-browser architecture and will make linking to external pop up lists and other external data much easier.  The function will no longer require an ActiveX to load which means you can use this function in any browser, pc or tablet device.

Updated LinksIF_ProjectServerWe have completely rewritten the Links modules with an update to the Interface Definition, the Connection Pool and other linking functionality which will serve to improve TimeControl’s already extraordinary ability to link to project management tools

All new Hard Dollar link
HD-TCi-HD_LinkThis version of TimeControl showcases our newest Strategic Alliance Partner, Hard Dollar.  Hard Dollar’s HD project estimating and cost control system is one of the premiere cost control packages in the world.  We have worked directly with the Hard Dollar development team to create a link to and from TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial so that users who do field data collection of labor, material, equipment and production values with TimeControl can have that data integrated with Hard Dollar. 
Link both Hard Dollar and PrimaveraOur link with Hard Dollar’s HD required a different kind of thinking that previous links because tc_hd_p6we wanted to support a simultaneous link with project scheduling software such as Oracle-Primavera’s P6.  TimeControl and TimeControl Industrial 6.5 can integrate with P6 and HD at the same time, making this combination a uniquely powerful project cost control environment.  Create the Project in HD, track the progress in TimeControl or TimeControl Industrial, plan and manage the project in Primavera and all 3 products are kept up to date.
If you are a TimeControl client with a current support and maintenance contract, you can download TimeControl 6.5 today at  If you would like a demonstration of TimeControl 6.5 or to discuss the status of your support and maintenance contract, please contact

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

New white paper on Time & Billing

Time_and_billing_wp We have a brand new white paper to add to our collection entitled, Using TimeControl 6 for Time-and-Billing.  This 25-page document is just loaded with useful information whether you have purchased TimeControl or are still in the evaluation process. 

This white paper describes how to configure TimeControl for Time and Billing. While there may be many possible configurations for Time and Billing that TimeControl would support, this simple design covers all the basics including project-based per-employee rates, projects grouped by client, summary and detailed reporting and exports for Finance and Billing.

For more information on using TimeControl for time and billing, visit the Time & Billing Solution Page on the website or click here to go directly to the white paper.

Selecting TimeControl for Online or On-premises

online_vs_onpremisesWith TimeControl now available to be purchased for on-premises installation and for subscription to our TimeControlOnline hosted timesheet service, there is a choice to make.  Here at HMS we’ve been asked recently “Which is better – Hosted or Purchased?” and the answer isn’t obvious. Whether you subscribe to TimeControlOnline or purchase TimeControl to install on your own servers, there’s lots of great functionality including:

  • Multi-browser easy to use interface
  • TimeControl mobile smartphone interface
  • Links to project management systems like MS Project
  • Links to ERP/Finance, Payroll and HR systems
  • Matrix Approvals
  • Automated Validation Rules
  • Extensive Reporting
  • Vacation approvals
  • Email notifications
  • Multi-lingual functionality

But there specific advantages for both subscribing or installing so we’ve put together some resources that we hope you’ll find useful on our Timesheet Buyer’s Guide solution portal including:

A short webcast by our President, Chris Vandersluis comparing the differences of purchasing TimeControl vs. subscribing to TimeControlOnline along with some basic questions you can ask yourself to see which path is optimal for you. Read more…

A PowerPoint slideshow that is used in the webcast.   Read more…

A 4-page factsheet entitled Online vs. On-premises which puts side-by-side comparison of the different options available with both products.  Read more…

Timesheet Buyer’s Guide
This solution portal contains numerous resources other than those we’ve listed here on how to select a timesheet for your needs and how TimeControl might apply to those requirements.  See more at

Being more effective with TimeControl

TimesavingTipsWe confess that here at HMS, there are some people who actually have happy dreams about timesheets… but then we don’t expect that of normal people!

The truth is, no one likes having to do a timesheet at the end of the day or the end of the week when you’d like nothing better than to be in your car on your way home so we put our heads together to see if there were ways we could share that would save a minute here and a minute there on doing your Timesheet.  Here are the top 8 of our favorite tips on saving time when using TimeControl:

  1. Make a timesheet icon on your desktop
  2. Set tab defaults for the home page
  3. Copy last week
  4. Personal preloads
  5. Resource preloads
  6. Set defaults for Rates and Projects
  7. Hide fields you don’t use
  8. Click Append or Insert rather than Save and then Append

We’ve made a webcast showing how to implement each of these 8 tips called Timesaving Tips in TimeControl.  We hope you like it.  You can find this webcast and other great lessons in the TimeControl Online Learning Center.

TimeControl is your SharePoint timesheet

Did you know that TimeControl can be deployed right inside the SharePoint interface? For organizations that have adopted the Microsoft SharePoint environment as their Intranet or Corporate Portal software,  TimeControl is the perfect fit because it allows end-users to enter their time in TimeControl without ever leaving SharePoint. 

SharePoint is a  powerful collaboration environment which is used by over 85 million people around the world.  TimeControl is one of the first timesheets anywhere to completely support the SharePoint interface (versions 2003, 2007 and 2010) and provide SharePoint end-users with an uninterrupted user experience!

The following video-presentation shows how you can integrate your TimeControl 6 environment with SharePoint in a couple of ways. First, the demonstration in this webcast shows TimeControl provisioned into a SharePoint worksite. The webcast also shows how SharePoint lists can be saved so they can be imported and implemented right into TimeControl and then shows a timesheet with those SharePoint tasks available as charges on an employee’s timesheet.

To find out more about how TimeControl can be implemented within SharePoint, consult our TimeControl and SharePoint Solution page.

If you are interested in extending your collaborative experience by adding Microsoft Project to the TimeControl / SharePoint mix, be sure to also visit the TimeControl, SharePoint, Microsoft Project Solution Portal.

Free Solution Portal: Collaborative Project Management

HMS Software has released a new solution area for those who wish to create a collaborative project management environment and who have already adopted SharePoint for their collaboration platform and Microsoft Project desktop as their scheduling tool. This portal contains numerous resources showing how to link TimeControl, Microsoft Project and SharePoint.

clip_image001The combination of SharePoint and Microsoft Project desktop already gives much of the functionality that a collaborative project environment requires. The combination of functionality allows for planning, scheduling, issue tracking, team communications, document management and more. There is, however, a gap when it comes to tracking tasks as they move forward:


HMS Software’s TimeControl is already integrated with both Microsoft Project desktop and SharePoint. TimeControl’s integration with Project dates back to 1995 making it one of the longest standing relationships with Project in the world. TimeControl’s interface can also be provisioned directly into a SharePoint site. The product’s design has catered to this functionality since SharePoint 2002. TimeControl also integrates with Microsoft Project Server for those organizations which eventually graduate to Microsoft’s EPM solution.

This new solution area on the website contains numerous resources that showcases TimeControl working with both SharePoint and Project.

Resources on the website include Webcasts, Factsheets, PowerPoint presentations, a White Paper, screen shots, and links to other online resources. There is even a link to the free TimeControl Hosted Trial site.

The new TimeControl Solution Portal is available for free at:

We’ve updated our Free Hosted TimeControl timesheet trial site

We’ve made some changes to the free TimeControl timesheet Trial site that we think will make trying our timesheet system that much easier.  First of all, the dashboard on the main page has been updated to show some readily accessible online learning resources such as the TimeControl Online Learning Center.  We’ve updated some of the data and the flow of the system once new users log in to make it more intuitive.
The biggest news though is the new Evaluation Guide that guides a user through basic functionality of the hosted trial from the registration right through adding a timesheet, adding a vacation request using TimeRequest and doing some reports click-by-click.  Now anyone who wants to see just how easy TimeControl is to use can be guided through those steps screen by screen.  The Evaluation Guide was based on the hosted trial site itself and describes what the user should see at every step and where to click or type next in order to put TimeControl through its paces. 
The TimeControl trial site has its data refreshed nightly but users who register for the system will have access to it for 2 weeks.  There are no restrictions on functionality though users are cautioned not to upload any information that is confidential or sensitive as the data is open-access.  There is no cost to users to access the Free TimeControl timesheet trial.
To see the new Free Hosted TimeControl Trial Evaluation Guide, click here.
To access the updated Free Hosted TimeControl Trial, click here.
To visit the TimeControl Buyer’s Guide where there are numerous resources for evaluating timesheets, click here.