TimeControl is available both for installation on premise and for subscription in the cloud. We often get questions about integrating data from clients who are considering moving from an on premise environment to our TimeControl Online service. There’s a few things in this area that are important to know:
Imports and Exports
One of the easiest and most popular ways to move data between TimeControl and other corporate systems is to use the TimeControl import and export links. This functionality has been enhanced numerous times over the years and it works just as well in an on premise installation as in the cloud. TimeControl can consume a file for import (such as updated employees from new hires) on demand at any time. The file can be in Excel or CSV formats and you can use a pre-existing template to move the data in from your PC or wherever you access it at any time. If you want to schedule such imports, you can have the file be consumed directly from the TimeControl server. If you are on premise, this could possibly be in a shared network directory. If you are on premise or in the cloud, you can use encrypted secure FTP transfer protocols to locate the file and import it then send an email announcing if the file was imported successfully or if intervention is needed.
The same logic applies to data you wish to take from TimeControl and send elsewhere such as project invoicing details. You can have an export on demand at any time and save the data to your PC or anywhere you have access. You can also schedule the export to occur overnight or any kind of regular basis and if you are using TimeControl on premise, that might be a shared network location. If you are using the TimeControl Online service in the cloud, you could use encrypted secure FTP to transfer it to the FTP location of your choosing. This code is identical in both TimeControl Online and TimeControl on premise.
Links to Project Management
If you are using one of the many TimeControl links with popular project management systems, then you’ll find that most of these links work as they always did regardless of whether you are using TimeControl on premise or TimeControl Online. Links between TimeControl and a client-based project management system like Microsoft Project for the Desktop or Primavera Professional require an on-demand transfer because the project file you are interacting with is always at the project manager’s disposal. Their authentication into Microsoft Project or Primavera Professional has the link become active and data can be sent back and forth. In the case of Primavera Professional that means using a database to database link. In the case of Microsoft Project, it means going through the Microsoft Project desktop license to move the data.
If you are using the TimeControl Online service in the cloud, then there are several links where you have to choose the appropriate link to make sure that scheduled interfaces work properly. For a link between TimeControl and Project Server, you’ll need to use the Project Server link that goes through the Project Server web service. For a link between TimeControl Online Oracle Primavera’s EPPM, you have the choice of using a direct database-to-database link but that won’t be appropriate for most clients without making very specific security changes on your Primavera’s database server. The best link to use there will be the Web Services link that uses Primavera’s web service to move data in and out of the system.
Links via API
TimeControl’s ultimate integration is its bi-directional full service RESTful API. This programmable interface allows direct access to push data into TimeControl or pull data out for almost every table in the system. The API makes sure that requests through it won’t violate TimeControl’s referential integrity or any of the other database-based or configuration based rules but the API’s power is extensive. Not every client wants to put in the effort to write integration at the API level. Those that don’t are already going to be happy with scheduled imports and exports. Those who need to go further will appreciate how extensively the API has been designed.
Of course HMS is also ready to help create integrations by using combinations of these techniques as well as others. Feel free to contact us at TimeControl.com/contact if we can be of any help.