Tag Archives: TimeControl Reporting

Migrating a Legacy Report into the Drill Down Analyzer

Clients who have used earlier versions of TimeControl and who created reports in the Legacy report writer in Formula1 spreadsheet format, may be interested in how to migrate these reports into TimeControl’s Drill Down Analyzer.

For those who were working with Legacy reports in the past and have now upgraded to TimeControl 8.4 either online or on-premise, this is the only way to get access to those reports.  For those who are considering upgrading to TimeControl 8.4 or higher in the future, this is something to look at in preparation for the move up.

The legacy Formula1 report generator showed reports in a spreadsheet like format.  The Drill Down Analyzer does this also.  This information is also in the TimeControl Reference Guide in the Drill Down Analyzer section.

Migrating a Legacy Report

First, locate one of these reports in the Report Table.

When a legacy report is selected, at the top of the screen, the Copy function will have an arrow appear on it that indicates there are other options besides just copying the report.

Hover your mouse over the Copy function and an option to Convert the report will appear.  Clicking on this will have the report be copied in DRILL format.

The report is now available in the Drill Down Analyzer as a View.  Going to the Drill Down Analyzer, selecting this View and Loading the data will make the legacy report definition’s data re-appear.

Now all the features of the Drill Down Analyzer are available for this View.  You can group data by just grabbing a column header to the summarize area above it, you can filter the data as you load it.  You can even export this view directly to Excel or elsewhere using the Export feature.  The original report definition is not deleted automatically in case you wish to copy the report more than once for other purposes.  In versions 8.4 and later of TimeControl however, the legacy report viewer is no longer included.

FAQ: TimeControl Reporting options

Question: What kind of reporting is available from TimeControl?

Answer: You have several options for TimeControl reporting thanks, in part, to its long legacy.  Let’s take the options in order of preference.

Report Interface

The first and most popular reporting tool in the system is the TimeControl Report Interface.  This What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) report tool allows you edit existing example reports supplied with TimeControlUnposted Project_Employee Hours_300x294 or create your own reports from scratch.  It includes numerous abilities including being able to mix charts and table views, customizing fonts, logos, headers and footers, adding calculated fields and being able to sort, group, sub-group, total and, sub-total the data and even a dynamic pivot table view.

Once a report is created, it can be secured so that the report format is only visible to those who have permission for it.  Inside the report, TimeControl security is still in place down to the field level.  Even if a user has been given access to a report format that has a field in the format that the end user is not supposed to see, that field will become blank thanks to TimeControl Security.

At runtime, the data for the report can be selected according to available filters including TimeControl Dynamic Filters which ask for input at runtime.  For example, you might want to impost a date range for the report and you can do that by creating a Dynamic Filter that allows the user to enter the start and end date of the range at the time the report is executed.

The report interface is built in TimeControl’s multi-device, multi-browser architecture so it can be run from your PC in almost any browser, on your tablet or on your phone.  Once your report is on the screen, you can elect to print it or save it in one of numerous formats including PDF, Excel, CSV, Word, JPG and more.

Whew!  That should be enough, isn’t it?  Well it is of course, but you have other options as well.

The Drill Down Analyzer

This module is popular with Administrators because it allows tremendous flexibility in making data queries.  DDA_3_300x233Using the Drill Down Analyzer presents a selected amount of data which can be a small selection or a massive selection into a simple list. But, just like an Excel Pivot table, you can then drag a column header to the top of the screen and the data instantly reorganizes into sub-groups and sub-totals by that column.  Drag another column and another level of sub-grouping and sub-totaling appears.  It has to be seen to be fully appreciated (which you can do on the TimeControl.com Online Lessons page).

Using the Drill-Down Analyzer, you can answer a question like “how many hours did we spend on unbillable meetings last month) in seconds.

Once you have a view of the data you like, you can immediately save the data in PDF, Word, JPG or other formats or save it directly into Excel to do further analysis or reporting from there.

The Legacy Report Writer

tc_legacy_reportFor users of TimeControl prior to version 6, they will be familiar with the spreadsheet-like reporting tool based on a FormulaOne component that was automatically installed by TimeControl.  Using this ActiveX control, you can organize your selection of TimeControl data into groupings, sub-totals and totals and then either print it directly or save the result into Excel for further reporting.  The Legacy  Report Writer is not viewed by default in new TimeControl systems.  It is visible in the Legacy menu area as it will be most attractive for clients who have created many reporting views in that report writer and wish to keep using them while they create new reports in the TimeControl Report Interface.

TimeControl Links

TimeControl’s Link menu includes a Table Export function which allows exporting TimeControl data with a virtually unlimited selection into numerous formats including Excel and XML.  When data is exported into XML, you can optionally attach an XML Stylesheet which can condition the view of the data to include an incredible variety of effects to make your own reporting view that is saved right into your browser in XML and from where it can be printed.

Whichever your preference TimeControl’s remarkable flexibility in reporting has you covered.

You can find out more about TimeControl reporting at TimeControl.com.

FAQ: Can we get access to TimeControl’s database to use with our reporting tools?

reporting_charts_300x200Absolutely. If you have installed TimeControl on premises, we publish the database schema design so that if you have the appropriate rights from your IT department, you can link directly to the database. We do not encrypt most of the data with the exception of authentication information. TimeControl does, however, include its own WYSIWYG report writer with extensive functionality. The TimeControl Report Designer includes capabilities to make both graphical and text-based reports, to save reports into PDF, Excel, JPG and other formats and to mix and match report formats within the same page. In addition you can control fonts, headers, footers, grouping, summarizing and even create formula fields. But if your heart is set on using another commercial reporting tool, then have the IT department give you read-only access to the data and you’re ready to go.  If you are using TimeControlOnline, you can also download a complete data backup in MySQL format every week and again use your own reporting or analytical tools on the data.

You can find out more about TimeControl’s internal reporting functionality on the TimeControl website at: www.timecontrol.com/features/reporting.