Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - November 2006

There are no fishing stories or outdoor adventures this month. With the crisp fall air hinting of winter just around the corner, it’s been ‘all business’ at Redcort Software lately. We’re all very excited about our new Virtual TimeClock Pro 5.3 release. This month I want to share with you the new backup and restore features we’ve added to version 5.3.

Why should I be concerned about data backup?
Backing up protects your vital employee TimeClock data in case your computer experiences hard disk failure, viruses, employee vandalism, theft, flood, or fire. While it’s easy to think, ‘It’ll never happen to me’, every month we get support calls from customers who are in the midst of one of these very real disasters. Taking a few simple steps to protect your TimeClock data can mean the difference between minor inconvenience and major payroll hassles.

What if I’m already backing up some other way?
I hope you’re already backing up your TimeClock data. If so, here’s a couple of important questions I’d like you to consider:

1. How regularly are you backing up?
Unless the backup is fast and easy, it’s tempting to get out of the backup habit. In Virtual TimeClock Pro 5.3, backups can be done manually or scheduled to run automatically. Both are lightening fast and result in very small backup files since we utilize the latest compression techniques. We make it super easy to stay in the backup habit with small touches like automatically remembering your last backup type and location. Manual backups are as easy as selecting Backup from the File menu, clicking the Backup button, and waiting a few seconds for confirmation that the backup was successful.

2. Do you exit Virtual TimeClock before you backup?
Did you know that most backup software automatically skips all open files? If Virtual TimeClock Pro is running when your software backups occur, your open data file may never get backed up at all. We’ve had customers call in a panic because their Virtual TimeClock data is somehow ‘missing’ from their backup set. Unfortunately, the discovery that their backup software was skipping open files is often made too late.

Backups within Virtual TimeClock Pro 5.3 automatically take care of all these vital details for you. When you perform a backup, Virtual TimeClock Pro closes the open data file, shuts down the database engine, performs the data backup, and then restarts the database engine and reopens your data file for you. This all happens so quickly that a backup is hardly noticeable even on a very active Virtual TimeClock server that is maintaining hundreds of client TimeClock connections.

Here's a tip you may not have thought of: Use Virtual TimeClock Pro 5.3’s backup schedules to create a periodic backup file on your file server. Your regular server backup software will then successfully backup the data archive for you. In this way, you can leave Virtual TimeClock running and still get automated local and off-­site daily or weekly backups!

What else can I do with Backup & Restore?
One of our most frequently asked questions is how to move Virtual TimeClock to a new computer. The new backup and restore features make moving your Virtual TimeClock data to a new computer a breeze! All you need

to do is perform a quick backup on your original TimeClock computer, download and install Virtual TimeClock on your new computer, and then select Restore from the File menu on the new computer. Virtual TimeClock does all the work, effortlessly bringing all your data to the new TimeClock computer and even opening the file for you. The only other thing you’ll need to do is enter your license key on the new computer. If you don’t have your License key and registration instructions, drop me an email and I’ll send another copy.

5.3.1 Maintenance Release
In closing, I’d like to offer one final tip: On November 7, we posted Virtual TimeClock Pro maintenance release version 5.3.1. Make sure you’re using the latest release as it contains an optimization that ensures uninterrupted backups on all Microsoft Windows based computers. As always, you can get Virtual TimeClock Pro anytime from our web site.

Software download: Time Clock Software Downloads
Upgrade instructions: Time Clock Software Upgrades

Until next month,

Jeff Morrow