Tips & Tricks

Virtual TimeClock Tips & Tricks - May 2009

After a delightful spring, summer has arrived here in sunny central California. The heat is on with triple digit temperatures last weekend and an unseasonably warm Memorial Day weekend ahead of us. Before checking out for a long weekend of sun and fun, I wanted to share with you another hot new feature of our Virtual TimeClock ‘09 release.

You’ve heard a lot about the new Virtual TimeClock Server over the last several months. We’ve already told you about the faster SQL database engine and how it has been designed to run securely as a background service on your Microsoft Windows and Macintosh based servers. In this month’s ‘Tips & Tricks’ newsletter I want to spend some time introducing you to the new TimeClock Server Manager program that allows for quick and easy administration of the TimeClock Server.

Here’s an overview of each of the window panels you’ll find when you launch the new Virtual TimeClock Server ‘09:

Status
The Status panel provides you with a snapshot of information about your TimeClock Server, such as whether the Server is stopped or running, what ports the Server is communicating on, what database the Server is currently using, and the number of current TimeClock Client connections.

The Status panel provides a quick visual indicator to show whether each function is currently operational or not.
  • Daemon/Service – the Daemon status (Service status on Windows computers) indicates whether the TimeClock Server is currently running, stopped, or not installed. If the TimeClock Server is running, the version of the TimeClock Server will be displayed.
  • TCP – this is the IP address and port number the TimeClock Server is using for communicating with TimeClock Clients on your network.
  • UDP – this is the IP address and port number the TimeClock Server is using for auto-­‐discovery by TimeClock Clients on your local area network.
  • SQL – this is the name of the database file that the TimeClock Server is currently using.
  • Clients – the Clients status indicates the number of active TimeClock Client connections.

Here’s a quick Tip:
If you need to call us with a server question, first open your TimeClock Server Manager to the Status panel so we can help you quickly diagnose the current status of your server.

Configure

The Configure panel allows your network administrator to easily configure the network settings for your TimeClock Server.

  • Server Name – this is the name of the computer that the TimeClock Server is installed on.
  • Daemon/Service Startup – the startup method determines how the TimeClock Server is to be launched.

Launching at system boot ensures that your TimeClock Server will automatically launch and allow TimeClock Client connections shortly after a system shutdown or reboot.

  • Network Interface – This is the IP address of the network interface that the TimeClock Server is configured to use.
  • TCP Port – This is the TCP port that the TimeClock Server is configured to communicate on.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Virtual TimeClock uses TCP port 56777 and UDP port 56778 by default for network communications.

Database
The Database panel will allow you to create a new database, open an existing database, or change the location of your database folder. The Database panel also provides important details about the currently open database file, including when it was created, when it was last modified, and the size of the database.

Here’s a quick Tip:
Even though you can create and use multiple databases, only one database can be opened and used at a time.

Backup
We all know that backing up protects your data from hard disk failure, viruses, the<, or natural disaster. The Virtual TimeClock backup utility allows you to easily schedule a periodic or repeating backup. The backup utility will also compress your database for storage efficiency.

Here’s a quick Tip:
The date and time of the next scheduled backup will be displayed at the bo8om of the Backup panel.

Licenses
The licenses panel is where you go to enter your new license keys. Virtual TimeClock license keys are tied directly to your company information so the company name and address information must be entered exactly as was developed on your license email.

The Registered Clients section displays a list of the TimeClock Clients that have been registered by the TimeClock Server. The connection status of each TimeClock Client is displayed with a visual indicator.

Here’s a quick Tip:
If you move a TimeClock Client to a new computer, you may have to delete the old registered client in order to allow enough client licenses for the connection of the new one.

Logs

As the TimeClock Server runs and performs certain functions, it records information about the program, the operating system, and network communications. Much of this information is stored in the program logs.

  • Audit Logs – record modifications to timecards, when administrative functions are accessed, and any security overrides.
  • Backup Logs – record completion status of manual and scheduled backups.
  • Error Logs – record unexpected or uncharacteristic program behavior.
  • Information Logs – record general program and database connection information.

Here’s a quick Tip:
You can export your program logs directly to your desktop for further analysis, or easily send as an a8achment to technical support for advanced troubleshooting.

Security
Access to Virtual TimeClock Server can be password protected. This password is distinct from any user and password assignments created from a Virtual TimeClock Client.

Here’s a quick Tip:
You can contact Redcort Software technical support for help with circumventing a lost password. Next month we’ll explore some great new changes to the Report Writer.
Until next month,
Jeff Morrow

PS – We corrected a client connection issue that came up with Apple’s OS X 10.5.7 release in the middle of May. If you’re running the networked version of Virtual TimeClock on Macs under OS X .5 Leopard, you’ll want to update your TimeClock Server and TimeClock Clients to Release 2.1 found on our website at Time Clock Software Downloads.