Case Study: Time Card App

August 30, 2018
William

Recently HighPower Data Solutions completed a Time Card Application for a construction company. Here was the need: the capability for about 30 people to log in on their phones, and have those hours immediately linked into the main business application so that they could not only track payroll for each day, but also track the job costing of labor for each customer’s job. Additionally, the Time Card App (TCA) needed to allow them to indicate which Job they were doing, which Task for that Job, and whether they were performing it on-site in the Field, or in the Shop, or on Delivery. Plus if there was a Change Order, the TCA needed to also allow them to indicate that specialty.

Other requirements were for the home office to be able to:

  • view actual hours at any moment through the day
  • track overtime hours
  • have the FileMaker software smart enough to know when someone was working overtime
  • send a text-message to all workers on Thursday night to notify them of their current hours so far for the week
  • track their GPS location
  • keep the list of available check-in Jobs to be only the currently Active Jobs
  • keep the list of available employees whose names appear in the TCA to be just the currently Active Employees
  • keep the list of job Tasks which they can choose from the list to be just the currently Active Tasks
  • have the lists of all Jobs, Employees, Tasks refresh at midnight each day
  • send the current list of hours worked to the accountant as a CSV file directly from FileMaker

Plus, since they had over 30 employees, they did not want to have to pay the FileMaker licensing fees which would be required if we built an app using the Web Direct technology. So it had to be a web-based log-in system which would drop off the data at a specific URL for FileMaker to pick up and integrate into the system at any time.

So we created an integrated system using a web portal on the front-end, and FileMaker on the back end. Building the web portal required a combination of HTML and JavaScript attached to a Firebase server location. The data was delivered in JSON. From there, FileMaker picks it up each night at midnight, or whenever the home office clicks the ‘Track Hours’ button. Then using the new FM16 JSON manipulation features, FileMaker grabs it, parses it, and places it into each Job record so that the managers can do their job costing for each job.

The project was great fun as we combined many disparate technologies together into a powerful solution for the business.