Timesheet and MS Outlook Integration

Published: 22nd December 2011
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Technology has advanced to such an extent that it is a major part of our daily activities. Bringing in a solution that is integrated to Outlook solves a major purpose of training time, user friendliness, technology adoption, setting controls and lesser cost for the organization. The Timesheet Input and MS Outlook Integration solution serves as a major solution to those who seek to capture time and other relevant details from MS Outlook and feed them to an external source. Various benefits that one can derive include creation, submission and tracking of Timesheets, up-to-date timesheet Reports, configure preferences, etc. Let us have a look at this integrated solution in detail for better understanding.

Most of us are so used to Outlook that the daily work comprises of Outlook interaction in each of our professional lives. Focusing on such an essential part of our work life, Binary Spectrum has successfully integrated Timesheets to MS Outlook so that users can track and complete their timesheets without parting from Outlook. Activity lists, access controls, client and project lists, summary reports etc are few of the managerial settings in the solution.

The feature provides MS Outlook 2010 centric users the opportunity to work with familiar tools and to move the project / time information from an outlook appointment to an existing timesheet of yours. Details like appointment, overtime hours, recurring data, etc that are created in MS Outlook is directly reflected in Timesheets as well. Various options are provided to the user to be able to send the Timesheet date daily or weekly, to choose between two display options for Add in Options, can create zero time appointment in the calendar on the current day and at the current time by using Start day and/or End day button in Calendar view, drag selection of cells and drop to another row, share the Timesheet with appointment recipients, etc to name a few. This functionality also helps users manage their scheduled and unscheduled activities through MS Outlook with such ease and manage an effective Work Breakdown Structure.

The solution is designed to benefit the following businesses:
• Global Businesses with multiple offices and distributed work force
• Large Construction Corporations
• Consulting Houses managing global projects and delivery centers

Some of the major benefits of using this integrated solution are as follows:
• Adheres to Microsoft Office System User Interface Design Guidelines as well as the Windows 7 Style guide.
• Integrated to MS Outlook
• Publish Timesheets to Client’s database with ease
• Provide secured access controls
• No cost for training involved
• User friendly and easily adaptable solution
• Auto syncs information to your Timesheets
• Options to change display, dynamic search, edit and track quickly
• Client’s Add-in can be installed on a standard user security and UAC on desktop configuration
• Security, validation, reliability and data integrity are ensured

The solution is architected to support localization. The solution is fully integrated to MS Outlook and enables client side trace login capabilities. In addition, the solution requires connection to the client’s database to be fully functional but shall also operate in disconnected mode with limited capacity i.e. User can create new appointments and could view and edit the data of those appointments in disconnected mode. Once connected this data will synchronized, validated and saved in client’s database. Besides user can open existing appointments and view/edit previously entered timesheet data. However, the deployment mechanism would incorporate the automatic installation of the .NET Framework, .NET Programmability support and Visual Studio Tools for Office runtime through external sources if not located in the user’s system. If the Timesheet add-in is installed on the client workstation, it shall attempt to connect to client’s database immediately upon opening Outlook. A successful connection shall be indicated in the tool bar.

The solution supports both online and offline timesheets. User can create new appointments and could view and edit the data of those appointments in disconnected mode. Overall, it serves as a centralized solution wherein users who are so captivated to using MS Outlook for their emails and tasks, this serves as an additional effective solution to manage their Timesheets through Outlook itself.

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