January 29, 2005
1. Dashboard: Display account data in graphical format; run saved reports from the dashboard; access calendars for other users; view work schedule on calendar.
OpenAir is pleased to introduce two new features to the dashboard: it now includes options to display account data in a graphical format, and to access resource calendars for multiple users. The dashboard now has three subtabs, titled Overview, Graphs and Calendars. The Overview subtab shows the information displayed on the current dashboard, such as account message board, reminders, user transactions and their status, etc. The new Graphs subtab allows administrators and users with the required role privileges to display graphs depicting billings by period, utilization (booked and historical), and revenue percentages by client, project and user. Access to the graphs subtab is controlled by a combination of the modules access and role reporting permissions for the user; data displayed in graphs respects the filter set of the user. Users who have the required access can configure their own personal layout of the graphs dashboard and select the graphs to display, by clicking the “Edit” link in the hints section at the bottom of the page. To change the parameters (title, time period, number of users/clients/projects to display), click on the graph itself. You can choose to display the same graph twice, with different parameters (for example, view billings by period in two graphs, one showing monthly data and the other showing quarterly data). Clicking the “Refresh” link in the hints or making a change in the graphs settings causes the graphs to regenerate (graphs are cached to enhance the speed of the dashboard display).
The Overview subtab of the dashboard now includes the option to display links to saved reports. Click "Add" in the Reports section at the bottom of the dashboard overview and select the report links to be displayed. Click a report link to run the report directly from the dashboard.
The Calendar subtab of the dashboard allows administrators and managers to view the calendar for any user in the account. This gives a quick and convenient way to check on whether a resource has already been scheduled or is available for booking or assignment on a particular day. To view other users’ calendars, a user must have the role privilege to “view calendars”. The new calendar view feature respects filter sets. Use the checkboxes at the top of the calendar to select values to be displayed. Available options are user’s bookings, schedule requests, project task assignments and work schedule (hours available and base hours). Select the calendar time frame from the dropdown on the upper left. Dropdowns on the upper right allow you to choose the user whose calendar is to be viewed and whether to view the calendar in a daily, weekly or monthly format.
The calendar view has also been enhanced this month to reflect the applicable work schedule for the user. Days with no available work schedule hours now have a gray background in monthly and weekly views (for example, weekends, company holidays, or approved schedule exceptions). If the day is normally a work day under the applicable account schedule, but a user has an approved schedule request/schedule exception, the background for the day is gray and the calendar displays a red dot with text “Work hours: 0(8)” to show available work hours and base work schedule hours. In the daily view of the calendar, days with schedule requests or schedule exceptions include a hyperlink to the full details of the request/exception.
2. Projects: Forecast income from bookings or assignments using rates from billing rules; allow selected users to modify locked projects; task grid enhancements; other Project enhancements.
The Projects module now features the ability to forecast income from bookings or assignments, using project-specific rates from billing rules. Previously, income forecasts were based on a default hourly rate for the user, and did not take into account project-specific rates. To take advantage of this new feature, administrators or users with the required privilege navigate to Projects > Options > TimeBill projections. The Status section of the form indicates when the projections were last run. In the Settings section, select whether projections are to be based on project task assignments or resource bookings, and enter a date range. You can run TimeBill projections on an ad-hoc basis or configure them to run automatically on a set schedule. Whenever projections are run, the data (on hours and money that would be generated from running of the billing rules) are updated based on the current bookings, assignments and billing rule rates. The results of timebill projections are available in all account-wide summary reports (with the exception of Vendor, Expense item and Cost center), and all project summary reports. To access these reports, please go to Reports > Summary > Account-wide | Projects. The new available values are “Projected hours [rules]” and “Projected billing [rules]”. In multi-currency accounts, there is a separate value (“Projects – Projected billing [rules] (currency name)”) for each base currency in the account. The former values (based on a default user billing rate and project task assigned hours) are still available as “Projects – Projected assignment billing [user rate]”. In addition, a new detail report provides information on individual projected timebill transactions from project billing rules. To access this report, please go to Reports > Detail > Projects > Timebill projections.
OpenAir provides an option when creating a project to restrict the right to modify the project to the project owner. Locking the project invests the owner with maximum control over project changes. Recently, we added an option to allow administrators to edit projects, even if locked. With this month’s release, we have added a further option so that an owner can designate one or more users as enabled to edit the project, even if locked. This feature can be helpful if the owner is unavailable, or if there are multiple users who share responsibility for managing the project. To enable the administrator override, or to allow multiple users to modify locked projects, please contact OpenAir support .
The task grid in the Projects module provides a convenient interface to view task settings or to make changes to multiple tasks without the need to open each task individually. The task grid has been enhanced this month with the ability to display task notes, calculated start and finish dates (shown as read only), and predecessor and assignment details. To enable the task grid, please contact OpenAir support . To configure the task grid, administrators and users with the required privilege go to Projects > Options > Task grid options. The task grid is available for project stages defined in My Account > Projects > Project stages > [select a project stage].
Other enhancements to the Projects module this month include:
In project time billing rules, you can associate a service with the time bill to be created when the rules are run if no service has been selected on the timesheet. With this month’s release, you can specify the selected service is to be used for all timebills created under the rule, in effect overriding any service that might have been entered on the timesheet. In Projects > Projects > [select a project] > Billing > [select a time billing rule]. In the “Other” section, select a service and check the radio button for the desired option (“Use the selected service if the time entry does not have a service” or “Always use the selected service”).
Bulk changes to revenue recognition transactions are now supported. To activate this feature, administrators (and those users with role privileges to edit recognition rules) click the “customize” link at the bottom of the revenue recognition transactions list. Move “Run an action” to the list of selected items on the right, and click OK. This displays a column of checkboxes in the transactions list. Check the boxes to select one or more transactions. To toggle the entire column of checkboxes on and off, click the icon at the top of the column. Click the circling arrows icon to run the action. Available choices are to delete or to change the date of the selected transactions. Select the action desired and click OK.
We have implemented some changes to the behavior of mutually exclusive projects. This feature is designed to allow administrators to designate certain projects as mutually exclusive, meaning that a user cannot be assigned to tasks on both projects (the feature applies only to task assignment, not to bookings). If the feature is enabled, the task edit form provides a link to over-ride the exclusion. With this month’s release, we have added a new user role, "Over-ride mutually exclusive task assignments”. Only users with this role privilege can over-ride exclusions. In addition, only the project owner of a project linked to another as mutually exclusive can remove the link. To enable the mutually exclusive projects feature, please contact OpenAir support .
3. Timesheets: Streamlined approval process; show non-work days on timesheets; “save and submit” timesheet; other Timesheets enhancements.
Timesheets approvers will find the process of approving multiple timesheets has been greatly streamlined with this release. We have added an "Approve and next" button to the timesheet report view. This enables approvers to review a timesheet, approve it from the same screen and advance to the next timesheet to be reviewed, saving numerous clicks. From the list of timesheets awaiting approval, click the first one on the list. This takes you to the timesheet report, with the new "Approve and next" button. The same functionality has been added to the expense approval process.
To help users track time more easily and accurately, we have added a few features to the Timesheets module this month. First, there are options to show that a particular day has been designated an exception in the company schedule, or that the user has an approved schedule request resulting in a schedule exception. If the options are enabled, the timesheet grid has a slightly different appearance for days that are non-work days. The column heading for the day is green and a footnote describing the schedule exception is displayed in the page hints.
To activate these features, there are two separate settings. To show exceptions from the associated account schedule only, administrators enable the setting “Display schedule exception information from the associated account workschedule of the timesheet user” in My Account > Company > Settings > Timesheets options. To show both exceptions from the associated account schedule and approved schedule requests for the individual user, administrators enable “'Display schedule exception information from the workschedule and associated account workschedule of the timesheet user”.
We have streamlined the process of submitting timesheets with the addition of a “Save and submit” option. Administrators check the box to “Enable the "Save and Submit" button on timesheets” in My Account > Company > Settings > Timesheets options. When a user enters time, s/he can click the “Save & Submit” button to process the timesheet with a single click.
Other enhancements to Timesheets include:
Users can set up a timesheet in advance with clients and projects alphabetically listed. The alpha order will be maintained, even if time is entered in some, but not all of the rows. To take advantage of this feature, administrators navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Timesheets options. Check the options “Preserve row ordering” and “Sort timesheets alphabetically by client and project”.
We have also added an option to timesheet submission rules, permitting exclusion of weekends from any required daily minimum number of hours. Timesheet rules are configured in Timesheets > Options > Timesheet rules. Check the box “Exclude weekends from the daily requirements”. This permits the user to submit a timesheet that includes some hours on the weekend, even if the weekend hours are fewer than the daily minimum required for weekdays.
On schedule requests, limit the user’s choices to assigned tasks. This also helps ensure accuracy of data entry. Administrators check the box “On schedule requests, show only customers and projects with open tasks assigned to the user” in My Account > Company > Settings > Timesheets options.
If you have enabled the feature to prohibit timesheet submission if time is logged to an inactive option, the error message presented when a user submits the timesheet has been enhanced to include the client name as well as the project name.
4. Invoices: Summarize timebills by period; retainer draw date; other Invoices enhancements.
In the Invoices module, we have added more flexibility to invoice presentation with a new option allowing you to roll up timebills/charges by month, week or day. In Invoices > Options > Invoice layouts, select a layout. In the section titled “Combine timebills”, select the period for timebill roll-up. You can also combine by rate and/or by user. For more information on timebill combinations, please see the online help in Invoices.
OpenAir’s retainer functionality has been extended to include a retainer draw date. The draw date defaults to the invoice date, but with this month’s release, the draw date can be changed by going to Invoices > Invoices > [select the invoice] > Edit. Enter the amount drawn, the draw date and save. The retainer activity report also reflects the draw date as entered in the invoice edit form.
Other enhancements to the Invoices module this month include:
For multi-currency accounts, the invoice currency is now available as a filterable column on the invoice list view and as a parameter in the advanced filter for invoices
The timebills list view has a new option to show the owner of the associated project. Use the “customize” link at the bottom of the list to display a filterable column with the project owner. The advanced filter also permits filtering the timebills list based on the project owner.
5. Administrative: Password expiration; share customized list views; default filter set for new users; make multiple selection custom field required.
We have added an option for password expiration. Administrators can select whether passwords expire and if so, on what schedule (1 week/15 days/1 month/2 months/3 months/6 months/1 year). Go to My Account > Company >Settings > Security settings > Password options.
Customized list views can now be shared and a specific role permission to customize list views has been added. This allows an administrator to configure the lists with particular data ordered as desired, and then to share these views using the bulk user change wizard. Users cannot change the customized shared views unless they have the role privilege to customize list views. To share customized list views, administrators navigate to the Dashboard > Overview tab.
Designate the default filter set for new users. Previously new users always defaulted to an all access filter set. Now, administrators can select a limited filter set as the default for new users. Go to My Account > Account data > Filter sets > [select filter set] > Edit. Check the box to make this filter set the default for new users and save.
Multiple selection fields can be made required. If this option is enabled, at least one of the available choices must be selected. To configure custom fields, navigate to My Account > Company > Custom fields.
6. Other module enhancements: Account-wide; Reporting; Workspaces; Expenses.
Throughout OpenAir, if the user’s session times out and s/he logs back in, the user is returned to his/her former place in the application.
In Reporting, a number of new features are available:
On summary reports, if you can show detail of clients or projects, you can also show detail of client owner and project owner.
On detail reports, if you can filter by client or project, you can also filter and report on client owner and project owner.
On detail reports with custom fields, you can filter by the custom field if it is of the dropdown type.
On the timebills detail report, you can show the cost center associated with individual timebills. Go to Reports > Detail > Invoices > Timebills. Click to edit the report layout, add cost center as a selected item and click “OK”.
On the user detail report, there are new filters for department and line manager. Go to Reports > Detail > Account-wide > Users.
In Workspaces, we have added a feature so that if a document’s file type is changed (for example, from .doc to .pdf) during the course of revisions, the correct application will be used to open the file when downloading revisions of the document.
In Resources, we have extended the booking request functionality so that bookings can be requested for deals (in the Opportunities module) in addition to projects. To enable this feature, administrators navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Resources options. Check the box “Enable deal booking requests” and save. Deal bookings are prospect: deal or customer: deal based, in contrast to resource bookings, which are customer: project based. Reporting on the two types of bookings is completely separate; currently only detail reporting is available for deal booking requests. Users need to have a role that includes the permission to create/view/modify bookings or to “view deal bookings requests for me”. To create a deal booking request, users navigate to Resources > Deal booking requests. Deal booking requests go through an approval process similar to the one for customer: project bookings; however, approved deal booking requests do not automatically create a deal or resource booking.
Also in Resources, a new option allows you to preface the subject line of booking notification emails with “OpenAir – “ to show the email relates to an OpenAir booking. Navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Resources options to enable this feature.
In Expenses, a streamlined approval process allows approvers to review the expense report, approve it from the same screen and advance to the next expense report to be approved, saving multiple clicks.
Also in Expenses, the precision on the conversion rate for foreign currency receipts has been increased to 9 decimal places.
7. Would you like to see previous OpenAir product updates?
Click here to browse previous product updates including all new features, modules and functionality.
8. Suggestions, problems or questions?
As always, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.367.1288 (outside the U.S. and Canada, call +1.617.351.0226). We pride ourselves on the outstanding care we give our customers. Please let us know how we can improve your experience with OpenAir.