November 1, 2003
2. Exchange: Update OpenAir projects from changes made in Microsoft® Project; import Microsoft® Project task into existing OpenAir project; select an OpenAir project stage during import.
For users of Microsoft® Project, we have enhanced our Projects Connector to make data exchange with OpenAir projects more flexible. First, you can now update OpenAir projects from changes made in Microsoft Project. This enables project managers to modify tasks, phases, assignments, start dates etc. in Microsoft® Project and update the project in OpenAir by running the OpenAir Projects Connector. Note that under this feature, which can be selected on a project-by-project basis, the project manager can still collect hours worked, approved, billed, etc. in OpenAir but cannot edit the tasks, phases and assignments in OpenAir; these fields will be locked for editing online. To enable this feature for a particular project, create the project in Microsoft® Project. Open the Project Connector and select to import a project into OpenAir. Specify the project and client, and map Microsoft® Project resources to OpenAir users. Upon clicking the button to finish the import, you will be presented with a dialog that says: “Would you like to be able to update this project in the future from the changes you make to the Microsoft Project file? If yes, you will not be able to modify it online.” Click Yes to modify the project in Microsoft® Project and lock it in OpenAir; click No if you wish to edit the project in OpenAir online.
A second enhancement to the Projects Connector allows you to import a task from Microsoft® Project into an existing OpenAir project. When you open the OpenAir Projects Connector, select the radio button “Import Microsoft Project file into OpenAir Projects module”, then check the box “Import to existing OpenAir projects”. The OpenAir project must be either empty (that is, it must have no phases or tasks already created) or it must be locked (as described in the preceding paragraph).
Finally, if you use project stages in OpenAir, you can specify the project stage when importing a project into OpenAir from Microsoft® Project using the Projects Connector.
3. Timesheets: Copy defaults when creating new timesheet; display gap hours on timesheet report; enhanced copy feature for monthly and semi-monthly timesheets; require description on timesheet entries; bulk rejection of timesheets; submit timesheets with zero hours.
Several enhancements to the Timesheets module this month will permit easier data entry for end users, and provide more feedback to them and to their managers on hours worked and task assignments. First, a new setting allows users to copy defaults from their most recent timesheet when creating a new timesheet. When users create a new timesheet, the defaults for time type, customer: project, service/activity, and overlapping timesheets will be entered automatically in the new timesheet. If the user is copying a timesheet from another timesheet, the "change hours" value will also be remembered from the last timesheet. To turn this feature on, administrators navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Timesheets options. Check the box "Remember the last used 'new timesheet' form settings" and save.
Second, the timesheet report layout has a new option to display a summary of tasks assigned to the user and gap hours on each assigned task. As described in Section 1 above, gap hours are planned hours minus worked hours. If this feature is turned on, both the user and the approvers of the timesheet get an immediate read on the status of each task on which the employee worked during that timesheet period, in that they can see at a glance how many of the hours planned for the task have not yet been worked to date. To display this field on the timesheet report, administrators navigate to Timesheets > Options > Timesheet report layout. Check the box to "Show gap hour summary by task" and save.
Third, for companies that use semi-monthly or monthly timesheets, we have enhanced the “create timesheet from another timesheet” feature so that the system will shift the hours worked to the appropriate days on the new timesheet. To take advantage of this feature, the user checks the box "Shift the hours so that the days of the week match-up", when copying a timesheet from another timesheet.
Fourth, administrators can now require users to provide a description on time entries in timesheets. If this feature is enabled, the user will not be able to save the timesheet without entering a description for every time entry, by clicking the blue dot to the right of time cell. The approver is relieved of having to reject a timesheet that doesn’t have a description for each time entry. This description entered by the user can be displayed on the timesheet report itself or reviewed in the time entry detail report (Reports > Detail > Timesheets > Time entries). To enable this feature, navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Timesheets options. Check the box "Require a description on time entries" and save.
A fifth new feature allows an approver to reject timesheets in bulk. To reject timesheets in bulk, the approver navigates to the Timesheets > Submitted sub-tab and clicks the “Waiting my Approval” link. Check the boxes for the timesheets to be rejected, and click on the circling arrows “run” icon. In the window that pops up, select “Reject the selected timesheets” (there is also an option for bulk approval). You must enter a rejection reason, which will be applied to all timesheets rejected.
Finally, this month, we’ve added a feature that allows users to submit a timesheet with no hours. To enable this feature, administrators navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Timesheet options. Check the box "Allow empty timesheets" and save.
4. Expenses: Default currency for new envelopes.
In multi-currency accounts, the currency for a new envelope now defaults to the currency of the prior envelope created by the user. Previously, the new envelope defaulted to the base currency of the account.
5. Administrative: Historical job codes for users and generic resources.
Support for historical job codes has been added in this month’s release. Job codes represent general positions for which an internal cost can be established, and to which billing rates can be assigned in rate cards, which are then used in project estimating and billing. Up until now, a user or generic resource could be associated with only one job code. Reporting on past periods would be based on the user’s current job code. The addition of historical job codes means that reporting on costs and income in project estimating, billing and financial analysis will be more accurate: the job code cost and hourly rates may change depending on the user’s job code at the time the work was done. To enter historical job codes, administrators navigate to the Account tab. Select a user ID or a generic resource ID, and click the Job Code link. Enter a current job code, any historical job codes with start/end dates, and save.
6. Reports: Generic resources in account-wide summary and task assignment detail reports; splits and gap hours in project task detail report.
We have also made a few additions to OpenAir’s reporting capabilities this month.
When running account-wide summary reports on bookings, schedules or project task assignments, if a generic resource has transactions, you can include the hours in the results. The generic resource will be available for subtotaling, filtering and detail field display as well.
Generic resources are also now included in the task assignment detail report (Reports > Detail > Projects > Task assignments).
Data on split tasks and gap hours (as described in Section 1, above) can now be displayed on the project task detail report (Reports > Detail > Projects > Tasks).
7. Would you like to see previous OpenAir 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 email@example.com 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.