Product Update

December 23, 2003

1. Projects: Create associated workspace when creating new project; synchronize workspace members with booked or assigned users; payroll type available in project billing transactions.

OpenAir’s Projects module integrates tightly with our Workspaces module. The Workspaces module allows users to create shared spaces for collaboration, which can then be linked to a particular project. The linked workspace affords the option to store project-related documents online where they can be easily accessed by resources assigned to the project. In our December release, we have added a couple of features that enhance this integration. First, when creating a new project in OpenAir, you can now create an associated workspace simultaneously. Check the box to “Create associated workspace” when creating a new project. The workspace will be created upon saving the project, with the project owner as workspace owner. You can quickly navigate to the new workspace from the new project by clicking the workspace icon (in the form of a folder and document) that appears to the right of the project name, below the Dashboard link.

A second new option lets you synchronize the workspace members with the list of assigned users. If the box “Synchronize the workspace users” in the Edit project form is checked, users who are booked or assigned to the project are automatically added to the list of workspace members and are given read/write access. When bookings or assignments are modified, deleted or added, the list of workspace members is automatically updated. A hint at the bottom of the project Edit screen provides a hyperlink to let you manually synchronize the workspace users. To enable this option, administrators navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Projects options. Check the box to "Enable workspace member synchronization" and Save. Please note that if the project has “synchronize the workspace users” checked, you would not be able to edit members for workspaces in the workspace Members form. The form would display a message that “ You do not have change permission for this form”.

A third new feature in the Projects module this month is the addition to project billing transactions of the payroll type from timesheet entries. We introduced payroll types in August 2003 as another attribute of worked hours; a timekeeper can indicate on the timesheet the state or tax location, for instance, where work has been performed. With this month’s release, when the timesheet entry is created as a project billing transaction by operation of the project billing rules, the resultant transaction also includes the payroll type, if any, as an attribute. The payroll type of the transaction can be displayed on the project billing transaction list view, by going to Projects > Projects > [select a project] > Billing > Project billing transactions. Click the customize link at the bottom of the screen. Add the payroll type to the list of selected items and click OK. The payroll type is also available as a field in the Project billing transactions detail report (Reports > Detail > Projects > Project billing transactions).


2. Reports: New values and filters in utilization reports; display charge/timebill total and difference in project billing transactions detail report; option to show predecessors on project task detail report.

We are introducing several reporting enhancements this month. First, there are three new values in utilization reports: “Percent booked utilization with actuals", "Percent booking availability with actuals", and “Percent assigned utilization with actuals”. These values allow resource managers to look at bookings/task assignments and availability, both past and projected, in a single report. The booked utilization value calculates the percentage of a user's work schedule time or base work schedule time that has been booked to projects. The booking availability value represents the percentage of a resource’s unbooked time. The assigned utilization value is based on project task assignments rather than bookings; it calculates the percentage of a user’s time that has been assigned to tasks in the Projects module. In calculating the numerator for these new values, as documented in the tips at the bottom of the report configuration and results screens, time entry data from timesheets is used for periods occurring before the current date, whereas booking/assignment data is used for periods including or after the current date. The denominator in all cases is schedule hours, with the option to choose either work schedule hours or base work schedule hours. The reports offering these values are in Reports > Advanced > Resources > Percent booked utilization with actuals | Percent booking availability with actuals | Percent assigned utilization with actuals, and Reports > Summary > Account-wide > Users.

Second, booking availability reports now support filtering by customer, project, booking type and project pricing approval status. This permits managers to see resource availability based on only hard bookings or on projects that have a particular approval status, for example. Availability is defined as 100 minus booked utilization. The numerator of the booked utilization value is calculated as bookings that pass whatever filters may be applied. The denominator is schedule hours (either work schedule hours or base work schedule hours). To view these reports, administrators and users with the requisite privilege navigate to Reports > Advanced > Resources > Percent booking availability | Percent booking availability with actuals, or Reports > Summary > Account-wide > Users.

Third, the booking availability reports referred to above can now be configured to respect the filter set of the user running the report, if desired. Currently, unlike most reports, the booking availability reports include data for all clients, projects, users and other entities, even if the user’s filter set would normally not give him/her access to this data. To turn on the option to conform booking availability reports to other reports, administrators navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Resources options. Check the box “Respect filter sets when generating availability reports” and Save.

A fourth enhancement is in the project billing transactions detail report, which now permits you to display the charge/timebill total and the difference between the charge/timebill and the project billing transaction, if any. This is useful, for example, if a manager has edited the charges/timebills created from the project billing transactions. It gives managers the ability to compare the raw monetary totals generated by the project billing rules with the actual amounts as modified (either marked up or down in the Invoices module) for billing. To run this report, administrators and users with the requisite privileges go to Reports > Detail > Projects > Project billing transactions. Configure the report as desired, including the fields Total, Charge/timebill total and Charge/timebill difference. Name, save and run the report.

Finally, task predecessors are now available as a field to display in the project task detail report. This provides a convenient way to find out which projects and tasks across the entire account may need to be edited to include predecessor tasks, so that workflow proceeds as desired. Administrators and those with the requisite reporting privileges can access this data by going to Reports > Detail > Projects > Tasks. Configure the report as desired, being sure to include in the layout the Predecessors field. Name, save and run the report.


3. Timesheets: Hide notes on printable timesheet report.

This month, we’ve added a new option to the timesheet report layout to let you suppress the time entry notes on the printable timesheet report. This provides convenient flexibility if you use the time entry notes fields for company-internal comments, but need to print out the timesheet report to give to a client for review. The new option lets you hide the notes on the printed version for the client, while leaving the notes field accessible in the screen view of the timesheet report, for both users and timesheet approvers. To turn on this feature, administrators and users with requisite role privilege navigate to Timesheets > Options > Timesheet report layout. Check the box “Hide the time entry notes on the printable view” and save.


4. Invoices: Show user in Change Charges/timebills form; time type and payroll type from timesheet associated with charges/timebills.

In the Invoices module this month, we have added a few new features. First, when modifying an invoice using the Change Charges/timebills link, the user associated with each charge/timebill is now displayed, making it easier to determine which charge/timebill you want to edit or remove. To enable this feature, administrators and those with requisite privilege navigate to Invoices > Options > Invoice options. Check the box to "Show the user name on the 'Change TimeBills' view" and Save. To access the feature, select an invoice and click the Change Charges/timebills link.

Second, time type and payroll type from timesheet entries are now associated with charges/timebills. When timesheet entries are made billable (whether manually, by auto-billing or by the operation of project billing rules), the charge/timebill that is created will include the payroll type and the time type, if any, from the timesheet entry. The time type can be displayed on the invoice; both time type and payroll type can be displayed in the charges/timebills list view, and are available for filtering in the advanced filter above the charges/timebills list. Both time type and payroll type are also available as fields in the Charges/timebills detail report and as detail fields in Charge/timebill summary reports.


5. Would you like to see previous OpenAir product updates?

Click here to browse previous product updates including all new features, modules and functionality.


6. Suggestions, problems or questions?

As always, please contact us at 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.