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Changes and Improvements in Timekeeper 97

15 November 2000

This document describes the extensive changes to Timekeeper released as Timekeeper 97 version 1.35 in November 2000. This is a major upgrade from Timekeeper version 0.81. Some users have versions from 1.3 to 1.36. The changes and bug fixes to these versions are described in Version 1.35 Changes and Version 1.36 Changes. There were versions from 1.1 up to 1.3 but they were quite experimental and are only covered here.

Changes Made to the Program

Member Form

A Member eMail address was added.

A Census Track number was added. A census track number is required to be a number like 24.3.

Member Balance was removed from this form and moved to the Member Passbook form. This was done because the balance is now computed and not saved. The Balance can no longer get out of synchronization with the transactions.

Organization Form

An Organization eMail address was added.

Balance was moved to the Passbook form.

Mailing Address Form

The Mailing Address Form holds additional addressing information for Members and Organizations.

A web page address was added. This would most likely be used for Organizations.

A pager number was added.

Site Form

A Site Phone number was added.

Change Services Form

Now allows a Member to both need and provide the same service.

Make Reports Form

Member Phones and eMail report was added.

Services with Providers report was added. This report lists services and for each service gives all members providing the service. There is an option so it can list instead all members needing a service.

Match Provider Form

Same Census Track is now an option for a match.

Assignment Form

Accumulated credits are now computed from the transactions. This required a new field in transactions to link them to assignments. There is a function in the Utility to create this link for transactions entered before version 1.1. This function may not always identify the assignment so some accumulated credits may disappear from some old assignments. This has no impact on the member passbooks.

Internal Changes

Timekeeper 97 was created using Access 97. All Timekeepers before version 1.1 were created using Access 2.0. This means that Timekeeper 97 can not be used on a Windows 3.1 system.

Because of the change to Access 97, Timekeeper 97 is Y2K compliant. Data for the year 2000 entered into the Timekeepers before 1.1 which were not Y2K compliant was often entered as 00 and recorded as 1900. This data will show up as 1900 when converted to Timekeeper 97. There is a function in the Utility which will change all 1900 dates to the corresponding date in 2000.

Many changes were made so that Timekeeper 97 will operate correctly when several users are sharing a single Timekeeper database over a LAN.

In order to minimize the frequency of changes to records and therefore the chance that two users will try to change a record at the same time, member balance was removed from the member record and accumulated credits was removed from the assignment record. These are now computed from the transactions. Since transaction records are often added but rarely changed, entering transaction data does not create conflicts between users.

The primary keys of records were changed from incrementing to random autonumbers. This was done in case someone wants to use database replication with Timekeeper. With luck no one should see any consequence of this change.

Changes Made to the Utility

Timekeeper 97 Utility was created using Access 97. All Timekeepers before 1.1 were created using Access 2.0. This means that Timekeeper 97 can not be used on a Windows 3.1 system

When the Timekeeper Utility makes changes in the database it takes exclusive control of the database and will lock out all other users who might be trying to use the database at the same time.

The Custom Maintenance form was eliminated and the Maintenance form was extended to show the location of the database and program. If the database and program are found in their default locations then this part of the form is not visible.

A customization function was introduced to create variants of the basic Timekeeper program. See Timekeeper customization for more information.

More functions to were introduced to fix problems in the data and all the fix data functions were grouped onto one fix data form. The most important of these fixes is one to change the 1900 dates entered as a result of the Y2K problems of the previous Timekeepers. See repairing Timekeeper data for information.

A method for introduced for assigning different 4 character Identifier prefixes to each client in a multi-client Timekeeper intstallation. This is probably only of interest if someone wants to try to use database replication with a multi-client installation. It is not needed even for a multi-client LAN installation.

Changes to the Database Version

The database version has been changed to 1.3. Fields have been added to several tables as described in the previous paragraphs about the Program. The balance field in the Member table and the accumulated credits field in the Assignment table have been removed. They were replaced by values calculated from the transaction records. Other fields and a table have been added in anticipation of having an Internet user interface to the Timekeeper data.

New file names and locations

The files used by Timekeeper have been renamed to use the longer file names of the newer Windows systems. See Timekeeper 97 Files for the new names. The Timekeeper files are normally installed in C:\Program Files\Timekeeper in keeping with the current installation conventions.

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