Thursday, April 1, 2010

Time Clock Software Logs

End users tend to dismiss warning and error dialogs much too quickly, which means important troubleshooting data is lost, or the problem is compounded by an inadequate or inappropriate response. Recording system alerts, warnings, and errors is an important part of any time and attendance software program. Your time clock software should provide logging for four very important reasons.

  • Accountability - Time clock software logs can help identify what users are associated with certain events, like timecard modifications.
  • Reconstruction - Time clock software logs can be reviewed to determine what was happening both before and during an event, like troubleshooting dropped network time clock connections.
  • Intrusion Detection - Time clock software logs can be used to detect unusual or unauthorized events and when they occurred, like when global security settings are accessed.
  • Problem Detection - Time clock software logs can be used to help identify problems that need to be addressed, like failed time clock database backups.

Virtual TimeClock accomplishes these important logging functions by recording alerts, messages, errors, and lots of other information in four different logs depending on the context.

Audit Logs - Virtual TimeClock software records modifications to timecards, manual timecard entries, when global and local security is disabled or enabled, when payroll periods are closed, when certain reports are viewed, and lots of other information. We've written an article that provides an example of what kinds of details are recorded by the audit logs.

Backup Logs - Virtual TimeClock software records the success or failure status of both manual and scheduled backups, as well as the date and time of your next scheduled backup.

Error Logs - Virtual TimeClock error logs may help in determining the events surrounding an unexpected program termination or other uncharacteristic program behavior. A problem with your time and attendance software is usually related to some other event like a hardware crash, an automatic system update, the installation of antivirus software, or the replacement of a printer or other peripheral device.

Information Logs - Virtual TimeClock information logs record general information related to program launch, operating system, and network connections.

As you can see, the Virtual TimeClock software program logs provide a wealth of information for documenting what's happened or changed with your time clock software. You can also export your program logs directly to your desktop for further analysis with a text editor. Your program logs can be accessed from the Tools menu in Virtual TimeClock Pro, or by clicking the Logs toolbar icon in the Virtual TimeClock Server.

Jeff Morrow

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