Bluetooth LE (Beacon, Pebble)

Let users decide HowTo track a Time:

  • Touch: Open TimeTracker APP and Start / Stop Times – there’s a QuickStart / QuickStop 1-2-3
  • Shortcuts: From Keyboard Devices (Q5, Q10, Passport) use Shortcuts to Start / Stop
  • NFC Tags: Tap your Phone on a NFC Tag to Start / Stop
  • Beacons: Automatic CheckIn by detected Location (InDoor)
  • Smartwatch: Start / Stop from your Pebble

Hint: Beacons and Pebble are in beta yet and will be available later this year

Beacons (In-Door CheckIn)

particle_large_trans-600x630

Particle iBeacon by KST

You want to track In-Door-Locations ? Automatically start a Time from location ? Entering a MeetingRoom and start: Working Time – Task Meeting ?

We’ll add Beacon – Support to do this: automatically start a new TimeTracker Event if Location sent by Beacons changed: you can decide if this is done by UUID, Major or Minor values.

Pebble

You like your Pebble Smartwatch ?

pebble_red

Service Employees are working at customer site and have to Start / Stop times. Why searching the phone, open the App and Start / Stop a Time while the SmartWatch is always reachable.

TimeTracker 2.x will allow you to start / stop times directly from your Pebble and also to see how much time spent on current work.  Pebble will also remind you to send Account Reports.

First prototype using Scripting Engine by BlackBerry 10 App Talk2Watch pro:

TalktowatchAndPebble

Start TimeTracker Script from Pebble, Start a Time and immediately get feedback from TimeTracker APP:

pebble_timetracker_1_3

Inside TimeTracker APP you’ll see which Times are tracked by Pebble:

TrackedByPebble

….. more information and a detailed blog article on this will follow …

work-in-progress

TimeTracker Permissions

permissions_timetracker

Location

Switch on if TimeTracker should track GPS Coordinates and / or Reverse Geocoding

Calendar

Switch on to get your Tracked Times automatically inserted into a Calendar and to get a Reminder if reports are due

Contacts

Switch on if you want to connect Contacts to tracked times to make it easy to call a customer, get the route etc

EMail and PIN Messages

Switch on to be able to send your Reports or Data as Mail

Notebooks

Switch on to enable connecting Notebook Entries to tracked times

Shared Files

Most of your data will be stored inside secure sandbox. Check Shared Files if you deal with Signature Files or you want to use BlackBerry Work Drives, Dropbox or Box to store Reports or Data

Device Identifying Information

TimeTracker needs your BlackBerry PIN if using Group or Enterprise Edition. Your Manager or IT Admin will identify you using the unique BlackBerry PIN.

Use Local Time

Always local time first

Tracking Times at Start or Stop:

Q5tz1

Timestamp is displayed in local time (17:23), TimeZone is +02:00 and it’s DST (sommertime) – visualized by the little sun.

… an easy-to-understand Page.

More Info on TimeZone

ca_world

Tapping on the World Icon more details become visible:

Q5tz2

Now details from current TimeZone are visible: Timezone is ‘Europe/Amsterdam‘, Offset is 2 hours from GMT: +02:00 and we can check that GMT is 15:23, where local time is 17:23

Tapping again on the World Icon hides the TimeZone – it’s a toggle.

Here’s the code from QML how this was done:

Container {
  id: tzToggleContainer
  property bool showTimeZone: false
  onShowTimeZoneChanged: {
      startTimeZoneData.visible = showTimeZone
  }
  layout: DockLayout {
  }
  ImageView {
      imageSource: "asset:///images/ca_world.png"
      scalingMethod: ScalingMethod.AspectFit
      horizontalAlignment: HorizontalAlignment.Right
      verticalAlignment: VerticalAlignment.Top
      gestureHandlers: [
          TapHandler {
              onTapped: {
                  tzToggleContainer.showTimeZone = ! tzToggleContainer.showTimeZone
              }
          }
      ]
  }
}

To get the ‘TAP’ on the Image a TapHandler was attached to the ImageView. In onTapped() the value of a custom property (bool showTimeZone) was toggled between true and false. This property is bound to the visible property of another Container: startTimeZoneData

QML makes it easy to connect Objects. This can be done by default properties (visible) or by adding custom properties (showTimeZone).

onShowTimeZoneChanged {} is automatically ‘generated’ by QML and I’m using this to set the visibility of another Container.

Hint: I’m not always using the ‘shortest’ way  to make the code easier to understand. In this case I could have done:

Container {
  id: startTimeZoneData
  visible: tzToggleContainer.showTimeZone
}

Now the knowledge what happenstapping on the ImageView isn’t immediately visible.

Change TimeZone

There can be situations where user has to change the TimeZone: perhaps he/she forgots to start tracking at beginning of travel or smartphone is not set to automatically use the TimeZone from current location.

To change the TimeZone simply tap on the Name (Europe/Amsterdam) and a list of Countries will be pushed on top.

First entry is the Current TimeZone detected from the Phone:

Q5tz3

Tap on a Country and the Timezone will be changed. All re-calculations of Date and Time are done under-the-hood. More details on TimeZone Support see Menu below.

Change Day and Time

If user has the permission to change the Time he/she simply taps on the Start Time and a new Page will be pushed on top allowing to change the Day and / or Time:

Q5tz4

You see: all is simple and easy for default workflow, complexity is hidden, but if there must be something changed it’s also easy to do.

More infos::

TimeZones

Supporting TimeZones is essential for mobile Business App TimeTracker.

ca_world

TimeTracker ‘knows’ some different kinds of  TimeZones:

  • current TimeZone detected from current Location
  • @Home TimeZone aka Company TimeZone
  • UTC / GMT TimeZone with Offset +00:00

By default the local TimeZone is visible for the User.

@Home / Company TimeZone is stored under User Settings.

UTC is always used by internal calculations.

As long as the TimeZone is the current TimeZone it’s easy to get by C++, because the TimeZone is available from CalendarService:

// .hpp
bb::pim::calendar::CalendarService mCalendarService;

// .cpp
QString ConnectedCalendar::currentCalendarTimeZone()
{
    return mCalendarService.settings().currentSystemTimezone();
}

There’s a list of all available TimeZones available deep inside BlackBerry 10. From Device Settings – Date and Time Users can select a TimeZone:

device-list-tz

Unfortunately this list isn’t available from Cascades – there’s no API 😦

So I had to rebuild this from informations in the web on the TimeZones used by BlackBerry.

If selecting a TimeZone manually at first you have to select a Country:

Z30tz1

Z30tz2

I have not implemented logic to find out if the selected TimeZone is using DST (Summertime) for a given Day, so the User will be asked:

Z30tz3

This is only needed in very rare cases, so I think we can live with the workaround – hopefully Cascades will support this soon.

Here TimeZone ‘America/Los_Angeles’ DST was selected:

Z30tz4

Please take a look at the calculated time: 18:36 from 13:37 to 23:13 – TimeTracker caclulated correct because there’s a TimeZone difference of 9 hours between +02:00 and -07:00.

Calendar && two TimeZones

TimeTracker entries can automatically be added to a connected Calendar.

TimeTracker supports multi TimeZones per item as you can see above where we started in Germany and stopped in LA.

Calendar only supports one TimeZone per event, so we have to recalculate start and stop times both using the TimeZone from start. Here’s the corresponding Calendar Event from tracked time with two TimeZones:

Z30cal_tz

Instead of Event ending on July-14 23:13 the Calendar entry ends on July-15 08:13. To inform the user about the real stop time, I added a comment under ‘Notes’.

Here are the times details from Calendar Event:

Z30cal_tz_detail

As usual: all complexitiy hidden to the User !

More infos::

Countries

Crossing Borders

border_cross_gray

For some companies it’s important to know that Service Employees crossed a border between Countries. (Some travel costs will change)

The question comes up HowTo detect this from TimeTracker. We already get the Coordinates from GPS, but from Coordinates there’s no knowledge about the Country this Coordinate belongs to.

The good thing: besides Geo Location Services there’s also a Reverse Geocoding Service getting the address from tracked Coordinates. This address not only contains Street and City, but also the Country. Now it’s easy: as soon as the Country changes, a border was crossed.

It’s up to you HowTo configure the behaviour. If you only want to be notified about the fact that a border was crossed, you only have to track Start and Stop. You need some more details ? Configure Travel Time Category to be tracked continously which means every 15 or 30 minutes or so.

Here GPS Tracking and reverse Geocoding was done at Start and Stop:

Z30_bordercross

TimeTracker detects two different Countries (Germany, United States) and inserted a Marker Icon between Start and Stop to show that a Border was crossed.

More infos:

Open Tracked Times

The List of Open Tracked Data contains all Tracked Times where no Accounting Report exists. As soon as you completed an Accounting Period all corresponding Data will be moved to History. While you have started the next Time-Tracking without finishing it’s not visible in the List of Open Times, but the HomePage will show you how long it’s already running.

The List

Open List of Open Tracked Times from TabbedPane:

T

Here’s the List grouped by days and sorted by Timestamp:

T01

If there’s no ‘Add Data‘ Action you have no permission to insert data manually (Application Menu Settings Permissions) – opening this list from History ActionBar will also look different. Action ‘Summary Open‘ will show a chart diagram of all entries from this list. (see below). Action ‘Reporting‘ will directly jump to Accounting to create a new Accounting Report.

Dimmed Rows

Data already transmitted to server are dimmed and read-only.

DimmedZ30

List Menu

Here’s the complete Menu:

T01menu

You also have access to Charts per Week or Month (see below) or jump directly to History.

List Charts

Summary All Open

Directly from ActionBar Action ‘Summary Open‘ will tell you how many hours are tracked since last Accounting Report.

Charts can be summarized per legal/other, paid/unpaid or per Category:

T02suma

T02sumb

…per Month

Sums per Month (from Overflow Menu):

T02montha

T02monthb

Sums start with newest month and you can go back and forth. (Previous / Next Actions)

To see older sums from History: there’s a quickl-jump Action in Overflow Menu:

T02menu

… per Week

Sums per Week (from Overflow Menu)

T02weeka

T02weekb

Sums start with newest week and you can go back and forth. (Previous / Next Actions)

… per Day

Sums per Day (from List Header Rows)

List is grouped by Day and ech Group Header gives you access to sums of this specific day: simply click on the Chart Icon:

T02header

T02daya

T02dayb

 

Time Data Row in detail

Tapping on a List Row you’ll get a Page with all the details:

T04

The content on this Page can be very different – it depends on Time Category, Device (Touch-Only or Keyboard) and Orientation (Portrait/Landscape). Chapter ‘UX Highligths‘ will explain in more detail.

On Top of Page there’s a Segmented TitleBar with up to 4 Segments:

  1. Category (Overview)
  2. Details
  3. Time
  4. Geo

Toggeling between these Segments is easy: Tap on a Title, use the Action from Overflow Menu, use the Navigation-Icons on Bottom of Page or Keyboard Shortcuts.

First Segment Category is also a Overview Page: you see from available Images what kind of data is there, tapping on a Image will go directly to corresponding Segment etc. If there’s a signed Customer Report: toggle ON and get the Report. If you have the Permission to modify Data you can change Values – even the Category can be changed using the Toggle.

Here’s a sample of Details Segment:

T05

Sample of Time Stamps:

T06

and here a sample of Geo Data:

T07

Data Menu

This is the full Menu:

T08

 

 

Transmitted or Queued Data

To see the current state of transmitted data to Server, select the Tab from tabbedPane:

Zt1

Running the Personal Edition ?

There’s nothing to transmit yet:

Zt2

Running the Group Edition ?

work-in-progress

TBD

Running the Enterprise Edition ?

Content of this Page depends on the way how you’re synchronizing your transmitted data: manually, every day, every week, …

The Upload Page tells you about the last sync done and next one scheduled.

Starting with Enterprise Edition your first steps probably will be to try it  out for FREE: there’s a 30 Day Test Account available from CoMo Solution.

To make it simple and easy to understand and follow the workflow using the Test Account you have to start transmission of tracked data manually.

Here’s the Upload Page for Test Accounts:

UploadData

There’s a DropDown to select the Date: all Open Tracked Data including the selected Date will be transmitted to Server. While doing your first tests it could make sense to switch Logging ON – this will give you a short protocol what happened. We’ll take a look on this later.

The ActionBar provides 3 ActionItems:

  • Network gives you some informations on Network State
  • Send Now will select all open records until selected Date and send to the Server
  • Admin opens the Browser and gives you access to TimeTracker Server Web Portal. Attention: you need username / password credentials !

Info on Network State opens a Dialog:

NetworkInfoDialog

Please take a look at the TitleBar: the Icons also tell you about Network State. More info on Dynamic TitleBars here.

ServerTitlebarAll

Tapping on “Send Now” Action will

  1. select the data from open records
  2. add data to the Queue
  3. mark data as transmitted

From List of Open Tracked Data you can see which data already was transmitted: transmitted rows are ‘dimmed

NotTransmitted

You can take a look at the Queue tapping on the Tab:

TabbedPaneServer

The ‘Queue‘ tab is only visible if you’re using the Enterprise Edition !

Normaly TimeTracker will transmit the data faster then switching to the Queue Tab, so it’s OK if there’s nothing inside the Queue:

QueueEmpty

It’s always a good idea to try out what happens if there’s no internet connection. Easiest way to test: Set your Device to ‘Airplane Mode‘ , switch ‘Logging‘ ON and Tap on ‘Send Now

SendNow

Watch the TitleBar: No Network, No Internet

We got a Toast telling us that 3 Records are transmitted and immediately we got a Logging entry: ‘Cannot transmit to Server’

Looking at the List of Open Tracked Data you’ll see: all are dimmed – all is marked as transmitted:

AllTransmitted

In reality the data was not sent to the Server because of missing network connection. Now there’s an entry in your Queue:

QueuedData

The Queue can contain different kind of data: ‘Tracked Data’ as seen above, Signature Files, Customer Reports, Accounting Reports. There are different Icons to see what kind of Data is waiting for transmission. All Actions trying to access your server will go into the Queue and sent to server step-by-step if network connection comes back. (FIFO – First-In-First-Out)

Tapping on a row opens a details Page:

QueuedDetail1

Server Action describes the type of data.

Messages: an Array of Server Messages: in this case telling you that there’s no connection. There could be other cases where you get HTTP Status Errors or so if something is wrong from Server. TimeTracker then will try again after 500 ms if there’s an Internet Connection.

JSON Data contains the Payload. You can do a long-press, select all and copy and send via email to your Admin.

Hint: In Test Mode this is always possible – otherwise there’s a property in settings if this is allowed or not – so maybe the Payload is invisible for users.

QueuedDetail2

Below the Payload there’s the Creation Timestamp and your Device PIN, userID and Transmission UUID.

Switch ‘Airplane Mode’ OFF and automagically the entry disappears from Queue and Logging shows success:

LogSuccess

Tap on ‘Admin‘ to Open the TimeTracker Server. (You need Username/Password)

Here are the 3 transmitted records:

ServerComo

You can tap on a row to see the Details. This is the ‘User’ Details View – there’s also a special ‘Admin’ Details View where you can see and edit all properties.

ServerComoDetails

Besides the TimeLog properties you’ll see Contact info (if a Contact was selected from your Device) and also all Geo Locations with Coordinates and Address from Reverse Geocoding. From GeoCoding DropDown you can select a specific location – this one will be marked green inside the embedded Map.

You can also see the Locations on a large fullscreen map:

ServerComoBigMap

Normally you will use the Server Webportal from your Desktop or Laptop, but I integrated the direct access into TimeTracker to enable this while you’re on-the-road. More Info on the Server Webportal can be found here (TBD)

To open the Browser from inside TimeTracker I’m using the Cascades Invokation Framework as usual. (See also chapter ‘Deep Integration‘)

Here’s the ActionItem (QML Code)

ActionItem {
    title: qsTr("Admin")
    imageSource: "asset:///images/server.png"
    ActionBar.placement: ActionBarPlacement.OnBar
    onTriggered: {
        app.invokeBrowser(REST.serverUrl() + "/TimeTrackerAdmin/")
    }
}

We’re asking the Server Class (C++ – mapped as ‘REST’) for the serverUrl from settings, then calling the method to invoke the Browser (C++)

void ApplicationUI::invokeBrowser(const QString& uri) {
    InvokeRequest request;
    request.setUri(uri);
    request.setTarget("sys.browser");
    request.setAction("bb.action.OPEN");
    mInvokeManager->invoke(request);
}

Have Fun with TimeTracker Enterprise Edition and TimeTracker Server by CoMo.