Weekly time sheet solution.

Sup all. Well hopefully someone can guide me in the right direction here. THis is our current situation. We have a time sheet we use here. Basically we have a copy on a piece of paper that has all the fields we fill in, days hours etc.This one lady has everyones info in a word perfect document that she merges with a new date. Then she loads the printer with the main time card paper and hits print and its prints everyones info and the date. So she does this every two weeks and it so annoying. Id like to be able to make the template as a web page and maybe she can change the date there and just hit print and it will print the new sheets out with a nicer look as well.  How can I get it to print out with each workers individual name on it.  Thats where i have no clue. How to connect the back end so she can basically open up the page fill in the new date then when it prints it prints and individual tiem sheet for each employee. im open to any alternatives. lol. Maybe Im looking at this the wrong way. if i havent explained enough let me know.  Im looking at this as a little pet project for me. Thanks in advance.
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EasyWriterConnect With a Mentor Commented:
ASP.NET will be really fun to learn.  You'll need to set up an IIS server (which is it's own learning experience) to "serve" up your ASP pages.  You can get the latest ASP.NET "express" dev tools here  <http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/getvwd/>  where you will also find Microsoft's links to get you started.  It's not hard to get going, there are tutorials all over the net.  If you go to google and type (including the quotes) "asp.net tutorial" you'll find about 21 thousand references.  You will still most surely want a database (although you could do it with files) so your previous Access experience may still help.  And, of course, don't hesitate to ask here on EE for help getting it going, that's what we love to do!
So everyone is submitting paper timesheets, your admin lady then puts it into a wordPerfect doc, then prints each person's time sheets?  Was not clear on what data you are merging? Is the paper going into the printer a pre-designed time card template? is it 8.5x11 "normal" size paper?

1. Why doesn't everyone have a copy of the Wordperfect template and fill it out and print it themselves instead of doing it on paper and making that lady do it?

2. There are many timesheet and time tracker applications available. Microsoft has a free one that is a web application...it was designed for MS to show off some of the features of ASP.Net, but it is a working time tracker app.  Check out http://www.asp.net     and then go to the "starter kits" tab and look for the time tracker app.
emilbus20Author Commented:
Sup. Yeah basically in the Word perf docu it has the workers name and ssn. She puts in and 8x11 in the printer that already has the time card info on it excpet for the name, ssn and date. Then she hits print and the tray feeds the 8X11 template adn voila we have our time sheets. She then hands them out to everyone. About 20 people.  I just liek to make something that is a little less tim consuming, or yes something everyone coudl just go to and print out themselves but Im not sure if they will go for that. Go figure. I guess im looking for an excuse to learn something new. lol
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Am I missing something or wouldn't it be simpler to do it all 'in the computer'?

After she puts the time card paper in the printer, what happens to them? Does someone have to manually enter the time info again? Why not enter the time info into a like web app and sned the data whereever it has to go from there?

If the paper sheets are mandatory, then why not have each persons name, ssn etc. in a file and print out all the time sheets from that. The date could even be applied automatically.

A look needs to be taken at the whole process.
emilbus20Author Commented:
Yeah thats what i want something from the computer. i have no reals programming skills, so Im trying to find what you might think is the best way to go about it.
Yes, I'm still a bit unclear on the process as well.

It sounds like you want to hand out a stack of timesheets to employees with their name and a date(s) printed on them, then the employee fills it out and then turns it back in?

And the main hassle is getting the dates and the names on the timesheets?

That "loading" the printer with timesheets is only to get the name on there?

Why not just make it:
Name:__________________________ SSN:_______________________________
Date: __________________________

And let everyone fill out that part as well? Since they are still writing in their activities right?
Even if the employees didn't want to fill in their name/ssn, you could have a set of "master copies" for each employee and just copy those and hand them out every 2 weeks, then the only extra thing they are responsible for filling out is the date.

If you really want to get into programming and are a true newbie,  get a beginner's book on asp.net ( The ones put out by SAMS publishing ) are very easy to follow....or find one of the countless asp.net sites on the net.

VB.Net is easier to grasp and work with...you can almost read code like sentences, C# follows more traditional syntax...it is extremely close to javascript...so you kinda get a "2 for one" special.  Javascript will be easier to pickup if you know C# and viceversa

..and oddly...I read that C# developers are paid significantly more than vb.net devs.    Even though both languages get compiled into the same MSIL (an intermediate language between what you write and what the computer understands).

I have yet to find any study or article on whether C# runs or compiles  faster than VB.net...yet C# is treated as "better".  (You might guess I'm a resentful vb.net dev.)  hehe

As for your immediate problem...I think you need to clarify more what is on the time sheet that is part of the pre-preprinted timesheet, what the employee fills out, and what the admin lady is doing.

If you want to be a developer, I would still suggest you look into www.asp.net's time tracker kit.  The online demo is at: http://www.asp.net/TimeTrackerStarterKit/TimeEntry.aspx

It includes full source code.  The only issue I see is that it will be work to make it print on the same time sheet paper you have...but in your post...you were wanting to spruce it up? Meaning you're going to discard the preprinted sheet if you can make a better one?

I don't know much of anything about wordperfect...but if it is like MS-Office and MS-Word....it should have some kind of programming language also.  In MS Office this is VBA (Visual Basic for Applications).
That's another route to take, you can build a form that looks like a program, and the "submit" button would actually write to your word doc or spreadsheet.

Well, since you are asking for opinions, and willing to learn something new, my personal opinion is that this would be a good time for you to start using Microsoft Access.  It comes with Office, and will do everything you are talking about.  It's a good start for some easy development work, and works great for 20 employees.

You would create a table called EMPLOYEES and put everyone's name and SSN in it.  It also has the capability of creating forms, so your user could have a date drop down (which you could automatically fill programmatically, which would be a fun tiny beginning programming project, but which date she could change it if necessary.)  And, of course, you would need a print button.  Maybe give your "print lady" another form for her to add, edit, and delete employee information.  

For printing you might start by pre-printing up a bunch of Time Sheet forms that are all nice and neat (minus the name, date, and SSN) and drop them in the printer just before pressing the print button and just have your program print the missing info, or, if you are ready, you can have a crack at printing out the entire form complete with the logo, lines, name, SSN, and date(s), all nice and neat, and all at once.  Microsoft Access has a "report" part all built in that would do the trick nicely.

The nice thing about using Access is you can do it in "stages."  You could start simply allowing your "print lady" to print the forms faster and easier, with just the employee name and SSN information in a table.  Then, when you have some extra time you could add another table called Time, and allow users to enter their own time, either through an Access Form, or a web page that writes to you new Access table.  Eventually, once you get that far, you could even have your users "swipe a card" or scan a badge or even press their thumb to a pad on their way in and out, and it could figure their time for them.  Once you start down the path of databases, there is no limit to your creative options.

If it were my project, Microsoft Access is the route I would take.  Alternatively, you can do the entire thing in javascript.  And, if you are ready to learn some power programming, you could download one of Microsoft's "Express" development tools (which are currently in Beta5 and free) and you could get into some serious programming, with the power to do pretty much anything you want.

I envy you.  You are in a great place!  It is really fun to have a pet project and have the whole programming world open to work with.  And, just as a disclaimer, there are so many many many ways to do what you are asking -- I only suggest what I suggest, because it is cheap, and can be done in stages.  Any number of other programmers might have any number of other equally viable and valid ways to get done what you are asking.  Good luck, and just have fun with it.
emilbus20Author Commented:
Thanksfor the advice guys. i did a silly little log book in access awhile back> I didnt think of using access. good call. i think I may want to get int asp.net though. Seems liek .net is where everything is moving too.  Is ASP.net is to grasp?

I know what it's like for something at work to be irrational and annoying....

Along with the others, I've been trying to guess why the secretary prints the time sheets.  In the old days, time sheets were only done on paper.  At an office I worked in recently, they were only done in the computer.  At first glance, it's hard to guess why an office would want BOTH.  Here are two guesses:
1. One department wants paper but another department wants digital.  For example, the supervisor wants it in the computer to analyze how hard people are working, but the payroll department is used to dealing with paper.
2. Each employee is supposed to sign his paper timesheet as a way of saying, yes, these are the hours I worked.

It might be good to see where the timesheets go after the secretary prints them.  Trace their entire odyssey until you find their final resting place (trash can? filing cabinet?).

Even if you come up with a creative solution, you'll need to talk to some sort of accountant or payroll person eventually, so that your solution gets implemented.  Might as well talk to that person now.

I wonder how other departments handle their time sheets.  You could talk to some of the other secretaries.

can anyone tell me how to develop this using asp.net in vb

thats 2 period (1-15) a.nd (16-31)

thanks a lot

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