Free Scheduling Software or Free Schedule Software - Using AceShift


Getting Going Seriously

Open your browser, eg, Internet Explorer or Firefox. Enter
http://localhost:8080/product/index.jsp
as a URL into the Address and hit Enter. This URL should already have been added to your favourites. You should now be presented with a login screen. You can only login as administrator at this stage with a User ID of 'administrator' and a Password of 'administrator'. The password is case sensitive.

The following points 1 - 13 would normally only be performed once.

  1. On first login, an initial setup screen appears. Decide if you wish to initialise as the full version for shifts at multiple locations or the reduced version where all shifts occur at the one location such as the phone room of a call centre. If you choose the full version, then you are given another choice of whether your shifts are of Location Type or Client Type. Use the Client Type if shifts are located at home addresses, otherwise use the Location Type. You may also have chosen the base version where all shift employees have the same position. This version does not allow summaries of shift times or costs.
  2. Use the Tutorial to complete a basic setup. Follow the yellow prompts.
  3. This product is supplied as a limited system. There is a limit of 20 shifts that may be added from midnight each morning. This means that from each day, there can only be 20 shifts added. Upon clear payment, a Lock Code is emailed to you that will enable the product to be used for your ongoing use. Enter this Lock Code using Administration, System Settings. After clicking OK the limit of shifts will be removed.
  4. You are probably logged in with a User ID of 'administrator' with the default password. Change the password by going to Personnel, Edit Current User Details. Set a new password and record it. Click OK, log out and log back in using your new password.
  5. Add Menu Access Groups for all login users using Administration, Menu Access Group, Add. eg, User, Manager. Menu Access Groups are not the same as Positions. Menu Access Groups are used to determine the menus visible when a Person logs in. Positions are used to determine the type of skill required when adding shifts. A Person can only have one Menu Access Group, but many Positions.
  6. If you are to be the system administrator, add yourself with a User ID and password. Log out and log back in as yourself.
  7. Since the administrator login is public knowledge, at some time, log in again as 'administrator' and change the password. From now on, only log in as yourself so that login's can be tracked in the database.
  8. Setup the Menus allowed for each new Menu Access Group using Administration, Menu Access Groups v Menus. Check the menus to be accessed for each Menu Access Group added.
  9. Add all personnel who will be managing the product with a Menu access Group that is appropriate to their duties. Thereafter, all logins should use the User ID of each person so that the product may track logins. You should not login as 'administrator' again.
  10. Copy a gif file of your company logo into the
    C:\Program Files\BMJ\Tomcat\webapps\product\images
    folder, renaming the existing 'logo.gif' file and name your logo file, logo.gif. Its size will be scaled to a maximum of 40 pixels high.
  11. In Administration, Shift Preamble Notes, insert any preamble text you would like to be included as general text on shift printouts and views, eg, Christmas greetings, or occasional message to all workers.
  12. If you will be advising workers of shifts by email, find out the Mail Server name from your ISP. Enter this name in Administration, Mail Server. This is often something like 'mail.yourisp.com'.
  13. If you have existing Personnel data in, say, Access or Excel or equivalent, read carefully the import notes on Admin, Import Personnel Data, Import Help when preparing the data.
    Import the data. If you have data to assign to, say, 3 different Positions, then split the data into 3 files first and import them one at a time for each Position. Do not import data for the same personnel twice or each person will be duplicated in the database.
    NB. For the Import function, checks are NOT made for identical entries. Consider performing a backup to the database (as described below) before importing personnel data. Otherwise manually enter the Personnel data. If the users first and last names are too long, then the calendar display of shifts will not have enough space to present neatly.

The above are Administrative functions that will normally be performed once.

You may distribute shift advice by Print, Email, SMS or Logging in. If Logging in is selected, ensure that the Workers have a Menu Access Group where they can access the necessary menus, as in 5 above.

Recommended way to set up your database. The following only needs to be done once:

  1. For location based users, add all funding bodies that will be paying for the shifts. For a security company, these entries may be your clients. For many other organizations, this may be your own company.
  2. For a home care situation, it may be the organization being charged for the shifts.
  3. For location based users, for each funding body, add at least one address for each funding body.
  4. For location based users, for each address, add at least one location. Shifts will be carried out at locations.
  5. Under Positions/Rates, add all Positions for which you need to create shifts.
  6. For home care users, add a position for persons who will have shifts created at their home. A typical entry would be 'Client'.
  7. Under Personnel, add all shift personnel, assigning them to the position for which they have the required skill to work shifts. Assign them to a Menu Access Group that controls the menus you want them to access if they log in. The default is 'Employee Group'.
  8. For home care users, add all personnel who are clients and will have shifts created for them at their homes.
  9. Optional. Under Personnel, Allowance between Shifts, enter any allowance of time between shifts to prevent a person who has just completed an 8 hour shift being allocated another shift soon after.
  10. Optional for weekly templates. Under Personnel, Weekly Work Preferences, enter the personal requirements of a person who may not be able to work on, say, a Friday.
  11. If you have shifts recurring at set times of the day such as Morning, Afternoon, etc., use the 'Define Specified Shifts' entry under Shift Times to specify and color code such specified shifts.
  12. When you have added your personnel and their positions, move your mouse over the Shift Times menu and select Shift Templates. A template is NOT a shift, but a set of entries that you can create shifts from over and over again. A shift has a calendar date, whereas a template entry has a day number. When you use the Copy Shifts action, the day number is assigned to a calendar date as a shift. To create a template, consider the cycle of shifts that will recur over and over again. This may be any number of days, eg, 16. If you choose a weekly template that is a multiple of 7 days, then the start day of the week (eg, Monday) must be chosen. In this case, a shift copy must be to a calendar date that is a Monday.
  13. If you have some staff working weekly and others working a 16 day cycle, then use a template for each. Make as many templates as you wish.
  14. Add as many entries for each day as you require.
  15. These entries are initially Unallocated to a person. Allocate each entry if you wish. Building a template is perhaps tedious, but only needs to be done once.
  16. Where identical entries are required for each day, only make an entry for the first day, then copy to the other days. To copy, check the boxes with a tick for the template entries and the days you want to copy to.
  17. Templates may be Added, Edited, Reported (Viewed) or Deleted.

You have now done the hard work. Now for the easy part. To build shifts when you have created a template:

  1. Optional. Before copying shifts, enter any leave requests for the date period you are addressing, so that a shift created at that time will be allocated to someone who is available. This may be done from two ways. Under Personnel, select Time Off, Add, or use point 2.
  2. The best way to enter leave requests is to get used to the Shift Management action under Shift Times. This allows you to use mouseovers on the cells to manage the set of shifts for a date period. It gives a managers overview of the shifts.
  3. To copy shifts from a template, under Shift Times, use the 'Copy Shifts' action to copy shifts from a template to a calendar date. If it is a weekly template, make sure that the day of the week of the 'Copy To' calendar date (eg, Monday) matches the template.
  4. Use the 'Add Shift Time' action to add additional shifts that are not in the template, or delete a shift that was in the template and is not required as a shift.
  5. If you make a mistake in a 'Copy Shifts' action after viewing the results, go back to the 'Copy Shifts' action, and you will find an 'Undo' button. This only works with the last 'Copy Shifts' action and before logging out.

Backing up your database

Learn how to backup and restore your database. Use some daily general file backup regime for the main database file.
For H2 users, the folder, dbshift, should be backed up. This may be found at C:\Program Files\BMJ\common.
For the Firebird database, this is stored in the file, C:\Program Files\BMJ\common\DBSHIFT.FDB, if you have used the default installation.

Practice doing this, test that it works and document your process.

There are three ways of backing up.

  1. Use a general file backup system at the server for the database file above.
  2. Optional. Use the Administrator, Backup database and Restore database menu functions to backup at the client.
  3. Use the file,
    DatabaseBackup.exe, found in C:\Program Files\BMJ\common.
    This gives a date/time copy of the database. Before using this application, ensure that there are no users currently logged in, as they will temporarily lose their database connection.

The preference should be to backup at the server. There may be substantial communication traffic if you backup at a client computer.

It is important that you keep an up-to-date backup of your database off site so that disaster recovery may be possible.

LAN Usage

The host computer from which this product is run has a default name of localhost. This is the computer the software was installed on. Call this computer the 'server'.

To set up for a LAN:

  1. Determine the IP (Internet Protocol) of the server computer where it has been installed. This must in the form, 192.168.1.51, or your equivalent. If you do not know the IP of your server, then at the server computer, open a DOS window, (Run, type cmd) and then type
    ipconfig
    This should show you the IP address of that computer. Write it down. Close the window.
  2. Open Internet Explorer from any client computer connected to the network, and use as the Address,
    http://192.168.1.51:8080/product/index.jsp or your equivalent IP. The logon screen should appear. You may wish to add this URL to the Favourites of each client computer.
    If the logon screen does not appear but a message that the browser cannot display the web page appears, then the firewall in either or both computers may be blocking the network. The firewalls must be set up to permanently permit the connection.
    If you get a message suggesting that you do not have access or permission, then you will have to grant 'full permission' to the folder, C:\Program Files\BMJ, to permit a client to access the product.

If you are using Windows 7 on your server, the procedure for setting its firewall is as follows:

  1. Move your mouse over the Start button, click. In the box at the bottom, Search programs and files, type 'firewall'.
  2. Select 'Windows Firewall with Advanced Security'.
  3. Click 'Inbound Rules'.
  4. Click 'New Rule'.
  5. Program. Next.
  6. Browse to C:\Program Files\BMJ\Tomcat\bin\tomcat6.exe or tomcat64-6.exe if you are using Windows 7 64 bit (NOT the file with a w in it).
  7. Under Action, select 'Allow the Connection'.
  8. Under Profile, check 'Private'. Uncheck Domain and Public.
  9. Give the New Rule a name, eg, AceShift.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Then test from your client with the IP of the server.