10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 18, 2014 8:50 AM by simmka

    Filemaker and Time functionality



      Filemaker and Time functionality


           I have no idea what to categorize this under but I was just thinking...I am working on setting up time clock functionality that will be integrated into a larger filemaker database system. The file will be hosted on a server and shared to many computers on the network.


           My question is, does filemaker get its date and time information from the local computer or the server in a situation like this? The reason I ask is, if it gets the date and time information from the local computer I need to figure out a way to prevent an employee from just manually setting the computer's date and time info to benefit them in the filemaker system (so if they get to work at 9:30 and they were supposed to clock in at 9, they could potentially set the time on the computer to reflect 9 and not have to notify management that they were late, benefitting their pay by 30 min). If it's getting the date and time info from the server that no one will have access to besides administration then I would think this would not be an issue. 


           Let me know if that makes sense.

        • 1. Re: Filemaker and Time functionality

               Get ( CurrentTIme ) and Get ( CurrentDate ) take values from the local computer's system clock.

               Get(CurrentHostTimestamp), however, will return the date and time from the computer hosting the database and this won't be accessible to the typical employee.

          • 2. Re: Filemaker and Time functionality

                 The time and date fields would not be accessible to an employee, merely a the access to a script to create the new time record.  Possibly access to job costs designation when employees could be assigned to multiples.

            • 3. Re: Filemaker and Time functionality

                   The time and date fields would not be accessible, but they would, in depending on user account permissions, have access to their computer's system clock and thus could reset the date/time on their computer temporarily in order to record a less than honest time in or time out...

              • 4. Re: Filemaker and Time functionality

                     On a Mac you would disallow the running account access to System Preferences which would prevent anyone from changing the time.

                • 5. Re: Filemaker and Time functionality

                       Thanks for the replies and insight, everyone!

                       Phil is correct, the time and date fields are not accessible in browse mode in this database. All of it is automatically entered via a scripted button which leaves the possibility that an employee might try to turn back (or turn forward) the local computer clock for their benefit when filemaker captures their time in the system.

                       In which case I may need to change the script to get the host's time instead. The only (slight) issue there is that this client has an office in another time zone as well...so, would the office in ET pull the time from the main office in CT? If there is no real work around for this, I may need to reconsider the development of the database...possibly go with IWP for the ET office...we will see.

                       I'm wondering, is there a way that filemaker can record if the computer's clock is manipulated and basically "Audit Log" it? I've done a simple audit log that records changes made to certain fields and stores the results in one simple field (doesn't need to be fancy or have report functions), would that somehow work for the cpmputer's clock? lol in my mind it doesn't sound like it would work but maybe someone out there knows better than I do.


                       Rick, this client is running everything with Windows OS. I use and develop on a Mac primarily (with access to Windows PC for testing purposes), is there a work around for this on Windows like you said can be done on Mac?

                  • 6. Re: Filemaker and Time functionality

                         As we have pointed out, it is possible to block a user from resetting their computer's clock as long as they do not have admin access.

                         As far as the server being in a different timezone, this won't be a problem for recording elapsed time, as the difference in time zones will equally affect time in and time out so the difference of Time Out - Time In will compute the same. To adjust for a difference in time zones between server and client you need only have your system be able be able to identify the time zone of a specific client machine and it can then calculate the local time as this normally only requires adding or subtracting a specific number of hours though differences in daylight savings time can complicate the process a bit.

                    • 7. Re: Filemaker and Time functionality

                           If there is a thought that an employee might adjust time on the local machine, put hidden fields into the definitions that record time independently.  If the local machine has a difference of 3 hours, then that is the measure to verify.  

                           I have never encountered any office person who did a change to the local time, or even knew how to do it. 

                      • 8. Re: Filemaker and Time functionality

                             Great information, you guys!


                             Phil, when I get there I will use your suggestion for the time difference in the clock, thanks!


                             TK, Good suggestion, I will look into it! I've never encountered it or heard of it being done either, I just want to be prepared for anything that this client might ask for/about. If I can think to do it (while testing the solutions I work on), they can think to do it for their purposes as well.

                        • 9. Re: Filemaker and Time functionality

                               I just thought of one other control.  You may have heard that some restaurant employees lost time because of management making changes to punches.  I worked for a restaurant chain where the managers did this.  And the chain had to pay, rightly so.  In their new system they put a flag in.  When clocking out "today", the employee received a message "your time on xx/xx/xx was altered by mgr john".  Problems can occur from both sides.

                          • 10. Re: Filemaker and Time functionality

                                 Good point, TK. I will keep that in mind as well for if the client has questions about it down the road!