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Published:Oct 26, 2017

Timetracker 4 RC is available

When fall comes, it’s time for great announcements – in 2015, we introduced the all new Timetracker for VSTS at Connect(), and in 2016, it was time for Timetracker 3, which was rebuilt to support the Team Foundation Server extension model and dressed with a new UI.

This year in November, Timetracker 4 will introduce a major architecture change; we call it “Server Side Tracking”.

A quick look back: Before, if you hit the “Start Tracking” button, the call went to your locally installed Timetracker Windows client, which started tracking and reported back to the server. If you didn’t have the client installed, if you are a Mac user, for example, there was no tracking.

Time tracking moves on – to the server

This was a limitation in many ways. The Windows client was required. If you moved away from this particular desktop, you couldn’t control your track. Other clients for Timetracker could not be added. Something like an API to control time on the server was impossible.

Server Side Tracking eliminates all of these limitations. Regardless of where the action takes place – tracking happens on the server and synchronizes over all platforms and devices.

That allows fantastic new features. There are so many of them that we can’t even deliver all of them at once. Let’s get started!

Today, we have released the release candidate of Timetracker 4. It’s available for download for TFS, and we will start the soft roll-out today on VSTS to the first accounts.

What’s in the pack

There is an all-new Web Client built into the web interface of Timetracker. It’s available from within the web access of VSTS/TFS and allows you to start tracking right from any work item, without any additional action required.

There is an all-new, gorgeous Windows Client waiting for you! Rewritten from scratch, with long-awaited features like comments, activity setting, improvements in the pick list, easy connection to multiple accounts, desktop notifications, and more.

All-new Email notifications remind you if attention is required on your current track.

All clients support the Activity type that we introduced earlier this year, as well as directly adding comments while tracking. Both of these additional informational fields can even be set as required within your organisation.

The Client API allows you to completely remote control the tracking engine of Timetracker from your own systems or to write third party clients. The API is fully featured – you can perform every action that comes into your mind!

And remember: Tracking happens on the server! You can use multiple desktops, run the Windows client everywhere or just open the browser; you will see a synced time interface that you can control from wherever you are.

All this is available in Timetracker 4 RC, today. Timetracker 4 fully supports TFS 2018, 2017 and 2015 from Update 2.1; the final release of Timetracker 4 is planned for November.

Even more in the pipe, coming in the next months:

The Timetracker smartphone client for iOS and Android is available as a technical preview today, and you can register to start testing it today. Start tracking from the web, check in at the Windows client, and change to the next task on your smartphone!

The Control API will allow you to do all maintenance-based operations, such as Create, Read, Update and Delete records. (Availability planned for end of 2017.)

The Mac Client is “the Windows client for the Macintosh”. It will have the same functionality, but is locally installed on your Mac. (Availability planned for early 2018.)

Lots of new stuff. I can promise you, if you have seen the new tracking in action, you will never want to miss it again.

Server Side Tracking and the new clients are the best tested pieces of code that we have ever released. However, please keep in mind that the release candidate is not the final release and might contain faults that we haven’t detected yet. If you encounter an issue, please help us by reporting it to support@7pace.com.

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4 comments

Jean-Sébastien

10-27-2017

We lost a great feature in this version. Previously, when we unlocked our station, the windows client asked if we wanted to include or exclude the lock time. The current option "stop tracking when PC is locked" doesn't offer the option to assign time when unlocking. An good improvement to this feature could be to ask to which task I want to assign the locked time. So if I work on task A, then get interrupted for an "emergency", when i come back, i wish to be asked : Your station has been locked for xx min, what do you want to do : - Ignore locked time, then continue with previous task - Assign locked time to current task - Assign locked time to another task and continue with the new one - Assign locked time to another task and continue with the previous one

Marc Schaeffler

11-06-2017

In reply to Jean-Sébastien.

Hi Jean-Sébastien, this is very good feedback. We have added a post in our Feature Request section here https://support.7pace.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115019731243-Bring-back-in-v4-special-handling-of-times-tracked-while-PC-locked, so that we can follow up on this. Thank you, Marc

Alex

10-26-2017

Very happy with this release. I can finally do time tracking on my Linux laptop when go outside without having to retrace my steps at the end of the day to fill in the time sheet. Ability to select activity type on windows client is very very helpful. I had so many missing or inacurate activity records. Glad this will not be a problem any more. Design is well done. I like the work item selector on timesheet page, how it drops down nicely and give a comfortable form. I wonder why there is no "start tracking" option in the work item view, so if have work item open and want to start workgin on it, I have to leave it, navigate to timesheet view, just to find it again in the tracker menu. Had a few very minor issues, extremely minor in comparison to your huge achievement of server-side time tracking. Server installer does not fit on screen (lots of white space in middle with a scroll bar to get to "next button"), cannot automatically upgrading my windows client, crash with a stack trace, but probably because I am using limited user account. and in linux firefox and chrome "start tracking" label does not fit in the button, work item Time tab now has a double scrollbar. Thank you very much for releasing this.

Marc Schaeffler

11-06-2017

In reply to Alex.

Hi Alex, many thanks for your kind feedback. Great to hear that you like the changes we have implemented. Thank you for the reports - we have created tickets from that and will investigate further. Thank you, Marc