During the early development of SharePoint TeamTime we looked at our potential competition, including the free alternatives. Of those we found, the following three were the most notable:
- Fab 40 – Timecard Management: One of the famous Fab 40 templates (2007 only)
- Built-in Timecard List: A little known built-in Timecard list (2010 only)
- Open Source Project: Paul Beck has kindly published an open source solution (2010 only)
Fab 40 – Timecard Management
The Timecard Management template was produced by Microsoft as a demonstration of the capabilities of WSS 3. In Microsoft’s own words:
The Timecard Management application template helps teams track hours spent working on various projects. The site enables team members to ‘punch in’ on a particular project and ‘punch out’ when they cease work. The system automatically generates the time worked by project, and can show managers who is working on a particular project…
This was one of the favorites out of all the templates we tried. In fact, the punching in and out functionality was a feature we emulated into TeamTime. I’d like to think of TeamTime as a spiritual successor to this template.
Built-in Timecard List
SharePoint 2010 has a built-in Timecard list, that is hidden from normal view for some reason. Although this is by no means a complete solution, it’s freely available to anyone able (or willing) to activate the feature and create it though SharePoint Designer 2010.
Laura Rogers has a very helpful walk-through for creating one of these lists: Out of the Box Timecard and Holiday Lists. Here is a description from her blog:
In SharePoint 2010, there’s a little-known built in feature. There are list templates that can be used for time card tracking, with a holiday calendar that ties into the time card.
Open Source Project
Paul Beck has published a four part blog series on creating a Timesheet solution from scratch, entitled Timesheet solution for SharePoint 2010. He then went a step further and published his code to CodePlex for anyone to use. In his own words:
A common requirement on Intranets is to have a timesheet template on SharePoint. There are solution for company timesheets. I wanted to build a timesheet application that was scalable, reportable and friendly for SharePoint.
If you want to skip the source code, his third article in the series (Part 3 – Installation) has a link to the pre-built package.
This solution is slightly different from the others, as it stores its data in a separate SQL Server database; which may not be an option for everyone.
I hope you’ve found our SharePoint Timesheet series useful. If you know of any better alternatives, please let us know. We’re not afraid of a bit of competition.