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The Labman Project. User Services A Unit of Information Technology Services Mike Loewen MCL8@PSU.EDU. Introduction.

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the labman project
The Labman Project

User Services

A Unit of Information Technology Services

Mike Loewen


  • Labman is an employee management system used by many organizations in ITS (Information Technology Services). The software was developed in-house, and is undergoing continuous improvement.
  • Labman has been in use since August of 1996, and is currently being used by the Lab Consultants, Rovers, Willard Helpdesk, ETS, TLT, AIT, Call Center and the MOC.
  • Outside of ITS, Labman is used by the University Learning Centers and the Libraries.
basic functions
Basic Functions
  • Scheduler
  • Time clock
  • Time cards
  • Payroll
  • Information gathering
  • Communication
  • Report generation
  • Master schedule is created by a manager
  • Weekly schedules are generated from the master
  • Employees may advertise a shift they no longer wish to work
  • Employees may take advertised shifts
  • Extensive system of permissions controls access to scheduling functions
time clock
Time Clock
  • Only pre-approved (by IP address) computer systems may be used to clock in/out
  • Only users in the employee database can access the system
  • PSU Access ID and password are used to authenticate
  • Employee must be assigned to a shift and in the proper location to clock in/out
  • Dedicated client is used to clock in/out
time clock1
Time Clock
  • Employees are clocked out by the server if they remain too long past the end of their shift
  • Employees can be clocked out remotely, by a manager
  • Timestamps are to the second
  • Time clock records are appended to an audit file
  • Any time adjustments are made by a manager, and are kept in a separate file
time cards
Time Cards
  • For employees who don't punch a time clock, a web-based time card is available
  • Employees can submit hours for the current pay period, or the pay period most recently ended
  • Employees can submit hours as many times as they like during the pay period
  • When done submitting hours, employee submits final entry, after which time a manager must allow additional entries
  • Managers can only see their own projects and employees
  • Managers lock their projects while processing payroll, against additional time card entries
  • Managers enter any needed adjustments
  • Payroll module reads time clock records and time cards, then adjusts totals based on any adjustment records
  • Report is displayed, and an IBIS compatible file is saved on the server
  • Managers notify payroll office when their payroll is approved
  • When all managers have reported, payroll office locks the pay period against further changes, and runs a report which consolidates all groups into a single IBIS file
  • Payroll office transfers file to mainframe via FTP
information gathering
Information Gathering
  • Lab and helpdesk consultants log customer contacts
  • Rovers submit inventory reports
  • Senior lab consultants submit spot evaluations
  • Online users can send individual messages to each other
  • Lab consultants and rovers have a public message area
  • Lab consultants and rovers may send messages to each other (individual and public)
  • Supervisors and managers can send messages to all users
report generation
Report Generation
  • Time and payroll reports
  • Employee lists
  • Contact reports
  • Inventory report
  • Spot check reports
  • Post/sub summaries
  • Budget reports
  • No-show/late reports
  • Web pages are served via Apache, using SSL
  • Users must be in the employee database, and authenticate with Access ID and password
  • Dedicated client must be used for clock in/out
  • Server is physically located in the Computer Building machine room
  • No employees have login access to the system
  • User levels (Manager, Supervisor, Employee) limit access to certain information and areas
  • Data is backed up daily
  • Standby server is located in Willard Building, in the MOC's secure machine room
  • Critical data is updated on the standby server every 15 minutes
  • Web users must reauthenticate after 15 minutes of inactivity or after 4 hours, regardless
  • Sensitive data is not cached in the browser
  • Management utilities are restricted to addresses
  • FTP access is restricted to
  • SSNs are not used anywhere in the system
client side software
Client Side Software
  • Java client will run as an Applet (from a browser) or a standalone application
  • JRE (Java Runtime Environment) 1.2 or newer must be installed on client systems for Java client
  • Terminal based client requires SSHv2 capable software on client system (e.g. PuTTY, SSH Secure Shell, native OS/X or Unix ssh).
  • Wage Employees should NOT be permitted to install software on clock-in systems.
  • No additional client side software is required for time cards, only a web browser
  • A substantial amount of effort has gone into securing all parts of the system
  • Every effort is made to ensure data integrity
  • The time clock system keeps track of how much time an employee worked, not how much he says he worked
  • Payroll approval is still in the hands of the group managers