Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Calculating working time. Let’s sum up.

I’d like to sum up the results of testing in one place to make the picture of calculating working time capability more clear so users could see at once how good the system is solving this issue.

This is a brief description of what we’ve got trying to calculate future date or time duration within web based systems:


TeamDesk almost completely managed to implement our task. The system’s only shortcoming was End Date calculation if working hours fluctuate every day. Nevertheless, it is the best result so far among the vendors pretending for a "no-coding" technique.


Caspio Bridge’s capability of executing customer’s own code on server using SQL triggers opens wide horizons for implementing complex business logic in applications. The only problem is that you should be quite familiar with SQL in order to use it to the full extent. There also one more point that draws my attention: though I don’t know how data isolation is implemented in Caspio, but I think that possibility of running own code on server could present higher security risk of unauthorized data access.


TrackVia can perform complex calculation, but the system is not able to calculate End Date while accounting working days (not even talking about hours). The main problem is that the function weekdays is not designed for worldwide usage.

Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator proofed to be able to calculate End Date and Duration, correctly accounting working days and hours. I had no doubts in this tool even before starting our tests since "Deluge Script", which Zoho is based on, is actually nothing less than a programming language.

Dabble DB

Unfortunately, DabbleDB does not offer the ability to calculate duration for arbitrary "work hours".


In PerfectForms behaviors are just another way of programming through flow charts. Besides, it’s more difficult to see complete app logic picture as each particular behavior distorts it. On the other hand "behavior" provides users with some flexibility so you can program business logic and calculations of the form.


As testing showed variable hours of operations and the weekends different from Saturday and Sunday can't be implemented with built-in QuickBase functionality. I think it’s possible in QuickBase, but only in case we always have 8 hours working day with Saturday and Sunday as weekends. To calculate working time and you will have to do some coding through one of six SDKs or HTTP XML API.

Taking into account all the peculiarities of calculating working time we can say it is not such an easy task for web based systems. If go programming way as Zoho Creator does the task is not that difficult, but it requires different skills. There is another option to implement through setup. In this case you should keep in mind that capabilities of these systems are pretty limited too. Of course, some of them can manage it better, this time TeamDesk proved to be the most advanced system calculating working time.

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