FreeWERM 1.0.7 review

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FreeWERM (short for "Free Web-based Employee Reporting Module") is an easy-to-use software system for creating, maintaining, and repo

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Joe Johnson
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FreeWERM (short for "Free Web-based Employee Reporting Module") is an easy-to-use software system for creating, maintaining, and reporting on employee profiles for any sort of business. It has a time clock feature similar to other pieces of software currently on SourceForge, but FreeWERM is also much more than that. FreeWERM stores all employees that have worked for a company, along with their personal information, hours worked, company-defined payroll departments, and even user accounts.

It runs on Linux-based operating systems (I used Ubuntu) and uses PHP, Perl, and some light JavaScript, along with a MySQL database to store its information. It was developed by me to help my company's HR department deal with the problems of managing and reporting for an employee roster with several hundred names on it and an extremely high turnover rate (i.e. telemarketing firm), although it works just as well for a company with 10 employees.

FreeWERM stores personal information (name, address, phone, etc), but it also keeps track of individual Human Resources-related data for each employee, such as how many days absent (and what kind of absence - vacation, sick, bereavement), salary information, and FreeWERM is also capable of keeping track of which employees have been hired, fired, and re-hired by the same company and on what date(s). Also, whenever an employee is added to FreeWERM's database or when an existing employee's profile is modified, FreeWERM creates a PDF document version of the new/updated employee's profile. The employee's data can be used to generate HR reports - users can create reports showing new hires or new terminations for a certain department for a certain date range, or reports can be generated that show payroll information, to name a few. FreeWERM is even capable of creating PDF documents containing employee names and addresses in a format suitable for printing to sheets of label stickers for envelopes.

The most-often used feature of FreeWERM is the time clock. It's a very simple interface that only requires the employee to enter in their unique employee ID number (which is assigned at the time the employee is entered into the system). If the employee is not clocked in, the system clocks them in under the department listed on their profile. If the employee is already clocked in, they are clocked out and the information for the shift they worked is then stored in a table of time clock records. FreeWERM can take these records and make complete, organized Excel spreadsheets that not only display hours worked by employees, but also can calculate how much money the employee is owed for the hours worked.

FreeWERM can be used to create user accounts so only certain employees can use the module. There are over a dozen different privileges that can be granted to users, from manually inserting time clock records for employees to allowing the user to grant/modify permissions to other users. User privileges can also be refined to the point where users may only be allowed access to records/employees belonging to specific payroll departments. Also, FreeWERM logs user activity to a special access_log table in its MySQL database. Any changes, additions, or removal of information through FreeWERM is stored along with the date and time of the action and ID number of the user who performed it.

What's New in This Release:
There are some rather major changes to this latest release -
in an effort to accommodate non-US downloaders of this
software, the Social Security field used in the module has
now been changed to a more generic "Goverment ID", which is
now alphanumeric and can be up to 30 characters long. Also,
phone numbers are no longer formatted to U.S. standards -
phone numbers can now be 7 to 12 digits long. Finally, the
postal code field can have letters, spaces, and dashes
entered into it - it's no longer numbers only.

Another fix was in the screen to update employee information
- the state/province field was only allowing two characters
to be typed for the abbreviation. It's been adjusted to
allow five characters as in the page where new employees are

Also, a lot of JavaScript in many of the pages has now been
removed and many of the functions the JavaScript code
handles is now being done with PHP. In the future I hope to
have all the JavaScript code replaced so FreeWERM can
potentially be used with handheld devices.

If you've downloaded an older version and wish to update it,
it's strongly suggested that you overwrite all your older
files with the files of the same name in this new release,
as most of them have been altered. Also, you will need to
alter the employee_info table so that the 11-character
"social_security_no" field is now a 30-character
"government_id" field. You can accomplish this by going
into MySQL, using the employees database and running the
following SQL command:

alter table employee_info change social_security_no
government_id varchar(30);

If you have some additional pointers for making the address
fields more usable for world-wide downloaders, I'm
interested in hearing from you: -

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