Thursday, August 09, 2007

Product Review: ManagerAssistant

Following is my review of the product "ManagerAssistant" is a company which develops Workforce Management Software.

One of its products is titled the same, i.e. the product is named ManagerAssistant.

The current version of this product is 3.0. A detailed description of the product is available here -
If you just feel like going through a tour, the link goes here -

What is ManagerAssistant?
To put it in simple words, ManagerAssistant is a software that helps managers for employee management.

This software empowers managers to track, evaluate, and control the behavior, performance, and activities of employees.

From a single application, ManagerAssistant software addresses the following workforce management processes and activities:

Employee review
Employee information tracking and monitoring
Hiring and recruitment
Employee evaluation
Employee attendance tracking
Employee appraisal
Vacation tracking
Incident tracking
Paid time off tracking
Employee goals
Employee training & development administration
Employee HR detailed info

Free Demo Download.

There is a free demo download available; unfortunately, this requires you to register. This may not be such a good idea where you force upon the visitors to register to download a demo.

Anyways, I can tell you a hack how to avoid the registration.

This is a php website and you can directly use this link to download the demo without registering -

The download was very slow(at least for me) - it took almost an hour to download the exe file.

You did better use Download Accelerator Plus(DAP), which is available here for free -

Using DAP I was able to download in almost 5-7 mins. The file is approx 111 MB.
System Requirements

- Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® Vista, XP Home/Pro, Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4 Pro, or Microsoft Windows Server 2003
- Intel Pentium® or compatible processor (700 MHz or greater)
- 512 MB RAM or greater
- 150 MB disk space
- SVGA with 256 colors (1024 x 768 with 16-bit color recommended)

Double click the executable and the installer opens up, the follow up is pretty simple. Unfortunately, the installer does not give me the option of choosing the installation directory.
The files are installed under C:\Program Files\\ManagerAssistant 3.0\

There is only a windows version of this product, they do not have a Linux or anything else.

If you have an earlier version of ManagerAssistant, you can even migrate the data to the new version.

Once the Installation is over, just double click on the icon to open the application.

The front page shows up like below.

Reminders: There is a set of reminders on the left hand side, you can even view only the reminders that were set by you alone.

You can view reminders for 1. For the day 2. For the week 3. For the Month

Also present is a calendar with the current date highlighted.

CheckList: Here you can add any number of folders and TO-DO list. The Completed items appear in Blue color, Pending items in Green and Overdue items in Red.

Employees Tab:

This is a very useful tab and gives the complete information of the employee.

Just right click on the right taq and you get the list of columns.

There are a total of pre-defined 79 columns and you can select/deselect these columns.

Unfortunately, there is no way to add your own columns. And you cannot re-name these columns.

You can add/edit/delete an employee record and the best of these I think is the "email as pdf" feature. This will email the emp record in a pdf.

You can filter the records, There are a variety of reports which are very good.
The data can be exported in the form of grid in 4 types - XML, HTML, Text, XLS

Attendance Tab

This is another important tab in the product. Very helpful to track the attendance of the employees.

This can be very useful when the you have employees who are employed part-time as well as full-time.

There are 4 sub tabs
1. Calendar View
2. Table View
3. Attendance overview
4. Employee Year View

The salient features here include:
a. You can select the columns to view.
b. You can sort the columns.
c. Adding an attachment to the details is allowed.
Allows marking for different types of attendance out reasons like: bereavement, maternity, medical, sick, late/tardy, vacation, comp time, military duty, floating, jury duty and more.
Never a days the employee attendance is recorded by the magnetic swiping of the emp ID card at the entrance door.

It would be great if this applicaiton can be import data on a day to day basis from the the server. May be that needs a plugin or something to be added to acheive that???

Here is a report for attendance I created. This is Bar Graph created from the existing data.

Performance Review Tab

This can be used to produce reviews of employees within a short time, no need of storing the data in word formats etc...

You can send out reminder emails as well and there is self calculating ratings. You can modify the ratings and change the categories, weighted averages etc.

Also other features include - spell check, thesaurus, email as pdf, print hte reviews.

Below is a snapshot of the Review details.

The Goals Tab

This can be used to create a set of goals for the employees which they need to accomplish over a period of time. One advantage here is you can keep track of the progress of the employees.

This is how the goals tab looks like.

The Incidents Tab

Helps you to keep track of any incident that happened. This can be any good or bad incident.

You can add an attachment, Also note the plan of action.

The accomplishments Tab

Whenever an employee acheives something, you need to keep track of that, lest you may forget. The managers need to keep track of all the employees and they may forget the employee acheivements.

This tool can be very useful to keep track of the accomplishments and the employees who accomplish something great should be given bonus.

The Training Tab

Helpful in keeping track of the training a candidate takes during his employment.

The Recruitment Tab

This is helpful in recruiting.

1. you can enter the data of the candidates applying.

2. If he is selected, you can convert him into an employee - should add the employee data at the time.

But what I was looking for here the flow of recruitment process. Like when 1st round of interview is over, he(first interviewer) should be able to transfer the candidate to the second interviewer.

And then the next interviewer. Unfortunately this is missing. Generally this process is very tedious and people send emails. An application would be good.

The Expenses Tab

You can add your expenses reports here.


Here is a list of customers including which ManagerAssistant has.

Single-User Edition Version3.0 $395.00
Network/Multi-User Edition Version 3.0 Starting at $895.00


The help and documentation provided with the app is very good.


They do not provide a un-installer link in the start - programs menu. Nor do they provide a unistall.exe in the installed directory.

You need to go to the control panel to unistall the product.


The website of ManagerAssistant is good, but it would be good if they can come up with something better. I was able to download the app by-passing the registration form.

ManasgerAssistant is a good application, with a lot of features all integrated. I found the “Employee” tab and the “Performance Review” tabs very useful. The attendance tab is also good but I was wondering if there was an integration with the swiping card attendance. If there can be a way by which we can integrate the attendance with the app, then the time-in, time-out of the employees can be noted and also the attendance. Also there should be a way by which the employees can apply for vacation through the intranet, and the app should update itself automatically.

Definitely this is a very good app for the Managers and can save a lot of time and imporve the productivity.


Disclaimer: Do not make a purchase based on this review; I suggest you to Download ManagerAssistant, test it for a few days and see if you like it yourself.

This is a sponsored review; Do you want your product to be reviewd? Check out ReviewMe

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tester Job

Received this email... thought I would share it.
Tensor Software Technologies, Bangalore, India, requires a Software Testing Engineer with more than 2 years of experience in Testing.

Candidates should possess the following skillsets:-

1. Design and development of test cases from software design documentation and Functional, technical and regulatory requirements

2. Defect identification, isolation and reporting

3. Familiarity with test automation tools

4. Good knowledge in System testing, performance testing
5. Hardware knowledge would be beneficial.

Please send your resumes to Only if you have the required experience and skillset.

About Tensor:
Tensor is the leading manufacturer of smart card and biometric Time and Attendance, Access Control, Visitor Monitoring, and Digital CCTV equipment and software.

URL Redirection...

I received an email asking about HTML Code for redirection of a web page to another?

To make a page redirect, we can use the HTML Meta Tag inside the head tag

meta equiv="refresh" content="5; url="

This code will redirect your webpage to the new url after 5 seconds.
The attribute http-equiv="refresh" calls for refresh of the page.
The attribute content="5; URL=" sets the time interval in seconds after which the page redirection will take place and the destination page.

Make sure you follow the exact order of coding. i.e: content="time interval in seconds; URL=resulting page";

Note that you should not use semicolon after 'url='.So using this meta tag will redirect the page to the destination page after the time interval.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

EDS Acquires RelQ...

RelQ is one of the most well known Software Testing Companies... I recently came to know that it has been acquired by EDS.

Operational Automation

A good article from eds blog.

Operational Automation will Always Win Out in the End

Having an on-site workforce is expensive and will continue to go up over time (inflation). You can find low cost locations. They start out low, but inflationary pressures (supply and demand) will force them up too.

Read full entry...

Synchronous Automation Testing

I came across a good article on "Synchronous Automation Testing" by Pushpa Reddy...

Read it on...


Nowadays we commonly come across systems which use Windows UNIX-emulation. In this article I would like to share my experience automating such system using a functional testing tool and a test management tool.

Objectives• To build a test automation pack which synchronises with the batch process in UNIX-emulation system and continues with the database validation in Windows.• To build a test automation pack with support for cross-platform operating systems (UNIX and Windows XP), and database support (Oracle 9i, Sybase and SQL 2000).• To use the automation pack and validation pack for regression test cycles.

Read more »

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Reporting bugs - A how to guide

One of my colleague forwarded me  a good link regarding bug reporting for web application testing; worth a quick read.
“Reporting bugs - a how-to guide”
an article from

Full Text of the article


When working with a developer or team of developers on an application – whether you are a designer working with developers or an end client hiring developers – you all want the same end result, a slick and bug free application. During the testing process of any application it is likely that some bugs or issues will show up and this article aims to explain how to report bugs and problems effectively so that your developers don’t need to spend time working out what the problem is before being able to fix it. This helps to ensure that projects stay on budget and that developers are spending their time adding features to the application rather than trying to get enough details to be able to reproduce and fix issues.

“It’s just not working!”

When you find a problem, it is very tempting to just fire off an email and presume that the developer will immediately be able to see the problem too. However, by taking a few minutes to describe the problem you have encountered accurately you can prevent any confusion occurring as to what the problem is and save both your time and the developer’s as she won’t need to get back to you to find out what actually happened, or spend a long time trying to reproduce the issue.

A good report

A good bug report tells your developer three vital things:

  • What you expected to happen
  • What actually happened
  • What you did/were doing when it happened

What you expected to happen

There are two kinds of ‘bugs’, the first is where something breaks – you see an error message, your uploaded data disappears, you submit a form and the change isn’t saved. These bugs are generally pretty easy to report and identify as all your developer needs is to know exactly what you were doing or inputting at the time and they should be able to reproduce and fix the issue.

The second kind of bug is where the application doesn’t function as you expected. This might be because the developer has misinterpreted part of the specification or it could be that what you expect just isn’t how something can work. In this case the developer believes that it is working fine – and in fact it is ‘working’ even if it is incorrect. If your bug report is that the feature is broken, the developer may then spend time looking for some error in this part of the application when what they need to realize is that it isn’t working as you expected. By giving the information about what you expected to happen the developer can think ‘ah … you wanted it to do x and it is doing y’ and a resolution can be sorted out quickly.

What actually happened

What actually happened is very rarely ‘nothing’ yet bug reports often contain the phrase, ‘nothing happened’. If what happened was ‘nothing’ in terms of the intended result then explain that in a few more words, for example, if you clicked the submit button on a form and it didn’t submit and go onto the next page you could say,

“The form didn’t submit – it just remained on the same page.”

Or perhaps the form submitted and a blank page displayed,

“After submitting the form a blank page loaded.”

If an error message displays on the screen then include that in the report. Just copy and paste the error message.

If you use Internet Explorer then your browser may not display the error message generated by the server, instead showing a generic error page. You can ensure the IE displays the real error message by going to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced. Then scroll down to the browsing section and uncheck ‘Show Friendly HTTP error messages’.

What you were doing when it happened

Your developer wants to know this information – not because they want to tell you that you were doing something wrong, but because it is highly likely that the bug occurs only when a certain path of actions is followed, or when a certain type of data is entered. The more information you can give your developer the easier it will be for them to reproduce the problem you saw and fix it. Things you should include:

The steps taken
List exactly what you did, in the order you did it if possible. If you can go back and try the same steps again and the problem happens again that is great – note down exactly how you made the problem occur. Your developer will be pleased as you have just saved her time trying to reproduce the issue. Even if you can’t reproduce it, no-one is going to doubt that the problem happened – just describe as much as you can remember how you got to the broken point.

Any data you were entering
If the problem happened after you added some data to a form, include the data with the bug report. If you were uploading something such as an image into the application then include that too.

It may also be helpful to copy and paste the URL out of the address bar of the browser so the developer knows exactly which page you were on at the time.

The browser and operating system you were using at the time
With web applications problems may only be occurring in one browser. Let your developer know exactly what you are using – including the version number - so they can create the same environment to test the problem.

Effective bug reporting can make a huge difference in how quickly problems can be resolved, and prevent frustration on both sides of the process. Including the above information, even if it doesn’t seem relevant, will be appreciated by the developer. You don’t need to write an essay, just a few clear lines explaining the key information of:

  • what you expected to happen
  • what actually happened and,
  • what you did/were doing when it happened.

This will be enough to isolate all but the most complicated of issues, and once an issue can be reproduced it is well on its way to being fixed.