Migration to WorkSchedule.Net Version 9

for existing WorkSchedule.Net Version 8 customers

SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS FOR MIGRATION

  • WorkSchedule.Net v9 is the new, next generation WorkSchedule.Net application that will ultimately replace the current version, v8. It features a new, modernized user interface, a full-featured mobile app, and a generally easier-to-use system.
  • WorkSchedule.Net v9 is a new application, completely separate from WorkSchedule.Net v8, operating in a separate space.
  • To start your migration process request an invite link here on the Migration Request Form. Requesting and starting a new v9 account in WorkSchedule.Net v9 alone has no effect on your existing WorkSchedule.Net v8 account. We are encouraging company admins to migrate their data to WorkSchedule.Net v9 now for the purpose of learning the new system with a migrated copy of your setup and data, to explore. Support is available for any questions or concerns.
  • Data migration” to v9, simply means copying the bulk of your data from v8 to v9 (with noted limitations listed below). It does not switch your live operations to the v9 account. However, data migration WILL temporarily lock out v8 users for a period of time (typically about 1 to 10 minutes) during the copying of data but WILL NOT affect the data in your current v8 company account. You can migrate your data for testing, and then re-migrate your data later on when you are ready for the live switchover.
  • Finalizing the migration is an action that you will ultimately take that switches live operations to your v9 company account. It will close out version 8 and switch your billing and subscription over to version 9. It is available for you to execute from the home menu when you are ready. Until you finalize, your live operations remain in version 8, and you are just learning and exploring version 9.
  • You have until at least July 1, 2023, the currently scheduled end of life for version 8, to fully migrate to the new system and finalize your live switchover.  We will give you the tools and resources to plan and execute the migration, with support just an email or phone call away to help.
  • Your version 9 account is a sandbox account by default when you migrate, which means all pages and notifications have a message indicating that the account is for testing only, and notifications are redirected to an admin. This allows you to learn and play in the account without confusing users with notifications that are not real.  You will turn this off once you finalize the migration.

WHAT IS WORKSCHEDULE.NET VERSION 9? 

Several years ago we set out to take all the great features of WorkSchedule.Net, and re-design them better. While customers continued to use the current version of WorkSchedule.Net (version 8) during that time, our team has been hard at work re-designing WorkSchedule.Net version 9 behind the scenes.  

Version 9 has a totally new modernized user interface, a fully functional mobile app, and better security. Highlighted features include “true” SMS for text messaging, drag and drop, easier selection and mass editing of time blocks, custom user role management, and expanded shareable view settings, among many others. 

VERSION 9 FEATURES 

WorkSchedule.Net v9 has all the fundamental features you have in v8, but there are important differences.  Before concluding that a feature that you need does not exist in v9, please do contact us for verification of that.  The feature may be in a different place, might be there but called something else or handled differently, or it may be on the short-term roadmap. 

WHAT IS MIGRATION AND WHY DO WE HAVE TO MIGRATE FOR THIS UPGRADE? 

WorkSchedule.Net v9 operates independently of WorkSchedule.Net v8 (the current version). You can think of it as a different application altogether and you can have a company account in both simultaneously for a while with the same company ID while migrating. 

Usually when we upgrade WorkSchedule.Net, the existing application is upgraded without any action needed on your part, and you receive the update the next time you login. But due to the degree of change in this major upgrade, you will need to be aware of the changes, prepare your team, and control when the update happens for YOUR company account so that it is at a convenient time for you. 

TWO WAYS TO MIGRATE 

As an existing customer, you can either migrate your data over when ready, or alternatively, you can just start with a fresh account in v9 and re-enter your data as needed. In either case the new account will have the same company ID as the old, and when you ultimately make the live switchover to v9, you will have all your existing subscription information migrated over to your v9 account. This will ensure that you keep your existing discounted price plan. It will also preserve (move over) your billing history and subscription information. 

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO MIGRATE? 

You have plenty of time to make the switch. The end of life (EOL) for WorkSchedule.Net v8 is guaranteed to be no earlier than 7/1/2023, and you can continue to use the WorkSchedule.Net v8 until you are ready to upgrade or EOL. The EOL date will likely be moved further into the future, and we will keep you updated. 

HOW TO START A NEW V9 ACCOUNT 

To start a new WorkSchedule.Net v9 account, go to the Version 9 Migration Invite Request Form, and submit a request.  Within two business days an invite link will be emailed to the top administrator email address on file for each company account. 

Once you receive your invite link by email, you can click it to start a new company account in v9.  You will then see this page: 

You will have the option here to  

  1. Create new account (Also called “fresh start”)
  2. Migrate existing account (Note that this will lock out the v8 account for a few minutes to a few hours depending on the amount of data being transferred)

Keep in mind that you will have the option to change your mind later. So if you want to just get into the new v9 account to start playing around with it and learning it, you can choose “create new account” now, and then migrate the data from v8 later. 

Regardless of your choice, your account will be placed into sandbox mode by default (see “SANDBOX MODE” below) which will ensure no confusion among your users about what is test vs real. 

THE THREE MAIN MIGRATION ACTIONS 

FRESH START 

“Fresh start” is an action you can take that starts a fresh, virtually empty account for you. If you take this action from the home page for an account that you already started in v9, your v9 company account will first be deleted completely. You will then go through a setup wizard for the key options of your account, and no data from your v8 account will be transferred over. The new account will, however, be associated with the old one via the Company ID for your future live switchover (“Finalize” action). You can do a fresh start even if you have already started over or migrated/re-migrated before, and even if you originally chose the data migration option. 

DATA MIGRATION 

“Data migration” is an action you can take, as an alternative to the fresh start, that initiates a new account for you in v9 with most (but not all) of your data from v8.  If you take this action from the home page for an account that you already started in v9, your v9 company account will first be deleted completely and then a new account will be started again, with the transferred data from v8 in it. See the “MIGRATED DATA” section for what data is migrated and what is not. You can re-migrate even if you have already migrated or re-migrated data before, and even if you originally chose a fresh start. 

IMPORTANT: Taking this action will temporarily lock out users in your v8 account for just a few minutes up to a few hours (depending on the quantity of data being transferred) while the data is copied. 

FINALIZE 

Finalize is the action you will want to take when you are ready to fully move your WorkSchedule.Net subscription and live operations over to v9 from v9. Once you invoke this action, your billing and subscription information will move to your v9 account (i.e., your current number of user licenses, subscription term, etc.) Your v8 account will then be closed and all users will be locked out of it. You will exclusively use the v9 account going forward from this point as you will no longer have access to the old v8 account.  

The finalize action is irreversible. 

HOME PAGE OPTIONS 

Once you have a new account in v9, you will be able to re-migrate or start over fresh whenever you want from the home page. You can even take either these “starting over” actions multiple times. Just keep in mind that when you do so, you will lose all the data in your v9 account. When you are ready to make the live switch you can “finalize”. 

ROADMAP 

Although most of the features in v8 have been carried through to v9 either directly or handled in some way, some features are still being developed. 

You can check here on the Roadmap page

SANDBOX MODE  

Sandbox mode is an option that is on by default when you migrate, and you can turn it on or off in v9 “Company Settings”. It lets you freely play around without any concern that a user will think it is real world data or activity. Banners on the top of every page state that it is a test, as do banners at the top of the notifications (SMS and email). As an additional option (also on by default), all notifications can be redirected to you or another admin, just in case you have real email addresses or mobile phone numbers in the system and don’t want to confuse others while you test. 

Note: This means that when you invite new users the invites will redirect to you or another admin with  the redirect option on.  You can just manually forward the emails to the intended users, whose email address should bein the body of the redirected emails.

MIGRATED DATA 

WHAT DATA IS MIGRATED? 

  • General Options (now called Company Settings in v9)
  • General user information 
    • EXAMPLES: Name, phone number, notes 
    • Includes main permission levels (Administrator, Manager, Employee, and Read-Only) which will be assigned to appropriate default Roles in v9 
    • Includes settings for auto-schedule such as max hours, rank, etc. 
  • Time blocks and their changes histories back in time to a date of your choosing in the recurring and current schedules and templates 
    • Will retain the post date or dates (if different among departments) 
    • Includes up to one break per time blocks
      • Multiple breaks per shift not supported currently in v9
    • Includes time off blocks
    • Includes attendance time blocks 
  • Categories 
  • Category items 
  • User/employee qualifications 
  • Availability time blocks 
  • Time off ledger information 
  • Clock in and out IP restrictions 

WHAT DATA IS NOT MIGRATED? 

  • Most individual user options / permissions. This is now handled by Roles which get assigned to users. See the “PREPARING USER ROLES” section. 
    • EXAMPLES: Sign up / swap option, restriction of schedule view, ability to edit time sheet are not migrated. 
  • Managed Departments 
    • The list of departments a manager has access to has moved to the role and must be re-entered. See “PREPARING USER ROLES” for how to handle this. 
  • Rules (for Automation) 
    • You can re-add them with little effort.  Contact support@workschedule.net if you are missing a rule in v9 or need assistance. Some rules are configured differently in v9 and some of the less widely used rules are incomplete but on the roadmap. 
  • Pending time off requests 
    • All pending time off requests should be moved to the new system by having employees re-submit them in the v9 account. 
  • Pending swap requests 
    • All pending swap requests should be moved to the new system by having employees re-submit them in the v9 account. 
  • Billboard 
    • Easy to re-enter the information 

Note that this is a general description of migrated data and there are nuances to the specifics not detailed here.  If you have a question about the migration of some specific data please feel free to contact support. Please verify that the data you need has transferred over if using the data migration path. 

STEPS OF MIGRATION 

Step 1 START 

Request the v9 migration invite link. Once you receive it, use the invite link we send the top administrator to start a new sandbox account in v9. Choose either data migration or fresh start to get started. If doing a fresh start, go through the setup wizard to the end. 

Step 2 EXPLORE AND LEARN 

Look at the help documentation and explore all the updated features of the new system. Learn how to use the new system by referencing the documentation, or contacting support@workschedule.net. You can also contact support for a training session.  

Feel free to enter fake data to test, as you can start over fresh or migrate / re-migrate data from your v8 account any time and multiple times if needed. Nothing here will affect your v8 account, except the short downtime when you migrate / re-migrate data while it copies (does not change) v8 data. 

If there are additional administrators, you may want to invite them during this stage to explore and learn as well. Train them once you understand the system yourself. We are always available to help or set up a training session for you and your team as well. 

Step 3 VERIFY 

Make sure all the features you need are there. Make sure that all the data you need is there if you chose the data migration option. If you are missing something you need, please contact support@workschedule.netIt may be on our roadmap or the need may be handled a different way in v9. If it is a custom feature that is missing, please contact us to discuss it with you. 

Step 4 PLAN 

Plan your live switch. You’ll need to consider the following: 

  • Do you ultimately want to start over fresh and re-enter the data from scratch? Or do you want to migrate the data from v8? 
  • If using data migration, draft a written plan of what settings you will need to change when you go live, after you delete all the v9 data again and re-migrate the final time, but before finalizing.
  • What is the best date and time for your organization to switch over live with minimal disruption?
  • If the data migration option is chosen, what data might you need to enter manually because it does not migrate from v8? (see “WHAT DATA IS NOT MIGRATED?” subsection) 

Step 5 – PREPARE 

Prepare for the live switch. 

  • Communicate your plan to your employees 
  • Prepare the user roles 
    • Setting up roles properly is one of the key areas to pay attention to in preparing for the switch. 
    • See “IMPORTANT CHANGES IN V9” below for help on how roles now work in v9 vs v8. 
    • You can then modify these roles and add new ones as needed to give your users the permissions they need. 
  • Communicate the plan to your employees 
    • Let them know what date you will be switching over 

Step 6 GO LIVE! 

Make the live switch 

  • On the Home page of v9, take the finalize action to shut down v8 and move your subscription and billing over to the new system. 

UNDERSTANDING USER ROLES IN V9 

Roles are groups of specific permissions that are assigned to users to limit/expand their functionality in the system. 

In v8 user permissions were handled quite differently than v9. There was a “general” permission level in the user record at the top of the Permissions tab, and other permissions for the user as either an employee or as a manager throughout the various areas of the user record: 

  • General Permission (Labelled “Permissions” in the v8 user record, permissions tab) 
    • This had four options: Administrator, Manager, Employee, and Read Only 
    • These permissions were not customizable in v8 
  • Employee permissions 
    • There were a number of employee permissions in the user record such as the allowing swap or sign up, how much of the schedule an employee can see, the ability for an employee to edit his/her own attendance record, etc. 
  • Manager permissions 
    • Managed Departments
      • If a “Manager” or “Read Only” permission, this determines which departments the manager can access.  
    • Miscellaneous other manager permissions in the user record 

The concept of the General Permission in v8 is replaced in v9 by assigning the user to a role. This gives much more granular permission control in part because the four default roles in v9 (which match the Administrator, Manager, Employee, and Read Only from v8) can be customized as to the specific permissions of each. In addition you can add new roles, rename the default roles, as needed. 

Virtually all of the other user record permissions, including Managed Departments, are now set inside the role instead of the user record. Users are now assigned to roles to give them the correct permissions.  

If a user has a very unique permission configuration (just for a single user, for example) you can make a role just for the user (even perhaps assign the name of the user as the name of the role) and assign the role to that user. So v9 still has the ability to assign each user a unique set of permissions, but encourages assigning users into groups of users with identical permissions where that achieves the desired result. 

See the v9 help documentation on roles

PREPARING USER ROLES 

You will need to make sure roles are setup properly before making the live switchover. 

If you chose the data migration option, your users will be assigned to one of these four roles initially based on the General Permission from v8 (user record, permissions tab, first selector labelled “Permissions”). You can then edit and even rename the existing default roles if that makes sense for you. You can also add new roles and name them. 

You can then re-assign your users to the roles that make sense for them. 

IMPORTANT CHANGES IN V9 

These are what are likely to be the biggest overall changes to lookout for, and the most important to know at the time you migrate to v9. For more detail on these and other features please refer to our online help documentation here 

One area for both managers and employees 

In WorkSchedule.Net v8 there were two separate major areas of the system: the management area and the employee area.  In v9 we have simplified this. There now is only one portal but depending on the permissions of the user certain areas cannot be seen on the menu nor accessed. 

The recurring schedule is now just another template 

If you use data migration, your Recurring Schedule will transfer over to v9 as a template named “Recurring Schedule”. So the Recurring Schedule is now treated as just another template.  This should not require much adjustment, as the Recurring Schedule in v8 was in a way always a “master template”. 

Many user permissions and options are now handled by Roles 

See the help docs for user roles 

Users control their own login credentials 

In v9 all users, except the top administrator, must be invited to the company account as a user and register before they can login. In the user registration process, users must enter a user ID and a password of their choosing. Administrators can neither see nor change another user’s credentials. 

Users have full control over what notifications they get and don’t get 

Also users have full control over virtually all the notifications they receive. They can choose which types of notifications they want to receive, and how they receive them (by email, SMS, or internal email). This is done in part to avoid accidentally “spamming” of terminated employees. If employees are required to receive certain notifications by company policy, nothing prevents you from enforcing that policy outside of the application controls. 

Swap and sign up are now both under the umbrella of “schedule change requests” 

Swap and sign-ups are treated very similarly in v9 and use the same underlying functionality as two types of “schedule change requests”. Unlike in v8, you can opt for a requirement that managers approve sign ups before they occur. 

Employee availability is super-simplified 

We have completely overhauled availability. Employees and administrator no longer have to be concerned with “normal” vs “override” weeks of availability. Each employee is given an availability calendar like a Google or Outlook calendar and can create availability time blocks that recur on a daily or weekly basis like a standard online calendar.