Saturday, November 1, 2008

Attendance Recording System (ARS)


I work as a Application Support Manager in one of a leading companies of Nepal. 

During my visit to Simra for study of ARS (Attendance Recording System), I have prepared the following document.

It includes the technical details and functional details that need to be maintained by Central IT team.


 a.      Technical Details


Applications Used :

RMS Access Management System, Download data stars, STARS,  ARS

Current Status :

RMS Access Management System, Download data stars, STARS are used but ARS is not used.

Front End Technology :

  1. Visual Basic (RMS, Download data stars, STARS)
  2. ASP / JavaScript / HTML (ARS)

Database Technology :

  1. Microsoft Access 2003. (RMS)
  2. Microsoft Access 2000. (STARS)
  3. SQL Server 2000 (ARS)
  4. No separate database (Download data stars)

Database Name :

  1. RMS_A.mdb, Back_A.mdb
  2. ARS.mdb (STARS)
  3. ARS_DB (ARS)

Current Database Size :

  1. 80 MB (RMS)
  2. 280 MB (STARS)
  3. 82 MB (ARS)

Front End Username/ Password :

  1. admin/NEWNEPAAL (STARS)
  2. harihar/vintuna (ARS)

Database Username/ Password :

  1. No password protection (RMS, STARS)
  2. sa/notknown (ARS)

Source code availability :

  1. Available for RMS, ARS, Download data stars.
  2. Not available for ARS.

Common Users :

Harihar Uday, Dharmendra, Shreedhar Joshi

Application Server Details :



Hostname :



IP Address :





Hard Disk :



OS :

Windows 2000 Server

Database Server Details :

Same as Application Server

Application Backup :


Database Backup :

Daily backup of database of RMS and STARS

System Implemented By :

Binod Pandey, Secure Alarm Traders

Software Vendor :

  1. Reco Research (RMS)
  2. Zenith Control and Systems Pvt. Ltd. –Zecons  (STARS)
  3. Value One Nepal (ARS)

System Developed By :


Support person from software vendor :

Value One Nepal

Support person from SNPL :

Binod Pandey, Dharmendra

AMC Details :


Screen Shot :



1. RMS








b.      Functional Details


Basic Objective :

To capture and process attendance data of workers and generate reports for the Time Office and company management.



Business Logic & Process :


RMS is a system to record entry and exits of workers. STARS helps in processing and manipulating the attendance data captured by RMS. STARS has facility of creating departments, employees, entering different types of leaves, encashing leave, etc. It has a system for handling employees of different shifts and provision for shift change. STARS is designed for downloading data from bridge reader. But as the bridge reader is replaced by Smart Card Reader, RMS is used to download data and STARS only manipulates that data. This entire system does not do any financial transactions.


First of all, the user of STARS has to create employees with provided card numbers, calendars, leaves type, holidays, shifts, etc. Every worker has got a unique smart card. Whenever he enters or exits office, he scans his card in Smart Card Reader (RAC 800) placed at the entrance and exit points. The Smart Card Reader is connected to Isolated Repeater Data Converter at server room which is connected to serial port of server machine. RMS application continuously monitors the data coming and downloads it to its database (table data_card). The Smart Card Reader has its own memory. So, it can also store records for no. of days in case RMS is not running.


The use of RMS is limited to this point only. After total downloads for a shift is complete (not necessarily), a utility "Download data STARS" is run to copy new attendance records from RMS database (table data_card) to a new text file with name same as date and time of creation. The file is then renamed as ars.txt. Now the user opens STARS and runs posting. It will update STARS database (table: tbl_muster) with the new data from ars.txt and changes the extension of that file.


If some worker has to take leave or change shift, he will write a memo and give it to Time Office after approval of shift manager or other seniors. The STARS user will enter the same in system. If that worker comes to office and scans card, then system will show error. The worker is not paid for that. But the memo can be passed into the system later on also. STARS also provides facility for leave encashment but the financial impact is not shown only the leave balance of that employee is reduced.


After the end of each month, the attendance details needs to be submitted to HRM for payroll processing of workers. The Time Office gets the backup database (ars.mdb) of month end, deletes unnecessary records of all previous months by running a query in access database and gives the file to HRM (Shreedhar).  The HRM staff copies the file to \\marshal\ramcoapp\upload_file folder and uploads the file in Ramco ERP from Attendance Allowance Upload screen of Payroll module with help of IT person. This is done to calculate attendance allowance of workers. Workers present in all working days will get additional allowance as per logic incorporated in Ramco ERP.   The Time Office also generates a text file by running payroll report of STARS and gives it to HRM. The HRM staff deletes records of managers, deletes second column, saves as ars.txt, copies it to \\marshal\ramcoapp\upload_file folder and runs ARS Upload from ARS Upload screen of Payroll module of Ramco ERP with the help of IT person. Finally, the allowance calculated is checked from Ramco Payroll report and salary of workers is processed.




Problems :

1. The system is troublesome to operate as the users have to use multiple modules.


2. There is greater chance of data vulnerability as Access databases are not password protected and users also have to work in those databases and notepads containing data.


3. Access database has limited capacity to handle data. The size of STARS database has grown sufficiently large with more than 5 lakhs of data. So, there is risk of data corruption. Nonetheless, IT personnel take backup of database daily and also purge database once in a year keeping old backup for later reference.


3. Error comes frequently while entering leaves of workers.


4. There are frequent errors in reports also.

Solutions / Enhancements/ Suggestions  :


The use of three separate modules; one for capturing, other for manipulating data and other for interlinking them requiring human intervention in data is illogical. This entire system should be integrated in single module.


Access database technology has become old. Working in this is absurd for handling thousands of data daily. A better database technology such as SQL Server is more appropriate.


The ARS system developed by Value One is not used. Either this system could be enhanced to overcome all errors or new system could be developed.