Need to pull timesheet data into an Excel spreadsheet? Want executive spreadsheets? Special reports? Payroll info in Excel?
Watch the video below. You'll find exactly what you need. Then scroll down for more info.
XLST is an Excel Add-in that pulls time and expenses from your timesheet and puts them into a spreadsheet of your design.
XLST is an add-in. That means it plugs into Excel, and provides it's own menu and ribbon. You'll know you have XLST installed when you see the new menu at the top of the Excel window.
So... XLST is installed... what do I do now?
Start with the XLST-Test.xlsx spreadsheet found in the XLST installation folder. That spreadsheet contains all the Excel functions supported by the add-in. It has several worksheet tabs at the bottom, where you will see examples of every Excel function. You'll see context and descriptions that help explain how each function is used. You can connect this spreadsheet directly to your own SQL database.
Connecting XLST to the ST database
Before you can use any Excel functions from XLST, you must connect to your ST timesheet database. Start by clicking the XLST menu, and then the Standard Time® icon. A connection dialog will appear. You must have SQL Server (or SQL Express) authentication to connect. That means ST must be connected to SQL. You may have to start by connecting ST to SQL before XLST will be of any use. XLST does not connect to MS Access databases. Once XLST is connected to SQL, you will never have to do it again on that machine, for that windows login. It is a one-time operation.
Inserting an Excel function
The next step is to insert a new XLST Excel function into an empty cell. Just click on any empty cell in your spreadsheet, and then click the little function icon next to the formula bar in Excel. A new dialog will appear. Choose XLST from the Category dropdown. Now you'll see all the XLST functions available to you. Click one, and a new dialog will appear. It is asking for parameters for the chosen Excel function.
What are Excel function parameters?
Every XLST function needs parameters to operate. In other words, XLST functions will not produce an output until you specify the information you want from them. You do that with parameters. Each parameter instructs the function to find data for the choices you make. For example, if you choose employee "Buzz Aldrin" as a parameter, the function will find information for that employee. Or, if you choose "Neil Armstrong" as a parameter, you will get information for him. The choices you make determine the information you get back from the function. These choices are called parameters.
Are all parameters required?
There are a lot of parameter choices for each XLST function. Are they all required? Usually not.
Most functions require only a few parameters to operate. They will attempt to return something with the least amount of information. But they all require a few parameters to return something. The more parameters you supply, the more detailed the information will be.
For example, if you choose "Buzz Aldrin" on project "Apollo CSM-107" you would get different information than "Buzz Aldrin" on project "Apollo LM-5". Each parameter affects the outcome.
What can I do with the XLST Excel Add-in?
XLST is an executive and backoffice tool. It is usually not client-facing, and usually not used by employees. In other words, it is used by administrative, management, and executive teams to collect and analyze employee timesheet data. Employees have already entered that data into their timesheets. You are now mining that information for company management purposes.
What purposes, specifically?
Payroll, financial reports, project management reports, project execution reports, client costs, salary costs, time and materials reports.
What functions are available in XLST?
Here is a partial list, and a description of each function.