When a user leaves what happens to their data?

I am sure that it has happened to us at one time or another. A user leaves the firm.  What happens to their data? As we should know:

  •  a user is a person that logs into Time Matters and
  • a staff is someone that owns records – has a calendar, saves emails

When someone leaves, you have to deal with both the staff and the user. In this post I am only talking about the user.

What to do?

  1. First you should disable the access for the user, you can just change the password if you want.
  2. Log in as the user and deal with the records that are user related. Messages in the messenger, phone records flagged to that user and hopefully NOT but if you are using TM email.. clean out the Inbox.
  3. I would then remove the user. Don’t fear, the records owned by the staff are still in place.
  4. Deal with the records that have been orphaned in the database

What is orphaned?

Above in 2, are listed the records that are visible in Time Matters for that user…there is data that is not visible though and it should be dealt with.  A partial list:

  • deleted messages
  • user preferences
  • user security
  • auto entry forms for that user
  • templates for that user
  • trigger for that user
  • autotxt codes for that user
  • inbox

Is this a big deal?

If you are a very small firm, perhaps not. If you have any volume of users (and a volume that are no longer with the firm) it can. Remember Time Matters has a data table that holds information for all users/staff. If you want to look at your messages, the application has to look through everyone’s messages.   Another example, is to have your user preferences (appearance of screens, user configurations) the application looks through all user settings — including the users that are no longer at the firm.

I regularly see firms that have crashing issues that are data issues. A strong integrity check can increase program reliability.

How do I deal with this?

You could run a series of SQL queries and look for issues, if you knew where and what they were.  It is much easier to look at Sharpshooter (here) written by Steve Stockstill at DataEquity. It is one of the standard data integrity checks. As disclosure I am more aggressive than Steve and I delete more from the database than Steve would. Here is a video of the orphan user test. I show at the end how to delete the data.

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