Custom Leave Notifications via TribeHR Webhooks

Published by on September 3, 2013 | 0 Comments | Posted in: Latest Updates

When a team member submits a leave request in TribeHR, it will go directly to their immediate supervisor. But let’s consider a common scenario: Team that have more complicated needs than this. So how can we set up custom notifications for when new leave requests (or other actions) happen in TribeHR?

Enter Webhooks

If you have a technical team that knows how to work with an API, this is actually really easy to do. TribeHR generates a series of events that you can subscribe to, known as Webhooks. When you subscribe to a webhook, TribeHR will notify you any time an action takes place.

For our example, as an Administrator in TribeHR you can go to Administration > Advanced > Webhooks, and hit the “New Webhook” button. On the screen that follows, we can subscribe to any events that we like—in the “Name” field, let’s enter “Leave Request Notifications,” then put “LeaveRequest.Add” into the “Event” field. Finally, in the “Url” field, put a URL that points to some address on one of your servers where you can accept an HTTP request. If your company’s application server address is found at “webservices.mycompany.com”, then we’d put “http://webservices.mycompany.com/leave_notifications.php” into the field.

Now, each and every time someone from your team adds a new leave request through TribeHR—through the web, the mobile app, the API or whatever method they choose—we’ll send a basic data package to the URL you’ve specified that includes information such as who created the new leave request, and what ID that leave request object has. With that, you now have enough information to act on.

webhook_example
You can find a lot more information about TribeHR’s implementation of Webhooks in our online documentation, including the full list of Webhooks that you can subscribe to, and what exactly is included in the data package being sent.

Building Your Webhook Listener

Okay! So now that TribeHR is notifying your server every time a new leave request is created, now what? Well, you’ll need to have something at the URL you provided listening for these events.

We used the example URL http://webservices.mycompany.com/leave_notifications.php, so let’s assume that you’re going to create a basic script that lives on your server called “tribeapi_leave_notifications.php” (you don’t need to use PHP, of course. Feel free to use any language you like). This script, which we’ll refer to as your webhook listener, will be called by TribeHR every time that the event you specified fires, and will provide several GET parameters.

For this example, all that we really care about are the parameters “user_id”, “user_name” and “object_id”. In your webhook listener, using these parameters, you now know who added the leave request and, if needed, you know enough to get more information about the leave request itself through the API.

In the most basic example, you can set up a simple map in your webhook listener. You can set up a very basic set of hard-coded rules that say “if the requester is person X, then send an email to address Y”. All you need to know are the TribeHR IDs for your team members. That program might look something like this basic example:

<?php
// Create one array entry per notification rule you wish to create:
// key: adding user's ID
// value: the email address(es) to notify when the adding user creates a LeaveRequest - either a string or an array
$leaveApprovers = array(
   12 => 'supervisorperson1@mycompany.com',
   3 => 'supervisorperson1@mycompany.com',
   5 => array('hr_manager@mycompany.com', 'ceo@mycompany.com'),
);

if (!empty($_POST['user_id']) && !empty($leaveApprovers[$_POST['user_id']])) {
   mail(
      implode(', ', (array)$leaveApprovers[$_POST['user_id']]),
      sprintf('%s just requested some leave', $_POST['user_name']),
      'You should log in to TribeHR to approve it'
   );
}
?>

(This example is available on GitHub: https://github.com/TribeHR/PHP-Examples/blob/master/leave_notifications_basic.php)

There we go! Every time someone adds a new leave request, TribeHR will call your webhook listener and allow you to email the appropriate people. Of course, this is just the beginning.

Using the API For Smarter Notifications

If you’re familiar with the TribeHR API, then you have all kinds of options available to you in your webhook listener. Using the “object_id” parameter you can make a request to the leave requests endpoint in order to not only know who added the request, but which user the request is for (remember, in TribeHR you can request leave on behalf of people underneath you in the organization if you’re a Manager or Administrator), what type of leave is being requested, and how many hours are being requested.

If you add this to our sample code up above, that means that you can replace the message “You should log in to TribeHR to approve it” with something much more meaningful—such as “Stephanie Miller has requested 5 hours of PTO time starting on March 6”.

You can also remove the need for a very specific list like we built in our sample script—using the users endpoint you can instead get the User object of the person who requested the leave, and request their supervisor, and their supervisor, and their supervisor… until you get someone who has an email address (or ID) that is in some list you’ve built of “people who should be notified of leave requests,” which would allow you to have a short list of people who should be notified, and always sending the notification to the person in that list to whom the requester reports.

Why Stop There?

If you’ve looked at the API documentation, you’ll quickly start realizing that you have many options available to you when using the TribeHR webhooks and API systems. You can set it up so that leave requests are automatically approved if they’re sent to or from certain people or for certain types, you can adjust the hours or type of leave requested based on your company’s policies… anything that you can imagine and build.

The wide variety of webhooks that TribeHR provides mean that you can subscribe to almost anything that happens within your HR system. We even provide sample libraries for you if you’re looking for help.

Have any questions or suggestions for great uses of webhooks and the API? Let us know in the comments.

Main Navigation Updates

Published by on March 14, 2013 | 0 Comments | Posted in: Latest Updates

As TribeHR continues to grow and expand, we decided to take a close look at the main menu items for the software. Next time you log in to TribeHR, you may notice some differences!

Before

navigationBefore

 

After

New TribeHR Navigation - Home

The first thing that you’ll see is that the primary menu items have changed. Previously, we divided the main sections of TribeHR into Overview, Staff, Jobs, Reviews, and Company Calendar. In addition, there were a few extra links on the right-hand side linking to Reports, Resources, and Administration.

First thing’s first: We’ve renamed the Overview page to Home, since this is really the home of your TribeHR experience. Secondly, we’ve grouped all of your general company information under the menu item Company.

Navigation Update - Company

This section includes the company calendar, team view, full directory, organization chart, resources, positions, and time tracking. Next, we’ve renamed Jobs to Hiring. This section holds all the information related to applicants and job postings, including a link to the public job board.

New Navigation in TribeHR - Hiring

Finally, for administrators, there is a new Performance section. Currently, this section includes all open and filed reviews, as well as the controls to start a new review cycle.

New Navigation - Performance

Keep your eye out on this section for more performance management tools to come!

Along with this reorganization, we’ve simplified the navigation by adding drop-down menus. This means that you can now find the area of TribeHR that you’re looking for from any page—you don’t have to hunt through multiple sections to find what you’re looking for.

New Navigation Dropdown Menus

A few changes to highlight:

  • The company calendar has been moved to the Company section
  • The resources section has been moved into the Company section
  • Reviews has been moved into the Performance section (administrator role only)
  • Current Openings has been renamed to Job Postings and is located in the Hiring section
  • Time tracking has been moved to the Company section

Over the coming weeks and months we will be adding other enhancements to your ability to get around your HR system. You can look forward to better visibility into performance management features such as recognition and goals, as well as easier access for managers and administrators into reports.

As always, we’d love to know what you think about the changes we make in the software. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please get in touch with our support team at support@tribehr.com.

API version 2

Published by on February 5, 2013 | 0 Comments | Posted in: Features, Latest Updates

Hello everyone,

Due to the growing interest from customers in integrating with TribeHR through its API, as well as the needs of the mobile applications that we’re developing, we are now in the process of revamping our API. The result will be a more RESTful, complete, usable API that will greatly increase the possibilities of programatically integrating other applications with TribeHR.

In the process of reworking our API, it is quite possible that we will make breaking changes to the existing API. We are working pretty hard to minimize these breaking changes and to make the new API as backwards compatible as possible, but it’s quite likely that we’ll miss a thing or two.

For that reason, I invite all of you who are currently using our API to contact us at support@tribehr.com and describe how you’re currently using it: the endpoints you are calling, the use cases you are implementing. This will allow us to determine if what we’re changing will break your current integration with TribeHR, and potentially prevent it from doing so. Please prefix your e-mails’ subjects with API:, as it will make them easier to sort through.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Maintenance Notice

Published by on January 4, 2013 | 0 Comments | Posted in: Latest Updates

Beginning 3:19PM today, some accounts are incorrectly displaying some historical leave transactions and “available” leave balances. We are investigating the cause and restoring correct transactions and balances for the affected employees.

 

Update: The issue has been resolved, and all accounts are reporting correct balances

Planned Maintenance – Friday, November 16th 12 AM-3 AM (UTC-0500)

Published by on November 14, 2012 | 0 Comments | Posted in: Latest Updates

TribeHR will be unavailable from midnight until 3AM Eastern time (that’s 5:00–8:00 UTC) on Friday November 16th, as we update our database infrastructure.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience as we continue to improve your TribeHR experience.

Introduction and new API features

Published by on November 9, 2012 | 0 Comments | Posted in: Features, Latest Updates

Hi everyone,

Allow me to start this by introducing myself. I’m Mario, and I’ve been recently brought into the TribeHR team to work on making TribeHR mobile. In addition to that, I will be working on the API and adding some juicy new things for API consumers to play with. I might here and there also give the core dev team some support with the great amounts of work they have ahead of them.

Today I’m bringing you all a couple of new features and a change to a current schema. First of all, we have a new API endpoint: Departments. This will allow you to read and manipulate the departments in your company through the REST API, and it works in a very similar fashion with the rest of the endpoints.

Secondly, we bring you JSON. Henceforth, our APIs will also be available in JSON format. To access these, simply substitute the trailing “xml” in the invocation URL with “json”. Et voila! JSON. We added this to make integrations easier with languages that have strong native support for JSON serialization, such as Objective-C and Javascript. Documentation about JSON will be available in the near future side-by-side with the existing XML documentation; however, for the time being, bear in mind that not all the APIs have JSON support just yet – we’re working on it.

Lastly, we’ve made some changes to the schema of the error messages output by the API in order to be able to incorporate more than one error message. This is particularly useful in topics like validation and allowing consumers of the API understand all the reasons why their request didn’t go through as expected.

More to come soon – we’re seriously pushing the API forward and hope to have some shiny new things for you to play with in the near future.

Getting Feedback in TribeHR

Published by on October 25, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted in: Latest Updates

Getting peer feedback can be one of the best ways to get candid responses to questions you have about performance in the workplace. This week, TribeHR launched a redesigned feedback feature that allows you to get feedback from people in your organization. Here are a few features that we’ve added in:

Improved workflow

Probably the biggest change from our previous feedback feature is the workflow. Feedback can be accessed from your profile page, along with kudos, goals, and other personal information. Moving the feedback feature shows how integrated feedback can be in the professional development process, and how easy it can be to get answers to your questions. Asking for new feedback is easy – simply click on the “Ask For New Feedback” button from the feedback tab on your profile. Type in your question, decide who you want to ask, and wait for the responses to come in. We’ll notify you by email when someone answers your question. If no one is answering, you can send reminder emails. Once you’re satisfied with the answers, you can close the request to finish the feedback process.


Named versus Anonymous

Another change that we’ve made is the ability to ask for named or anonymous feedback. We recognize that there are situations in which you might want to know who the feedback is coming from. By contrast, anonymous feedback can often produce more candid answers. The choice is now up to you. When asking for feedback, you’ll see a checkbox to make the feedback anonymous. Co-workers that are responding to your request will clearly see whether their name is going to show up with the response or if the question will be submitted anonymously.


Asking on behalf of…

One of the features that was requested often in regards to feedback was the ability for managers to ask for feedback about the employees that they manage. With the new feedback feature, this is now possible in TribeHR. Giving managers this feature really promotes strong performance management in the workplace. Just like when you ask for feedback about yourself, Managers have the ability to ask for anonymous or named feedback. When managers want to review questions they’ve asked about their employee, they can visit the employee’s profile page to review the responses.


Sharing feedback responses

When you or your manager receives a glowing review of the presentation that you put on last week, that review should be shared! If you are an employee and reviewing feedback, there is now the option to share a responses with your manager. On the flip side of that coin, if a manager is reviewing feedback that they have asked about one of their employees, they have the option to share that response with the employee.


Wait, there’s more??!

Soon, there will be more features to make feedback even more kickass. Performance reviews will be improved by including shared feedback responses. Also, we’ll be releasing a feature that will allow you to “summarize” a feedback responses. You will also be able to share named responses anonymously. This means that managers will be able to ask for named responses, and then share them anonymously with their employees, and include them in performance reviews.


Have more questions?

If you have more questions about Feedback in TribeHR, you can always shoot an email at support@tribehr.com, or message us on Twitter @TribeHR

Planned Maintenance – Sunday, 28 October @ 10 AM Eastern Time

Published by on October 22, 2012 | 0 Comments | Posted in: Latest Updates

We’re going to be updating our software this coming Sunday, 28 October from 10 AM to 11 AM Eastern Time (For our international customers, that’s Sunday, 28 October from 2 PM until 3 PM UTC). Accounts will not be down for the entire window, but there will be one or more short periods of outage during that time.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience as we make TribeHR better!

Planned Maintenance – Friday October 12th @ 9 PM ET

Published by on October 10, 2012 | 0 Comments | Posted in: Latest Updates

We are planning some maintenance for TribeHR starting this Friday, October 12th from 9 PM until Midnight Eastern Time. For our international customers, that’s Saturday, 13 October from 0100h to 0400h UTC. We will bring accounts back online as quickly as possible, and we don’t expect all accounts to be inaccessible for the entire maintenance window.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and we appreciate your patience as we continue to make TribeHR better!

National Holidays

Published by on September 12, 2012 | 2 Comments | Posted in: Latest Updates

Holiday Calendars

We’re big fans of reducing friction in HR workflows, so this week we rolled out an update that will reduce a small but frequent frustration. Most of our customers add their national holidays to the company calendar (making it easier for everyone when planning work and travel schedules), but in the past this has always been a manual effort. Now from within the Administration area of TribeHR, you can subscribe to various national calendars, and these events will automatically populate your company calendar. Simply make your selection once, and we’ll keep your holidays updated year after year.

Find this option under Administration > Company > Calendar Events

Excluding Holidays from Leave

Holiday calendars are, however, just one half of the equation. The awesome flip-side of this feature is taking these days into account when someone books a vacation. For example, let’s say you’re booking the first week of September off for a holiday (the full five days), but this time overlaps with Labor Day. Previously, you would have had to do the math yourself to ensure that your holiday only used four of your available PTO or Vacation days. With this update, Administrators can now mark Labor Day (or any event) as an “Official Holiday” in the company calendar. Official Holidays will not count for leave requests. In our example, TribeHR will now automatically estimate the time off as only using four days of your balance.

Marked as an Official Holiday, this event will not count against PTO or Vacation Days

We hope this tweak saves you some time, and helps you enjoy your holiday that much more :)