C20. Possible interfaces of timeSensor Accounting

The following interfaces are certainly compatible with timeSensor accounting:

  • ABACUS 12.x-…
  • Banana
  • Crésus einfach
  • Crésus erweitert
  • FibuNT 4.7b-…
  • Loops
  • M.O.R. Fibu
  • MasterFinanz 1.7-…
  • OfficeMaker
  • ProFinance
  • Sage 50
  • ShakeHands Conto
  • Topal
  • Topix8 SU
  • Winbiz

C19. How can I optimise the security of my database?

Since lawyers deal with particularly sensitive data, the security of the timeSensor LEGAL database is an especially serious matter. The article below provides information on how to ensure the safe operation of the database.

General information

This FAQ article is limited to information with regard to the security settings concerning the 4D database itself. Regardless of these settings, you must also ensure the security of your infrastructure. For example, the network must be protected by a firewall and the workstations must be updated with the latest software. We highly recommend that the security of your infrastructure is periodically checked by an independent expert!

Database encryption

In multi-user mode, the client application communicates permanently with the 4D database. In order to prevent data traffic between the client and the 4D Server from being intercepted, you should encrypt the communication between the client and the 4D Server. To do this, please proceed as follows:

  • In the 4D server administration window, click on "Application Server" and check whether encryption is already enabled or not. Encryption is enabled if "Yes" is displayed next to "SSL active:". In that case, you don't need to do anything.
  • Otherwise: In macOS, open the "File" menu and then select the item "User settings for data file…" under "Database settings"; or in Windows, open the "Edit" menu and then select the item "User settings for data file..." under "User data settings…".
  • In the dialogue box, click on the tab "Client-Server"
  • Activate the checkbox "Encrypted client-server connections"
  • Click "OK" to save the settings
  • Exit the database server and then restart.

In order to enable the clients on the individual workstations to log on with SSL encryption in future, you must now change the connection type on the workstations. (You will only need to do this once.) Please proceed as follows:

  • Start the client and hold down the Alt key (Windows) or Option key (macOS)
  • In the Connection window, click "Custom"
  • ¥ Enter the following in the "Application Name:" field: ^timeSensor
    N.B.: the leading circumflex ensures that the client will log on to the server using SSL encryption in future
  • In the "Network Address" field, enter the IP address of your server
  • You can now connect as usual.

Note for administrators: if you manage a larger number of workstations, you can also roll out a preconfigured client via your deployment tool. The client application folder has a sub-folder called "Database", in which you will find the file "EnginedServer.4Dlink". The exact path is as follows:

  • macOS: Contents/Database/EnginedServer.4Dlink (within the client program package)
  • Windows:
    timeSensor Client/Database/EnginedServer.4Dlink

This XML file should be edited as shown in the example below. Here it is also important to place a circumflex before the database name (i.e. ^timeSensor).

Passwort Management

User passwords have no longer been stored in the database since tSL 7.0/Build 2139, so even the Administrator can no longer read user passwords, since only a hash code is stored in the database. However, this improvement in security is only effective if all users choose secure passwords. With this in mind, please ensure that your users choose passwords that are sufficiently strong.

If an incorrect password is entered three times successively in a user account, the password dialogue closes and the corresponding user receives a ticket informing him/her of the unsuccessful access attempt.

Administrators can also choose to be informed about such incidents by activating the "Send tickets for security-relevant messages" checkbox in their user account. We recommend that you make use of this option and define a process that takes effect when such incidents occur in your law practice. After any unsuccessful access attempt, it should at least be clarified whether the user had forgotten his/her password or whether it was in fact an attempt by a third party to access the account.

Login Dialogue

When logging on to the database, the user first encounters the timeSensor LEGAL login dialogue box. timeSensor LEGAL offers several security levels for this dialogue box that can be selected in the Settings section under "Admin"/"Special". To adjust the security for this dialogue box, click the Security tab and set the Login Dialogue slider to the desired level:

  • Level 1 ("More Convenient"): this is the "classic" login dialogue. It shows the user list and the list of active entities (assuming that there are multiple entities), and automatically remembers the last user or entity so that they are automatically preselected. Although this dialogue is user-friendly, it is not ideal from a data protection perspective, since it reveals the names of users and entities. Only use this level if you are using timeSensor LEGAL in a small, protected environment.
  • Level 2: At this level, the login dialogue shows neither the user list nor the entity list and the user has to enter them manually. timeSensor LEGAL remembers the last entries, so that these fields are usually already filled in and it is only necessary to enter the password.
  • Level 3: The same as Level 2, but timeSensor LEGAL only remembers the last entity. The user name and password must always be entered manually by the user.
  • Level 4 ("More Security"): The same as Level 2, but timeSensor LEGAL does not remember the previous entry. The entity code, user name and password must be always be entered manually. This is the highest security level and recommended, especially if your database is in the cloud.

C17. How can I send LEGAL faxes and text messages with timeSensor?

timeSensor LEGAL has available (beginning with the Smart Edition) an interface to ecall which can be used to send faxes or SMS messages directly from timeSensor LEGAL. Thus you can, for example, prepare ready-to-go fax templates complete with scanned-in signature and fax them with a press of a button. timeSensor LEGAL will transmit the fax to ecall where it will get delivered from your account. The fax sent in this way cannot be distinguished from a “real” fax.

Afterwards, ecall will return a fax invoice which is automatically archived with the brief. A ticket from timeSensor LEGAL notifies the sender if the fax was delivered (or if need be, about an existing problem). A similar thing happens with SMS messages.

To carry out the following steps, you need to have administrative rights for timeSensor LEGAL.

Setting up the interface

  • Configure the eMail interface in timeSensor LEGAL in accordance with the description in FAQ Article C13. Note: the solicitor’s office software requires a working eMail account in order to transmit the faxes or SMS messages via eMail to ecall.
  • In ecall, create an account in your name. Load an adequate number of points onto your account (or conclude a business contract with ecall).
  • Log into the ecall account and configure your account under “Account settings”. It is important that you click the checkbox there for access under “Email access” and store the eMail address used by timeSensor LEGAL in the access settings. Place a checkmark in “Receiver in To Field”, both for SMS as well as for fax.

Preparing for use

  • Go to timeSensor LEGAL’s User Management function. Open your user account there and under “Identity”, select the settings for the identity of the sender assigned to you. A sender identity specifies how the sender is identified in eMails, fax messages and SMS messages. Make sure that the correct sender information has been stored here for eMail, fax and SMS transmissions.
    If necessary, you can create as many dispatch identities as you wish and assign them to your users. The appropriate dispatch identity will then be used by default. The identity of the sender can also be reset dynamically, depending on the time at which the message is sent by adjusting the corresponding access rights.

  • Set up appropriate templates adapted for fax and SMS dispatches. You will find one example of this in the E3 video. It is important that for the edition options, the template for a fax template is specified as “Fax only”.


Using the interface

Now select your fax template, click on the small arrow in the “draft” button and select the “Fax” delivery method. The fax template you prepared will appear. Now you can send out the template from
timeSensor LEGAL directly.

C18. Which ports must not be blocked by the firewall?

Different tasks in timeSensor LEGAL need to access internet resources to work properly. Please make sure that the following ports are open on your firewall. Access is always initiated by timeSensor LEGAL.

Absolutely necessary ports:

Port: 8080
This port is used to query the license server via HTTP so that new updates are detected and displayed.

Ports: 20, 21
These ports are used for downloading updates via FTP. Please note that large update packages of up to 1 GB can be downloaded and they must not be blocked by the firewall.

Only when using the email interface:

The email interface must be able to communicate with the mail server. Therefore we recommend leaving the usual email ports open for POP3 and SMTP.

Only for external access:

Ports: 19812, 19813, 19814
These ports provide external access to database, SQL and SOAP servers. For security reasons we recommend, when necessary, ensuring external access via VPN connections, because then these ports don’t have to be opened.

C15. How Can I Avoid Encoding Errors When Archiving Emails?


According to RFC 5322, an email may only contain 7-bit ASCII characters. There are only 128 characters available, which today may be limiting. Current email clients use a different code for characters which do not appear in the 7-bit list, such as "ü". Codes vary and may lead to problems if the sender and recipients use different codes. You will find a detailed description of the problem here (in German).

Problems may arise in particular when senders use a type of code that recipients may not decode. Companies such as Microsoft and Apple work hard to optimize their email clients and make sure that they can decode as many codes as possible.

The 4D database is not a dedicated email client and does not do well with all the various codes. Emails may thus not always be decoded properly and you may sometimes not see all special characters.

Coding Your Own Emails

While you cannot control which codes senders use, you have control over the code that you wish to use. Make sure that it is compatible with the 4D database.

Make sure that your email client uses the right format:

  • AppleMail
    Apple Mail uses iso-8858-8-i. There are no issues with this format in 4D.
  • Outlook
    All versions of Outlook are different. If you're having problems with archiving your own emails, make sure that you are using the code "Western Europe (ISO)".

C13. How Do I Setup the Email Interface In timeSensor LEGAL?

In General

You will find a detailed description of how to setup the email interface in timeSensor LEGAL in the FAQ entry B7. The following entry covers the technical setup of the interface.

You will need to setup a separate, dedicated, email inbox ("email account") in order for timeSensor LEGAL to send and receive emails. The email account can be setup on the law firm's server or somewhere else. For privacy reasons, we do not recommend the use of Gmail accounts. For the purpose of this FAQ, we will show how to setup a GMX account.

You may not use the dedicated account for any other purpose than that of timeSensor LEGAL. Choose a name that is not too easy to remember, such as:

  • dms@myfirm.com
  • timesensor@myfirm.com
  • dms_ myfirm@gmx.de

Setup an Inbox With GMX

GMX lets you setup an inbox for free. According to this provider, emails and data are processed and stored exclusively on machines located in Germany, according to German privacy law. To begin, open the newly created account on gmx.de or gmx.ch:


Once you have created the inbox, you will need to login using your web browser and specify, under "E-Mail" and "Einstellungen", that third party software may send and receive emails:


Setup the Email Interface In timeSensor LEGAL

You will need administrator rights to setup the email interface in timeSensor LEGAL. Go to "Settings", "Parameters", "General", and then "Communication". Enter all the details of your timeSensor email account:


Then, click on "Advanced Settings":


Once this is done, close the window "Parameters" to save your new account. If you are using a multi-user interface, you will need to logout and restart the database server to save the new parameters.

Use the button "Send Test Email" to check your new settings. If the system could send a message, you will receive a confirmation message. Then, open the spooler using the icon at the bottom left of the area sidebar. Click on "Retrieve" and after a few seconds, you should see the confirmation to the test email in the inbox.



C16. How Can I Ensure Uninterrupted Operation of timeSensor LEGAL?

General Overview

The larger your firm, the more sensitive you will be to service interruptions due to data backup, maintenance, and failure (e.g., hardware crashes). With a large firm and a big dataset, potential service interruptions can become quite long. A mirror server is an good solution to solve this problem.

What Is a Mirror Server?

A mirror server is a second machine on the same network as the production server. The purpose of this machine is to provide full redundancy. It can be switched to very rapidly in the case the production server fails. The mirror server will function as the new production server in the case of a hardware failure. The former production server will then be fixed, and after it is repaired it will become the new mirror server.

To Implement this Configuration, You Will Need:

  • A second server (the two servers should have approximately the same hardware configuration so that the mirror server can become the main production server in the case of a failure)
  • The “Mirroring” module for the timeSensor LEGAL software
  • A server maintenance contract with timeSensor AG that ensures proper configuration and monitoring of the system

How Does the Mirror Server Function?

The mirror server is integrated as the second server on your network. Then a copy of the database is transferred from the production server to the mirror server. The mirror server is started in the special “mirror server” mode.

The production server will now send all changes (all “transactions”) to the mirror server's database periodically (for example, every 10 minutes). The mirror server integrates these transactions into its database, and after a short time delay it will reflect the current data state of the production server.

What Is the Advantage of a Mirror Server?

If the production server fails, the administrator can with a few clicks turn the mirror server into the new production server. In just a few minutes all users will be able to log in and get back to working with the database. The data loss is minimal.

By comparison, it can take between several hours and a few days to repair a faulty server (repair/replacement of the server machine, restoration of data from backup, configuration, etc.). The data loss in this case is up to one day (assuming the restoration of data from the previous night's backup).

What Is the Disadvantage of a Mirror Server?

One trade-off for the higher security that your mirror server provides is the fact that your timeSensor LEGAL system is somewhat more complex. The “plug & play” philosophy, such as the ability to automatically update software, is not compatible with the use of a mirror server. Your system must be professionally managed with correspondingly higher operating costs. This is the typical trade-off between security and convenience/cost. Therefore, we recommend the use of a mirror server only if your firm employs at least approximately 20 employees.

You Will Still Need to Perform Secondary Backups

While the mirror server functions as a “hot standby” server and is always ready for use, offsite backup ensures the security of your data in case of a fire in or burglary of your office. Despite running a mirror server, you must make sure that the data stored by the mirror server is also backed up in an extra copy, e.g. on a secure cloud storage, disks, tapes, etc. The important consideration is that the backup is stored offsite. The backup should be created from the mirror server (and not from the production server) so that the backup process does not interfere with the operation of the production database.

C8. Which Adobe Acrobat Versions for Windows Are Compatible with PDF Display under Windows?

PDF display under Windows uses PDF Viewer. This plug-in is not compatible with Adobe Reader 11.0.7. Adobe has made a lot of changes in this version which affect the Active X controls feature.

Solution: Update to Adobe Reader v. 11.0.9.


C7. What Is a Background Task and How Can I Set Up One?

There are several tasks that timeSensor LEGAL runs in the background with notice. Program administrators can control and manage those background tasks.

Open Background Tasks

Go to "Settings", then select "Background Tasks" from the "Admin" menu. This will open the background task window.

  1. In the list, click on the task that you wish to modify
  2. Choose if the task should run on your workstation or on your server (multi-workstation environment). Some task can only run locally and other only on the server, while a third category can run either locally or on the server.
  3. Activate or deactivate the task.
  4. If you turn on the task, you can select the time frame for it. You can specify if the task should run once or several times during that period.
  5. Enter further information under the time frame, if prompted.
  6. Click on "Run Now" to run the task immediately, if possible.





Description of the Tasks


This task does

    • automatically transfer services from the personal time sheet to the dossier
    • automatically create invoices, according to the plan or when the budget is exceeded
    • monitor compliance with budgets
    • send tickets, if necessary

In order for the task "Finances" to run properly, no database records may be blocked by users. In a single workstation environment, this means that you have to close the window "Dossier" and "Time Sheet". In a multi-user environment, no user may be logged in.

Recommendation: Have the task run between 01:00 and 02:00, when no one is logged in. A single execution of the task is enough. In a single workspace environment, you can run the task continuously every 5 minutes from 00:00 and 23:59.



Address Book

The task "Address Book" synchronizes your local Apple Contacts. This task can only be set up locally on a Mac.

You should select which addresses from timeSensor LEGAL should be synchronized with your Apple Contacts. Select the contacts to be synchronized by clicking on the contact type or category.


The task "Deadlines" exports deadlines to your calendar using the iCal format. You only need this task if you're publishing your deadlines and want to subscribe on your iPhone or other mobile devices.


If you've set up an email interface, the "Spooler" task will make sure that timeSensor LEGAL automatically and regularly connects to your inbox. It will download and process new emails from there. The task can be set up on the server or on a separate computer. It is recommended that you run the email interface on a separate mac, in order to increase stability and performance. Should the interface crash, it is easy to restart it without affecting the database.

Exchange Rates

The task "Exchange rate" must be activated if you want timeSensor to download the newest exchange rates from the European Central Bank or the Swiss Central Bank. This is only necessary if you're using foreign currencies.

C6. My Client Loses its Connection to the Server. How Can I Find the Error?

You need a perfect connection to your server to work with the database. Some errors may interfere with the connection between the 4D client and the 4D server:

  • Sleep mode on the workstation
  • Unreliable network connection
  • Defective network cable
  • Defective router/switch
  • Defective network card

Because the 4D client is constantly communicating with the 4D server, it is more sensitive to network issues than your web browser or your email client. It is possible that existing problems will only appear once you've started using the database. Make sure that:

  • Your computer it wired to the network and not using a wireless connection. It may not be sufficient to plug in the network cable, you need to make sure that your computer is primarily using the network cable and not the WLAN connection.
  • Your sleep modus is deactivated. You can choose to turn off the screen in your energy saving options, but the computer should not go to sleep automatically, or it may lose the connection to the server.

The most frequent network issues for our clients were network cables and defective switches.

The following video shows you how to spot those network issues using the PING command: