We use these terms a lot in our guides, let's explain them briefly.

Primary Objects

  • Company
    • The primary account of a customer. A company is a grouping of locations. It houses users, locations, and top-level settings that configure an account.
  • Location
    • The physical brick & mortar of a restaurant.
  • Departments
    • These are sections of a restaurant.
    • Examples: Back of House, Front of House, Kitchen, Drive-through
  • Role
    • A role describes what job an employee is working that day.
    • Examples: Server, Prep Cook, etc.
  • User
    • Users (aka. Employee) is typically assigned to one or many locations, departments, and roles, and shows up for their scheduled shifts, and clocks in / out accordingly.
  • Shift
    • A user is scheduled to work a role at a location, likely in a department, at a specific time. This is their shift.
  • Time Punch
    • Time punches represent clock actions, including breaks, attestation, health checks, and various other jurisdictional compliance data.
    • A user clocks in and out of their scheduled shift.



The user model has several identifiers, not all of which are unique. Let's explain...

  • user_id or id - This is the primary, unique identifier of a user in the 7shifts system
  • employee_id - This is called 'Punch ID' in the 7shifts UI, exclusively used as a punch code to perform time clock operations within 7punches. It is unique within a user/location combination, but two users assigned to two different locations may have the same ID. This ID could be auto-generated at first, but can then be modified by an admin/manager.
  • payroll_id - This is called 'Employee ID' in the 7shifts UI, primarily used for payroll integrations. This is configurable by an admin/manager through the UI.
  • identity_id - An identity is one level higher than a user. An identity consists of one or many users. You'll never have to interact with this ID directly, you can safely ignore it.

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