More on Project Server for Office 12
All Project Server functions are exposed as a set of web services. Just like Office Client interacts with WSS, Project Professionals integration with Project Server as also completely achieved via these web services, which means other clients or server solutions can also be integrated using these web service interfaces.
These are some notes from the demo:
- All project data is cached. Project only interacts with the cache, the cache handles all interactions with the server. I have a concern in that how is the project manager confident that all changes that they have made have been uploaded from the cache to the server before they – for example – shut down their laptop to leave the office.
- The project plan is no longer immediately published to the server every time it is saved, ie uploading to the server is under the project managers control
- With this version project server is built on top of native WSS v3, not the special version of WSS that was used with Project server v2.
- Team members no longer need to download an Active X control – YES!!
- The team members web view is just a standard web part that can be added to for example a person mySite
- Team member updates can be submitted via the web. The project manager can review, preview and accept then from the web interface, ie he doesn’t need to use Project Professional to execute the plan, only to change it.
- The project manager can optionally set the plan to accept auto-approval of team member updates, these also get queued for acceptance if the plan is checked out. Once it gets checked in the team member updates get applied.
Key scenarios for Project 12, managing programmes:
- When you create a new activity in Project Server, you can create a Project in Project Pro, define some maintenance activities or define a proposal
- When you get started with a new programme you can create a Project server workspace and start to capture high level meta-data about the project and high level commitments and dates that define the overall scope and time-line for the project
- a resource plan can also be created in project server, this shows the number of resources with specific role types that are going to be required over time. I have always done this in Excel and think I would continue to do so as the Project 12 function is very simplistic. Anyway if you do use it you can get simple resource profile graphs
- Only once the project gets going is it necessary to start working in project professional
- Commitments defined in project server can be used to model dependencies between different projects in a programme. When commitment dates change the project manager gets notified that a commitment he depends on has changed, but his project does not just automatically change.
- visual studio is integrated with project server, the tasks from project server can be imported into project server. As tasks get completed in project server he can automatically update project server with the new task status
- the project server home page for a project can act as a rich dashboard integrating lots of different web parts, some derived from project server and some from other systems, for example bug report tracking from Excel server
- a web based time sheet application is available to allow team members to book their time on a collection of different projects
- the time sheet data can be reported on, typical reports are analysis of time spent planned and un-planned, billable not billable, variance from plan, actual work, remaining work
- higher level roll-ups are also available that allow costs to be analysed
- project server will have a very comprehensive MOM pack, this will be an issue for anyone who doesn’t have MOM, as more and more Microsoft application servers begin to depend on it.