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Microsoft Project 12 / Project 2006 / Project ? Feature List

Microsoft is busy working on the next version of Project and Project Server. So far they have disclosed a few new features and improvements. This entry is a running list of what they have disclosed so far (limited of course by my available energy to gather and summarize). I'll try to keep it updated. If you have any other public disclosures of features let me know and I'll add them: Now the list in no particular order:

Desktop Features:

  • Multiple level undo - this has been asked for forever, but due to the nature of the scheduling engine is something very difficult to implement. But with Project 2006 you will now be able to undo more than just your previous change. It remains to be seen if there are VBA methods to invoke this.
  • The end of context menus - I wrote about this before. The short menus are now off by default. Project does not get the new "ribbon" UI that the main office apps are getting, but it is a step in the right direction
  • Project Pro - Project Server:

  • Server-Side Scheduling - This means that the project stored in the Project Server Database can be calculated WITHOUT the intervention of Project Pro. No round-trip of data needed. This enables a number of different scenarios and usages.
  • Client-side cache and caching service - This is intended to make the I/O between Pro and Server to be resiliant, to maximize performance on high-latency WANs and by doing so to improve the experience for people using Proj Pro. Basically they have a local cache which communicates with the server through SOAP calls instead of ODBC. Performance is claimed to be greatly improved.
  • Unlimited enterprise custom fields - They are now on the server side instead of in the Global.mpt file. This frees Project Pro from the limitations imposed by the traditional project client which requires that the fields be predefined in the data structure to be used. Now you are limited to as many as you can reasonably use. In line with server-side scheduling they are also calculated on the server side and so will be accurate if you are working from Project Server.
  • Project Server Reporting - New database architecture consists of 4 databases - Working/Draft, Published, Reporting and Archive. In contrast to the Project Server 2003 database, the reporting database is relatively flat and easier to query for mere mortals. Through what is called the Reporting Data Service (RDS) it is kept updated with events occuring in the published database. It is also improved with support for SQL Server Reporting Services which means - um... well, it is supposed to be a good thing
  • To Be Continued...


    Comments (1)

    Great List. More comments on Project EPM Features at http://aspadvice.com/blogs/elandes/archive/2006/02/14/15174.aspx

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