MS EPM Tools - Latest Official Version: MS Project Server 2010
Latest Released Version: MS Project Server 2013 Preview (Beta Product)
MS EPM Tools – Evolutions:
- Project Central (P9)
- Project Server 2002 (P10)
- Project Server 2003 (P11)
- Project Server 2007 (P12)
- Project Server 2010 (P14)
- Project Server 2013 (P15)
Project Central, Project Server 2002 and Project Server 2003 versions are based on ODBC architecture.
Project Server 2007, Project Server 2010 and Project Server 2013 versions are based on .NET architecture.
MS Project Central: Released in 2001 and it was a companion product to Microsoft Project 2000/2002; MS Project Central was the first version of Microsoft EPM toll and it offers web based collaboration, so project team members can exchange and work with project information through a Web site. MS Project Central provides timesheet functionality, status reporting and shared resource pool.
MS Project Central stores the information on SQL Server/Oracle databases.
- Single user mode: Certain administrative functions such as deleting items from database and merging user accounts, you must put the Microsoft Project Central Server in single-user mode. During the single-user mode, all users can not connect to Project Central.
- Shared Pool: Resource pool has been maintained by using Shared Resource file, so manually we have to link each project plan with resource pool. (Tools -> Sharing Resources option)
MS Project Server 2002/2003: Released in 2002 and it is a companion product to Microsoft Project Professional 2002/MS Project Professional 2003;
Enterprise global template was introduced, so organizations can distribute and maintain project and resource management standards for items such as project plan fileds, views, resource breakdown structure (RBS) codes, and calendar settings.
Enterprise Resource Pool also integrated within Enterprise global. Also have the time sheet functionality, resource Usage and allocation views and status reporting capability.
Portfolio Analyzer OLAP cube was introduces to provide the multi dimensional view on resource and project information across the organization.
Application interface (Project Data Service) also available to automate and further customization of project and resource management activities.
MS Project Server 2003 can use Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 for document libraries, issue tracking, and risk management, so Microsoft Project 2003 users can easily create, link, and track documents, issues, and risks.
When you create a project, you can also automatically create a SharePoint site for project documents, issues, and risks. Additionally, you can store project documents in document libraries to take advantage of the version tracking and document check-in and check-out features of Windows SharePoint Services.
- Master projects are not supported on the server
- Instant reporting is not possible, as view processor may be required some additional time to process the updates/published queue prior to populate the data in view tables
MS Project Server 2007: Released in late 2006 and it is a companion product to Microsoft Project Professional 2007; all the features of the MS Project 2003 are retained and have enhanced system architecture comparatively 2003 version.
Many new features are introduced like "Master projects, Timesheets also support billable/non-billable organization specific fiscal periods; Cost resources to manage the budgets at project/program level; PMs can create the ad-hoc reports by using built-in Visual Reports at Project professional, live reporting database is available to create organization specific custom reports, improved performance by having active cache mechanism at project professional.
Enhanced application program interface (PSI) allows us to automate and extend the project server functionality to meet the custom requirements. The server-side Event Model can trigger workflow for business processes defined with Windows Workflow Foundation.
MS Project Server 2007 has been integrated with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, so Microsoft Project 2007 users can easily create, link, and track documents, issues, and risks. When you create a project, you can also automatically create a SharePoint site for project documents, issues, and risks.
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 also supports the team collaboration and making it easy for users to work in shared environment on documents, events, wikis and issues/risks etc.
- Time Tracking is divided into two parts; Project Task Tracking (My Tasks) and Timesheet Tracking (My timesheets)
- Portfolio Server is an optional component and separate installation and configuration required
- Microsoft SharePoint Server (MOSS 2007) is an optional component; Project Server 2007 deployment without MOSS2007 is lacking the Excel Services Dashboard reporting and Enterprise serach capabilities.
MS Project Server 2010: Released in Mid 2010 and it is a companion product to Microsoft Project Professional 2010; Project Server 2010 is built on top of SharePoint Server 2010. Project Portfolio Server 2007 also included in Project Server 2010 and it providing a single server with end-to-end project and portfolio management capabilities.
Project Server 2010 provides effective governance workflows to manage project investments throughout their lifecycle. Project Server 2010 helps organizations select project portfolios that align with their business strategy.
Project Server 2010 brings the power of Project Professional 2010 to the browser with web-based project editing. (i.e. Project Schedules can be created online and conveniently make project edits from browser without using Project Professional 2010.)
Project Server 2010 provides the improved Time Reporting interface, so it is possible to submit the task updates and timesheet submissions by enabling Single Entry Mode.
Project Server 2010 have the powerful Business Intelligence Reporting capabilities and it allows us to build the dashboards to effectively monitor portfolio performance.
Project Server 2010 requires 64-bit Windows Server 2008 or 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2;
Project Server 2010 requires 64-bit SQL Server 2008 or 64-bit SQL Server 2005;
Project Server 2010 requires IE 7 or IE 8 as the browser;
- Saving baseline is not possible from PWA; saving project baseline is limited to MS Project Professional 2010 client.
- Migration of Project Server instance between servers is a complex process, as it involves four databases.
- Active directory Enterprise Resourcepool synchronization is a time consuming process, it removes and add the users during synchronization, due to this sometimes users may loose the access to Project Server during synchronization.
MS Project Server 2013 Preview: Project Server 2013 preview was released in July 2012 and it is a companion product to Microsoft Project Professional 2013. Project Server 2013 is a multi-tiered system that extends the architecture introduced in Office Project Server 2007.
Currently, Project Server 2013 is a beta product and official release date is unknown.
Project Server 2013 Preview is built on SharePoint Server 2013 Preview. Project Server 2013 Preview also provides extensive reporting capabilities through Excel Services in SharePoint Server 2013 Preview for reporting on all aspects of the project lifecycle.
The release of Project Server 2013 is paired with the release of a new service in Office 365 for enterprises, "Project Online". Basically, your organization can host Project Server hardware/infrastructure in Microsoft data centers. Entire operational maintenance can be handled by Microsoft and also they provide disaster recovery, and maintenance. If you decided to host your server in Microsoft data centers, Microsoft offers guaranteed, financially-backed uptimes and phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Note: All EPM versions are completely integrated with Microsoft office products (MS Outlook, MS Excel and MS Word etc.)