کتنے شعر ہیں مٹائے لکھ کے اس خیال سے

کتنے شعر ہیں مٹائے لکھ کے اس خیال سے

سب شناسا ہو نہ جائیں اندرونِ حال سے

 

برق اور کیمیا کے ذہن میں وبال سے

ہم نے کر دئے کرشمے سوچ کے کمال سے

 

لاکھ صدیوں میں ملا ہے لاشعور کا شعور

سوچ باہر آرہی ہے ارتقائی جال سے

 

وہ ہی ختنے ، وہ ہی روزے، وہ ہی قربانی وہ حج

کچھ نیا آیا نہیں ہے پانچ ہزار سال سے

 

وہ ہی فتوے، وہ ڈراوے، وہ نصیحتیں، وہ درس

حرفِ آخر کو بچاتے ہیں نئے سوال سے

 

اتنے دل دکھا کے خود کو معاف کر سکو گے تم ؟

کچھ تو احتیاط برتو سچ کے استعمال سے

 

چاہے فردا کی فکر میں گم رہے حمادؔ پر

دوست، رشتے، شاعری، نکلے نہیں خیال سے

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Project Online – What it does and doesn't do.


Though Project online is less than a year’s old offering by Microsoft and at the time of writing this , not yet launched in Australia, it is based on a proven Microsoft Project Server technology which has come a long way over last decade and has kept pace with demands of maturing PPM practice worldwide.

Being nascent in its cloud hosted variation, Microsoft Project Online has yet to re-factor some of its features to make the product more usable and valuable for its growing customer base.

Here is a list of differentiating features which still make Project 2013 on-premise more viable solution to decision makers who are looking to gain real value out of a PPM Investment.

Business Intelligence: SSRS + direct DB access is not supported with Project online. The alternative supported tool i.e. Excel + oData has some cool uses but its quite slow and doesn’t cover many key reporting scenarios like
a.       Filtering data at query time based on user supplied parameters
b.      Very limited time phased data available and no access to OLAP cubes.
c.       Not optimized for PDF  / Print output
d.      Fetching cross project sites data is v. limited

Access to ULS Logs: The two most common error messages end users receive in Project interface are “Unknown error” and “Unexpected error”. In on-premises configuration, administrator can access ULS logs to troubleshoot the cause. In Project Online, you need to raise a support ticket to Microsoft

Controlled Patching: Project online is great because it always offers the latest software. This, however may not always be good as some times new code can change existing behaviour or worst yet, break working functionality with no advance warning. In on-premise environment, test environment can be used to control patching in planned manner.

Central Admin Access: Granular control over backing up and restoring project schedules, controlling refresh warning in excel data connections etc. are few of those settings which are essential yet being part of central admin, are available in on-premise version only.

EPMonDemand is an offering by EPM Partners (the company I work for) in Australia which offers best of both worlds by providing a cloud managed solution with flexibility & control of an on-premise solution. Having a successful track record of providing cloud hosted EPM solutions since Project server 2010, EPMOnDemand has tackled the typical challenges of multi-tenant environment by offering greater control over deployed solution based on customer needs.

Here is a full comparison list of features in Microsoft Project On-premises vs Project Online vs. EPMonDemand



Feature
Project Online
Project On premises
EPMonDemand
Administrative backup and restore for Projects (used to restore a slightly older version of a project without pulling a tape and impacting an entire organization)

X
X
Archival Environments to retain data

X
X
Multi-Dimensional Olap Cubes

X
X
Direct access to SQL Server Databases and OLAP Databases

X
X
Greater flexibility for Reporting
Direct SQL Query Access to Project Server and SharePoint Databases

X
X
Team Foundation Server Connectivity (including 2012)

X
X
Can be achieved with “YourCloud” offering.
Event Handlers can use both full trust event handlers and remote event receivers

X
X
Full access to PSI and CSOM

X
X
Access to ULS Logs

X
X
As a result of full access to the databases, PSI and CSOM there is more flexibility for Business Intelligence, Dashboards, and Reports

X
X
Recycling Bin for documents, projects, and sites
X
X
X
Project Web Applications (Add applications to PWA)
X
X
X
SharePoint Permission Mode or Project Server Permission Mode
X
X
X
SharePoint Designer for workflows
X
X
X
No database administration
X

X
Security handled by Provider
X


Latest and greatest service packs and cumulative updates
X

X
Patches tested first in internal environment
No direct access to SQL Server and OLAP Databases (Reporting is done via OData)
X
OData is not on par with direct data access


Access using CSOM (Note: PSI interfaces do not support O- Authentication)
X

 X 
CSOM & PSI, both are supported.
Event Handlers require remote event receivers
X


Extensibility is accomplished via the use of the SharePoint Extensibility Model – (as a result there is no full-trust code)
X



Reference:
Online and On-Premises Solutions for Project Server 2013 (white paper)
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn217893.aspx



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What’s old in Project Server 2013



[Classic Project Server functional limitations that prevail in 2013]
It seems Microsoft do listen to its customers feedback and have provided some great new features in Project 2013. These enhancements directly address most of the key limitations customers faced using Project Server 2010.

My favourite amongst these features is the ability to define Project Governance workflow in SharePoint designer 2013. Power View has a great WOW factor. True multi browser support is awesome and despite some limitations , the only practical issue I came across in my extensive (Ahem! 3 weeks ;) )  usage of Project Server 2013 on Google Chrome was that I couldn’t use Explorer view for my SharePoint libraries.

Other than that, ability to set baseline with in PWA, developer improvements (CSOM), mobile access views, oData feeds are all welcome additions.
But if you earn your bread by configuring and customizing Microsoft EPM (oh, I meant PPM) Solution like me, you would notice that some pain areas have survived and ‘successfully’ migrated to 2013 version. Here is a (not exhaustive by any means) list of such points.


PDP Infrastructure and Custom Fields




1-   Project Fields Web part (now renamed to Basic info in 2013) gives severely limited options in customizing the look & feel of the form. This means that

a.    You can’t change label of fields (and can’t rename system fields) without opting for JavaScript hacks or replace it altogether with InfoPath.

b.    Hierarchical drop downs are not possible (e.g. Drop down for section changes its possible values based on what is selected in Drop down for Department).

c.    Custom validation of fields is not possible without JavaScript trickery.

d.    Can’t pre-populate fields based on some calculation and still leave them open for editing.

e.    No attachment button.  Would be great to attach related documents like business case on PDP itself.

f.    No Resource picker control.

g.     No checkboxes and hence can’t make ticking a check-box mandatory. Can’t make a flag field mandatory either. If you want your PM to fill a check-list, and mark all items as “Yes” before he can move to next stage, this is not possible without server side workflow validation.  Though the good news is that developing such workflow is much easier now in 2013 than it was in 2010.

2-   Security can’t be controlled on PDP Level (example scenario is where only PMO should see the budget information PDP or only PM should update the Status Updates PDP)


Governance / Workflow



3-   Site Template and Plan template can’t be attached to EPT post-project creation. So you can’t decide if a project is going to be small/medium and or enterprise in planning phase and then attach the appropriate template in execution phase.

4-   Change the Project Owner after project creation and any task assignment which was created prior (one frequent source is Project Plan Template) to that  would still keep previous PM as Status Manager and that guy will keep receiving approval requests on that task.

 

Reporting

 

5-   SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) 2012 is nearly identical to SSRS 2008. Whatever you dislike about 2008 is still there J one example is limited browser support.  You have to spend 90% of time in completing last 10% of report formatting to make it export compatible. Can’t control much of the parameters look & feel or their conditional visibility. Old style VB for customization. No CSS/Java script Support. No event handling. Can’t show a page number other than in header/footer. Well! I forgot I was only giving one example.

6-   Couldn’t show labels on any chart in PerformancePoint 2010. Can’t do that in PerformancePoint 2013 either. That’s btw true for Excel Power View 2013 as well but hay that’s a “new” issue so it doesn’t count.  

Project Site Integration

 


7-   Can’t calculate Project server Risk Indicator or Issue Indicator fields based on custom columns in Risk & Issue Lists in Project site. A corollary to that is that Risk/Issue Project site information can’t be shown in Project Center views.

8-   Can’t show project fields in Project site or vice versa without unsupported solution starter components.

 

Scheduling in PWA


9-   Its great to save baseline within PWA. Though I would like to assign partial resources to tasks as well. More details here http://blogs.office.com/b/project/archive/2013/05/29/differences-between-project-professional-and-project-online.aspx

Project Professional


10-   Create whatever PDPs you want to create. Project professional doesn’t know about and won’t honour them, it will show all the fields in Project Information form whose behaviour is not dependent on workflow and are not multiline,


11-   Has your PMO taken the permission of setting baseline away from you? Is your project running way behind schedule? Don’t worry, open the project in project professional and change the baseline values. Yes, you can change the baseline values without setting it again. Your Project status reports will look great and no one will know about it. Sshhh !!

Other


12-No mechanism to generate Auto Project ID

13-No intrinsic support in PWA for Program Management. Master Project and sub Project relationships can be defined in Project Professional which may not be the tool of choice for PMO.

14-New Project can’t be cloned from other Project.


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