Getting Started with Project Server

With the introduction of Project 2002, Microsoft split the Project product line into separate server and client stock-keeping units (SKUs). Project 2000, and all the previous versions of the product, had only one version, and Project Central shipped as a free include on the Project 2000 installation CD. Although the Project Central software was included at no charge, its appearance introduced a new licensing model to the Project line with the requirement of a Client Access License (CAL) for users accessing Project Central via a Web browser.

If you’ve read Microsoft’s marketing material for the Project 2002 product line, you’re likely under the impression that there are four distinct products being offered. These products are as follows:

  • Project 2002 Standard

  • Project 2002 Professional

  • Project Web Access

  • Project Server


Project Web Access is an integral feature of Project Server, which is an Active Server Pages (ASP) application. In other words, Project Server is a Web-based application and structured like a typical Microsoft-based e-commerce application. You can neither purchase nor install Project Web Access separately. Essentially, it’s what you get when you purchase a CAL.

Boiling this down, you’re left with two versions of the desktop client plus the server application with four different types of software licenses. Choosing between Project 2002 Standard edition and Project 2002 Professional edition is as simple as deciding whether or not you’re going to deploy Project Server and, if so, whether it will be a workgroup or enterprise configuration.

The only difference between the two versions of the Project client is how they integrate with Project Server. Simply put, Project 2002 Standard gives you workgroup functionality with Project Server, whereas Project 2002 Professional enables the enterprise features of Project Server. So, if it’s a choice between the two client versions, and you have no intention to implement Project Server, choose Project 2002 Standard because Project 2002 Professional is substantially more expensive and offers no additional functionality in absence of Project Server.

Determining Your Licensing Requirements

Whether you implement an enterprise configuration or a workgroup configuration, you’ll need to acquire a license for each user of the system. Every user who will create, manage, and update a project plan will require a client license for either the Project 2002 Standard or Professional edition. This largely applies to people who have the title of project manager or who fill that role. It may also apply to resource managers if you intend to have timesheet reporting flow through line managers instead of, or in addition to, project managers. (If you don’t understand the distinction between a project manager and a resource manager now, you’ll learn about it later.) Finally, you’ll need to license a copy of Project for each person who will administer the application. Typically, application administrators are also project managers, so this may or may not increase your head count for licensing.

In addition to your Project Professional or Project Standard licenses, you must acquire a CAL for each person who will use Project Web Access but isn’t already licensed to use Project. Each copy of the Project client comes with a CAL for that user instance. The CAL that’s bundled with the Project client isn’t severable from the client license. Therefore, you may not count these separately. You may, however, use the full client license as a CAL only, but you’ll only do this if you’ve purchased too many full client licenses because the cost of a full license is more than five times the price of a CAL.

Many organizations may find that they have overlicensed Project clients when making the transition to the client-server architecture provided with Project Server and Project 2002. In my experience as many as 50% or more of the Project licenses held by larger companies are being used for the sole purpose of viewing project plans because there is no separate project file viewer available. When transitioning to Project Server, companies have an opportunity to repurpose licensing dollars toward CALs for users who require view-only access to project plans.

Project Server licenses are sold separately. The Project Server license includes a SharePoint Team Services license, which provides the technology for some of the collaborative features of Project Server, including issues management and document repositories. Project Server also includes Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE), Microsoft’s free entry-level database engine. MSDE is useful only for very small implementations, so you’ll likely need a license for SQL Server and, of course, you must have a license for the operating system (OS) that Project Server will run on: either an edition of Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003.

To take full advantage of the analysis features offered in Project Server, an Office XP license is required on the client machine running Project Web Access. The interactive capabilities of the analyzer views provided in an enterprise deployment of Project Server use Office XP Web components.

If a user doesn’t have a copy of Office XP installed, Project Server automatically installs a runtime version of the components the first time a user accesses these views. The runtime version allows the user to see the views, but the interactive drag-and-drop features are disabled, and Office 2000 users will experience the same limitation. You’ll need at least one Office XP or higher license installed on a client to create the views.

Determining Your Deployment Configuration

You can deploy Project Server in a workgroup or enterprise configuration. The feature-set difference between the two configurations is seemingly minimal; however, your ability to control the project management environment is vastly different.

In an enterprise configuration, Project Server provides two very important feature differences. Enterprise configurations include an enterprise resource pool and a set of enterprise custom fields and outline codes. These are the foundation for tailoring the application to meet your business needs and enforcing structure and consistency in the project management environment. Both are keys to leveraging the analysis tools that also distinguish an enterprise implementation from a workgroup implementation. An enterprise configuration supports structured portfolio management, whereas a workgroup configuration does not.

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Portfolio, Program, or Project?

Assuming that you have an understanding of the term project, for the purposes of this book program refers to a collection of related projects, and portfolio refers to a collection of programs and/or projects within a business unit or across an entire enterprise. Many companies have their own interpretations of these terms. A particular company’s interpretations are a reflection of a company’s approach to project management. Sometimes this is driven by the sheer size of the organization.

The concept of portfolio is malleable. A smaller organization may have a single portfolio of projects, whereas a larger business may conceive of an enterprise portfolio made up of numerous departmental or line-of-business portfolios, each containing its own set of programs and projects. However a business conceives these entities, you can model these in Project Server.

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Project Server always requires a database for its own data. Your choices are limited to Microsoft SQL Server or MSDE. Workgroup configurations allow project plans to be stored either in a database or in file shares. In fact, workgroup installations can use most any ODBC-compliant database for project plan storage, including popular platforms such as Oracle and DB2. In a workgroup environment, both the Project client and Project Server connect to the database using a Data Source Name (DSN), which must be configured on both the client and server machine. Although it’s possible to save projects to the Project Server database in a workgroup configuration, it’s not recommended and may cause problems. A workgroup configuration works well, but it requires additional DSN management, which is an ongoing management process. Data is less secure in this scenario and security can’t be managed as granularly as it can be in an enterprise configuration.

Enterprise configurations, on the other hand, leverage Microsoft’s OLE DB technology to connect to a single database with security managed through COM+, providing significantly better performance and security management. In order to accomplish these performance gains, enterprise configurations are limited to using Microsoft’s SQL Server where all project data is stored in one database repository.

Implementing Enterprise Portfolio Management with Microsoft Project Server 2002
Implementing Enterprise Portfolio Management with Microsoft Project Server 2002
ISBN: 1590591186
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 185 © 2008-2017.
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