Archive for the ‘P6 Web’ Category:

Primavera P6 R8.4 Database Options

Coal miner at work with pick axIn a recent blog for Construction Science I discussed some of the new features of Release 8.4 for Primavera P6 Professional and EPPM. Today I would like to discuss the database options for a standalone installation of P6 Professional. Oracle 10g Express (Oracle XE) has been included with P6 for several years. Users could also choose from one of several versions of Microsoft’s SQL Server, but most opted for SQL Server 2005 Express Edition because it is a free program. Both of these options are still available. But Release 8.4 introduces another option, SQLite. The advantage of SQLite is that it does not have the size limitation of Oracle XE (4 GB) and is easier to manage than Oracle XE or Microsoft SQL. Backing up a database is now as easy as copying a file folder because SQLite is a serverless database engine. For users who have struggled with Oracle XE or Microsoft SQL Server, SQLite seems like a great option.

Ah, but there is a trade-off for simplicity! Oracle’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are not compatible with SQLite. This is something Oracle intends to fix in a future P6 release or patch. APIs are the building blocks of many software programs, and while it is not something most of us would ever realize, Oracle’s Claim Digger is an API. So Claim Digger is not accessible when using SQLite. For me, that is a deal-breaker. I use Claim Digger nearly every day to analyze files. In some situations my clients have more than one version of a baseline schedule or update on their server and they no longer remember why. If some of these files are in fact identical we can delete them without any concern. At the very least, Claim Digger will tell us what the differences are. Most owners also expect contractors to explain what changes were made during the update process, and the Claim Digger report usually suffices.

Claim Digger does have some limitations, which I will discuss in a future blog, and there are third-party programs that are more powerful. However, Claim Digger is included with P6 so it is a tool that all users have access to without spending more money. I will accept free help anytime!

Also, because SQLite is truly a single-user environment, there are several other restrictions:

  • There are no User or Security Profiles, as there can only be one user
  • All projects are opened in Shared mode; Read Only and Exclusive modes are disabled
  • Sending e-mail notifications of Project Issues is not supported
  • Advanced import options are disabled for projects in XML format
  • Check In and Check Out of projects are disabled
  • There are no options to save data for All Users or Another User (layouts, etc.)
  • Job Services is not supported; Jobs cannot be scheduled
  • Update Baseline and Risk Analysis are not supported

P6 EPPM Training Available Online and In-Person Anywhere

Earlier this year we rolled out our popular P6 101 (8-hour) and P6 102 (16-hour) training programs for P6 EPPM. We waited to offer this training until we had a chance to develop our own training materials. Our training programs are designed to mimic the steps necessary to create a schedule, run production, update and monitor progress, in that order. More importantly, we teach P6 EPPM from the perspective of professional schedulers who have been using Primavera software for 25 years. Some features in P6 EPPM are not appropriate for every industry. And there are situations where switching to P6 Optional Client makes more sense than trying to muddle by with P6 Web. Both of these components are included with P6 EPPM.

For example, you cannot automatically renumber Activity IDs in P6 Web while this can be accomplished quite easily in P6 Optional Client. So in the P6 EPPM environment an employee using P6 Web might need to request that another employee using P6 Optional Client perform this task instead. Conversely, the P6 Optional Client user would need to request that the P6 Web user change the Earned Value settings, one of many administrative settings that are only accessible via P6 Web.

Our P6 EPPM training programs are intended to teach the P6 Web component since P6 Optional Client is virtually identical to P6 Professional. However, we can teach both P6 Optional Client and P6 Web back to back in order to fulfill all of our clients’ training needs. We did this recently for a major Department of Defense contractor in Kansas City. The first two days were devoted to using P6 Optional Client and the next two days focused on P6 Web.

Already our P6 EPPM training has been in high demand. We recently completed a 6-week assignment for the State of California, developing training materials and training the in-house trainers. Ironically, we beat out Oracle itself for this assignment! Next week we begin training a major highway contractor in Texas. We provide P6 EPPM training online every month for individuals and groups. In-person P6 EPPM training is available anywhere in the world for small groups. Well, we only provide this training in English but otherwise no restrictions!

Below is an introduction to P6 EPPM that we recently posted on YouTube:

This video explains how to set up a new project in P6 EPPM. In the next few weeks we will be posting more videos explaining various features of P6 EPPM. Please contact us if you have any questions.