One of the significant changes in the Office 2010 client was the introduction of the backstage view. The way it has brought common commands front and centre and combined relevant supporting information has quickly become one of those features I can’t live without and certainly something I notice immediately when I use any 2007 Office client.
In Project 2010, this is particularly noticeable, with a number of the Enterprise features that were previously buried away in the jungle of menu’s prominent on the backstage, including items such as Project Publish, Organising the Enterprise Global and accepting Status updates from your team, which is a massive improvement in usability and functionality.
Whilst looking at the backstage, I started to think it would be a great way to present information about where the project was in its lifecycle as determined by the demand management* capabilities of Project Server 2010. At a very simplistic level demand management provides a framework for the collection and display of information through a number of web pages called Project Detail Pages (PDP’s) and workflows. Each of which can be customised in order to meet the specific requirements of the organisation. Demand management is a massive topic which I will be covering in a number of posts later on.
So I decided to set out and create a proof of concept to integrate demand management workflow data in to the Project backstage. During the process I learnt a fair bit about how to extend the backstage view in Project, VBA and how to get the relevant workflow data, which I am going to share in a series of posts.
* The demand management feature of Project Server has to be one of my most favourite features of the 2010 Server product. In fact I am so taken with it, I even went on record to say so :)