Editing the Enterprise Global in Project Online

As a long time Project Server consultant, each implementation usually ended up with some changes to the Enterprise Global to push a standardised configuration out to the users of Project Server. By habit, I have always updated the Enterprise Global by navigating to Server Settings in and clicking on the Enterprise Global link which would open up Project Professional to allow the file to be edited.

Fast forward to Project Online, the Enterprise Global link in Server Settings is no more, which caused me some head scratching for a couple of minutes.

Project Online - Server Settings

So I thought I would share how to edit the Enterprise Global without using the web link. It turns out that this method is also valid for Project Server 2010.

To do so, open up Project Professional and ensure it is connected to Project Online.

Click on the File button, select the Info Tab

Project Professional 2013 - Info Tab

Click on the Organizer button in the Organize Global Template area and click on Open Enterprise Global.

Project Professional 2013 - Open Enterprise Global

This will open up the Enterprise Global for you to edit as required.

Checked Out Enterprise Global

Once the edits are complete, click on File and choose Close, remembering to save changes and check the file back in.

Save Enterprise Global

Now I will wait for the deluge of ‘my god I can’t believe you didn’t know that comments’ Winking smile

Project Online’ hidden Gem… Click to Run

Download client softwareFirst let me get this off my chest. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.  Ok, now to continue.

Over the past couple of days I have been exploring the new capabilities of Project Online, specifically I have been looking into the experience for new users to the service, things like how quickly they can provision the service and then start to use it in anger.

One of the things I was drawn to was the ability for new users to download the relevant client software from the cloud to their local PC. The ability to download client software in Office 365 is not new, the current 2010 based Office 365 has the option for users to download Office Professional Plus and Lync 2010 directly from within the admin site, in the case of Office Professional Plus, clicking on the link will kick off a rather unpleasant 651MB download.

Classic Office 365 download office client

Not any more it seems. With the new Office 365 preview and a significantly upgrading click to run, you can now ‘stream’ your apps down on to your PC in speeds that will make you say wow (several times).

In the case of Project Online, I was interested in streaming Project Professional down, now called Project Pro, but depending on the Office 365 plan you sign up for you can also stream other Office applications.  To kick off the streaming download, choose ‘Install software and connect it to the cloud’.

Office 365 Preview Settings

In my case I had both Office and Project available to download from my Office 365 tenant.

Install and manage software

Click on ‘The latest version of Project’. A small file download will appear which will control the streaming process.

Install C2R bootstrapper

Clicking on run will initiate the streaming process, a simple wizard is displayed outlining some of the configuration options for Office.

CR2 - Welcome to Office

In under 2 minutes, Project Professional is installed and ready to use (wow).

Project Professional - Ready to use in under 2 minutes

As you can see, the application is still streaming down in the background, but clicking on the icon in the start menu will open it. The streaming technology makes some intelligent decisions around the features of Project you may wish to use and prioritises their streaming order.

After approximately 6 minutes, the whole of the Project Pro desktop application is installed and available (wow again).

Project Professional - You're good to go (in 6 mins)

Project Professional - Streamed and running

Checking back in the administration screen, Office 365 tracks the installation and allows the user to see the licence status and deactivate it if necessary.

Project Professional - Deactivate Licence

What is most impressive is that in the preview at least it seems that users get 5 installations of each piece of software per user (I am not sure if this will be the case with the released software and no licencing details have been released as yet), when coupled with the streaming speed, the idea of quickly installing the software on a PC to make a change to a schedule and then deactivating it is not as daft as it sounds.

With the inclusion of this streaming technology, Project Online and the updated Office 365 when it is available, is sure to become a massive market for Microsoft. It allows organisations and spin up Project Server with a simple per user per month basis from the cloud and providing near instantaneous streaming of the desktop apps. This has significant benefits for consumers, such as reducing the cost of ownership, support and maintenance, but also allowing the service to be scaled as required by simply adding or taking away user subscriptions. With the addition of the new click to run streaming, I can see the death of MSI installs on the horizon.

Wow again Microsoft.

What’s new in Project Professional 2013?

With the release of Project 2013, Microsoft have made a number of enhancements and improvements to our favourite project scheduling software.

The first thing you will notice are the changes to the look and feel, not as radical as the introduction of the ribbon, but a gentle evolution to provide a flatter, minimalistic look and feel that is common across the rest of the Office 2013 platform. Project 2013 also allows users to sign in, ensuring their preferences and cloud based services such as SkyDrive, Office 365, SharePoint are configured and roam between applications.

 

Project 2013

 

Touch

With the impending release of Windows 8 and the proliferation of touch enabled PC’s and Slates, Office 2013 introduces a number of enhancements to improve the experience for touch users. The most obvious improvement is a new touch mode which can be accessed via the Quick Access Toolbar. When clicked the ribbons will explode out to a larger finger friendly design as can be seen below.

Touch mode off

Touch mode on

This also extends to the data entry screen where if you use a touch input, the screen shows two finger friendly nubs to use for selection.

Gantt Touch Friendly

There are a few other touch improvements, including help selecting objects and ‘Minibars’. Microsoft published a great post outlining some of the touch support changes in Office 2013 over at the Office Next blog which I would encourage you to check out.

Reports

One of the major investment areas in Project 2013 is a new reporting capability that allows rich dashboard style reports to be built quickly and easily. I’ll be digging into the improvements around reporting in a future post, but to give you a quick overview, Project 2013 includes a number of pre-canned dashboard type reports including work and project overview dashboards and an excellent burn-down report. Of course you are not limited to the provided reports, a powerful design capability has been included that allows you to build customised reports for your organisation and theme them in the way you want. These reports also leverage another new capability of Project 2013, the introduction of improved office art.

Project 2013 Reports

 

Presence information

A small but significant inclusion is the addition of presence information to resources in the schedule. Now as a project manager, wherever I see a resource name, I can see at a glance their status and connect to them with one click to ask about the status of a task, or to confirm their actuals. Of course when you use the presence information you won’t get a lovely picture of me Winking smile

Project 2013 - Presence Information

Task path

A new feature that will be of particular use for heavy schedule users is the new Task Path feature. As the name suggests, Task Path enables you to see the path for a specific task you have chosen, the paths you can see include Predecessors, Driving Predecessors, Successors and Driving Successors.

As you can see below, clicking on Task 2 has caused two paths to change colour, the driving predecessors (those that cause the task to be scheduled when it is), turning orange and the driving successors (those that cause the successor task to be scheduled when it is) to turn purple. I will write more on this cool feature in the future.

Project 2013 - Task Path

Apps

One of the most exciting additions to Office 2013 is the inclusion of new app model allowing you to extend certain client and server applications with add-ons that can be either be purchased from a central app store, or from a catalogue of approved corporate apps. Project 2013 is one of those client apps that supports these new apps, allowing new capabilities to be added to Project 2013 via these apps. Again, I will be digging into building Project 2013 apps in some future posts.

Project 2013 - Office apps

 

In addition to the main points I highlighted above, there are a heap of other improvements to Project 2013, ranging from animations & fit and finish through to a number of under the cover changes to improve performance and product capability. I have only started digging into the new client capabilities and will be posting more info as I uncover it myself. In the meantime, I encourage you to give Project 2013 a go yourself by downloading the preview from office.com/preview.*

* Project 2013 will install side by side with Project 2010. Please note that if you are using Project Server 2010, Project 2013 will not connect to Project Server 2010 and you will still need to use Project 2010.

Office 2013 Preview has arrived

OfficelogoOrange_WebThis morning, Microsoft announced the availability of the first public preview of Office 2013 which you can download from office.com/preview.

Office 2013 is a massive release, encompassing nearly every product in the Office suite, including my favourites, Project, Project server and of course SharePoint. Over the next few weeks I will drill into each of the products and highlight some of the new capabilities, changes and favourite features.

The Microsoft team have released an absolute stack of content today to compliment and support the release, including:

and my favourites, Christophe and Jan’s videos in the Project Server TechCenter:

As always, if you have questions, the Project forums at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/project are a great place to start.

I encourage you to go out and try Office 2013 and to spin up an Project Online tenant for Office 365 today and get testing!!