I’m sometimes asked how long Primavera P6 has been on the market and what I know about its history. Fair question. You’d like to be sure you’re dealing with a mature product and that you’re not going to be beta testing it for the manufacturer during your implementation. Well, no danger of that with Primavera P6. Its roots go back to 1996 when a small company named Eagle Ray Software Systems, Inc. set up shop in New York State and set about building a true enterprise project management software solution.
Up to this point, most of the “enterprise” offerings on the market were from vendors of desktop tools that had re-engineered or rebadged their products as enterprise systems. Very few of these ever managed to make the leap to a true enterprise solution and some no longer exist today. Eagle Ray’s only real competition at the time was Artemis, with their Artemis Views suite and Welcom Software’s Open Plan.
Interestingly, the Eagle Ray tool’s interface looked a lot like Primavera’s P3. Not too surprising therefore that Primavera acquired Eagle Ray Software Systems in 1999. Primavera quickly rebadged the tool Primavera P3/e and then Primavera TeamPlay; the latter being the IT flavor of the system for the emerging popularity of projectizing IT shops.
Responding to the increasing demand for browser-based enterprise systems, Primavera wasted no time in building out the web-based side of the product. With the 2002 release of version 3.0, PrimaVision was the beginning of a strategic shift towards a totally web-based enterprise project portfolio solution. PrimaVision is the early ancestor of today’s Primavera P6 Web Access client.
In 2006, Primavera TeamPlay version 5.0 was released and the PrimaVision web client was re-badged myPrimavera. This was the first web client that offered a full range of enterprise portfolio and collaborative functionality along with enhanced project management capabilities. The web-based solution was starting to mature into a highly functional option and was gaining popularity within the industry.
2007 saw the release of Primavera P6 (version 6.0). Subsequent version 7 and version 8 releases have retained the P6 name with the version number as a suffix. At the time of writing, Primavera P6 release 8.2 is the current version. This release now represents the fulfillment of the web strategy, allowing its users to manage the entire system via the web client without the need for the original client software for administrative operations.
A much-enhanced version of the original Eagle Ray client software is still available from Oracle Primavera today and is called P6 Professional. This remains popular with power users as an additional option to the current web-based system. P6 Professional connects to the same database schema as the web-based system, but is a more traditional client that can be run as a stand-alone application. You can still find evidence of its Eagle Ray beginnings if you know where to look. The popular export format ‘XER’ (named after its file extension) stands for eXport Eagle Ray.
On October 8th 2008 Oracle announced that it had entered into an agreement with Primavera to acquire the company. Oracle Primavera P6 continues to grow and continues to secure its position as the leading enterprise project portfolio management systems in the world. Oracle Primavera now has an estimated 450,000 users in over 60,000 organizations across the globe and shows no sign of slowing down. For organizations looking to deploy a fully web-based project system, there really isn’t anything else out there that’s close.
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