When you’re integrating a Microsoft Project schedule into Cobra, you may be tempted by a setting in the Resource Assignments dialog named ‘Time-phased data is expanded in the Microsoft Project database’.
My advice: if you’re integrating with Microsoft Project via an XML file – don’t check this option.
While we as users can never be ambiguous about the data we enter into a computer program, computer programs often fail to return the courtesy. Case in point, an option that appears in the Resource Assignments dialog of Cobra 5’s integration wizard that has been causing me a little trouble of late.
We’ve all seen it, lurking down there at the bottom of the dialog; but when should we use it? During a recent engagement, I discovered that using it when integrating with a Microsoft Project XML file seemed to be causing the integration wizard to drop resource assignments on one day long activities; leaving the Budget figure a little short in the Cobra project.
Some back and forth with Deltek’s support folks finally revealed that this setting shouldn’t be used for Microsoft Project XML imports. For those who’ve been using Cobra for a few years, you may recall that it was originally used to tell the I/W if the data had been saved to the Microsoft .MPD with the Time-phased data expanded: an option that existed in the 2003 version.
However, versions of Microsoft Project beyond 2003 no longer support the .MPD format rendering it effectively obsolete. The XML format exports time-phased resource assignments with no option to do otherwise, so this setting is redundant for this newer format and shouldn’t be selected.
The Suggested Solution:
It would be nice to see this setting disappear if the Microsoft Project 2007/2010 XML option is selected in the Integration Configuration dialog’s Files field; thus removing the ambiguity.
Or at the very least in the short term, how about an addition to the setting’s text string (see below for example) stating that the option should only be used with Microsoft Project 2003 .MPD files?
Anyway, in the meantime I hope this little blog helps save a few of you from confusion about if/when to use this setting.
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