From time to time we get asked about Primavera Contractor and how it differs from the more prevalent Primavera P6 Professional.
In a nutshell you can think of Primavera Contractor as a non-enterprise version of its more sophisticated cousin Primavera P6 Professional. It is in fact the same software as P6 Professional 6.1, but with a number of key enterprise capabilities removed.
Anyone familiar with P6 Professional will have no problem using Primavera Contractor. This article outlines some of the major differences between Primavera Contractor and Primavera P6 Professional, which may help you decide which one would best meet your requirements.
Look familiar? If you’ve used any of the Primavera Professional versions below release 8.0, it is immediately apparent that this is identical software. Apart from some missing/changed menu items and navigation buttons, it is clearly a reincarnation of P6 Professional. Retailing at about half the cost of P6 Professional, Primavera Contractor is designed for contractors who have a P6 requirement (often dictated by their customer) but aren’t looking to invest in a major enterprise, multi-user system.
Integration with P6 Professional
For companies looking to satisfy a contractual P6 reporting requirement, Primavera Contractor is a terrific alternative to P6 Professional because it is completely compatible with it, up to and including version 6.1. Specifically it can load any XER file produced from Primavera P6 Professional up to version 6.1. P6 Professional even has an export option specifically for Primavera Contractor 5.0 and 6.1.
Conversely, P6 Professional has no problems importing Primavera Contractor XER files and as far as we can tell there is no difference between the formats of Primavera P6 Professional 6.1 and Primavera Contractor.
Primavera Contractor vs. Primavera P6 Professional
The major functional differences of these two products are as follows:
- Primavera Contractor is a standalone solution that connects to its own instance of a locally installed Microsoft SQL Server 2005 database. It cannot be connected to remote SQL Server or Oracle databases.
- There is a 2000 activity limit with Primavera Contractor.
- Microsoft Project XML file import is not supported. You can only import using the MPP format and Microsoft Project must be installed on the same machine for this to work.
- There is no Enterprise Project Structure (EPS). You open projects via the File | Open menu option.
- There are no Resource Roles in Primavera Contractor.
- The Enterprise and Admin menus are not present in Primavera Contractor.
It is worth highlighting that Primavera P6 Professional is currently on version 8.3 and Primavera Contractor is still on version 6.1. We’re not sure if Oracle has any plans for further updates to Primavera Contractor, but the reality is that both products are mature and work great.
All of the key features that P6 Professional users would be keen to see in this system are there. As far as a project schedule goes, it’s all there: so long as you don’t need more than 2000 activities in the program. You can create a new project, build a WBS, create activities, assign relationships and constraints, resource load, schedule, status, summarize and publish all in the same way you can in the professional version. In short, if you’re a P6 Professional fan, you’ll be perfectly happy with Primavera Contractor.
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