The Import feature in Primavera P6 Professional that loads Microsoft Project schedules from an XML file works very well. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the Export to Microsoft Project feature for version R8.2 – R8.3.2. However the good news is that Oracle Primavera have evidently fixed this problem in the October 2014 release of P6 R8.4. See our new blog ‘Microsoft Project Export from P6 now working”, for more information.
As part of our conversion service, we often transfer projects created in Microsoft Project to Primavera P6 Professional. Until the release of R8.4 we’ve used third party tools or manual techniques to do this.
Dropped Relationships when using P6 R8.3
The basic issue is that when exporting a schedule from Primavera P6 Professional R8.3 (up to and including R8.3.2 service pack version) to Microsoft Project 2010 or 2013, relationships that go from activities lower down the network to activities in rows above them fail to appear in Microsoft Project.
To explain this better, look at the next two screenshots. The first shows the schedule in Primavera P6 Professional in which a number of activities have been linked to milestones above them. Also notice the three activities at the bottom that are chained from bottom to top. The sort order is by activity ID (default) and so these activities are in the order they were created.
Now take a look at the results in Microsoft Project. You can see that P6 failed to export any of the relationships that linked lower activities to upper activities. The milestones at the top are all sitting on the project start date, as are two of the three linked activities at the bottom of the schedule.
In our tests, sorting the activities by Start date didn’t have any affect either, so this is likely an issue based upon the default order of activities in the database. It appears that once the export feature goes past an activity during processing, it cannot see any successors that are in an earlier row.
If you intend to export a schedule from Primavera P6 Professional R8.3 to Microsoft Project, make sure that you have everything linked in a downward cascading order. If you link to any predecessor or successor that is above the activity you are linking, you will not see that relationship in Microsoft Project after import.
Update: December 2014
We have a follow-on article Microsoft Project Export from Primavera P6 Now Working that shows this issue has been fixed in later versions.