Keeping your Primavera P6 database lean and mean is a good idea for maintaining good performance. However it can be challenging in production environments where you need to keep a good history of project status using baseline snapshots.
This article looks at ways to keep the P6 database free of clutter, while still keeping backups of your project throughout its life-cycle.
In the following example we have a construction project that is being updated on a weekly basis. Once each update has been done, the scheduler has taken a snapshot of the project using the Maintain Baselines feature. Trouble is, the list of baselines is getting long and each baseline snapshot is in fact an entire copy of the project in the database. For large projects this can increase the number of records in the Primavera P6 database by orders of magnitude each time a new baseline snapshot is taken; eventually slowing down the database and generally creating unnecessary clutter in the data tables.
So the question is: how do we keep all our snapshot baselines, and keep the database free of too much clutter?
The following steps show you how to do this.
When the list of baseline snapshots gets beyond 3, this is a good time to start restoring the oldest snapshots as a project.
To do this you simply need to open the Maintain Baselines dialog from the Projects menu.
In the Maintain Baselines dialog, select the oldest baseline from the list.
Next, click on the Restore button.
Make sure the baseline you are selecting is not assigned to one of the Project, Primary, Secondary or Tertiary baselines in the Assign Baselines dialog. Otherwise you will see the following prompt. If you do simply go to the Assign Baselines dialog and remove the project from the assigned field.
Upon clicking the Restore button, you will see the following prompt.
Click Yes to restore the baseline. The project will disappear from the Maintain Baselines dialog and appear as a complete project in the respective EPS of the Projects tab.
Tip: You can select more than one baseline snapshot project to restore.
In our example we restored all but three weekly snapshots as project. This has cleaned up the Maintain Baselines dialog. However, the projects are still in the database, so there’s still more to do to get lean and mean.
Exporting Projects for Backups
The next step is to open each restored project, and use the File | Export feature to make an XER copy of the project.
We recommend that you save the file with the project name and then the data date in YYYY-MM-DD date format as part of the XER file name.
This will organize your project backup XER files into date order in the backup folder of the target disk drive or file server.
Delete the Restored Projects
The final step is to select the restored projects in the Projects EPS view and delete them.
This will clear out the database of unnecessary copies of the project and keep the system running quickly and smoothly. From this point on, each time a new snapshot is created, the oldest baseline should be restored, exported and then deleted as part of the update process. Keep in mind that you can import and then reattach a project as a baseline at any time using the Maintain Baselines’ Add button and select to “Convert another project to a new baseline of the current project“.
For more Primavera P6 articles click here