This article takes a brief look at what you can expect from the new Primavera P6 Professional R8.4 installation process with regard to using the new SQLite database for your standalone configuration. As promised earlier this year, Oracle Primavera has now added a new option for running P6 Professional as a standalone tool that uses SQLite as an alternative to the Oracle XE database.
With the release of Primavera P6 revision 8.4, you now have the option to run the Professional client as a standalone configuration using the SQLite database as its data repository. SQLite is a popular, self-contained, server-less, zero-configuration database that is prevalent in a variety of systems and devices produced by a wide range of manufacturers: indeed while doing research for this article, I noticed that SQLite is even part of my Garmin map update software package.
SQLite DB Sizing
SQLite has a tiny installation footprint of less than 1MB, but a theoretical database size limit of 140TB, yep that’s terabytes: theoretical because the SQLite developers don’t have access to a machine with that much disk space on which to actually test it. Come to think of it, who would? In short, it’s ideal as a P6 standalone database because its server-less nature keeps everything simple and packaged on just the PC on which it’s installed.
This move to SQLite by Oracle Primavera obviates the need to be an Oracle database/Java expert. By giving us an alternative option for standalone client configuration, we can use something other than the Oracle XE database for an in-the-box solution. This is great news all round. We’ve had numerous calls for help over the last few years as people find that they cannot connect to the Oracle XE database after installing P6 Professional: an issue often bought about by security settings on their machine or Java setup problems. While databases are terrific when they work, they are very complicated to fix when they don’t. And if, like many schedulers, you’re not a database specialist, you’ll need to find someone who is to fix a problem.
About the Primavera P6 R8.4 Installation
So, before you attempt to install a standalone Primavera P6 R8.4 yourself, we’ll give you a heads-up on what to expect.
If you’re familiar with the R8.3 installation process, the first difference you’ll notice is the ironic absence of a Standalone button in the “Choose Setup Type’ dialog. You now just have Typical or Advanced button to choose from. If you do wish to install the Oracle XE database for standalone use, you can via the Advanced button. However, to use the SQLite database, you just click on Typical.
From here, P6 start the install process and after loading some file onto your machine brings you to the Select Driver Type dialog. At this point you can choose from several options, the last of which is the P6 Pro Standalone (SQLite) option.
When you select this option, the next dialog, namely ‘Configure P6 Professional Standalone Connection’, allows you to select an ‘Add a new standalone database and connection’ option.
After you select this option you just need to tell the installer what password you want for the database…
…and finally confirm the location of the PPMDBSQLite.db file, and that’s pretty much it. Once you finish the installation, you can run up P6 and log straight in.
Once you are logged in to the new Primavera P6 Professional R8.4 with SQLite database beneath it, you might notice the fact that the R8.4 P6 Professional client interface remains basically identical to its R8.3 predecessor; which is relief for us old codgers who appreciate change only when it’s done for the better of all scheduler-kind. One thing you may notice is the absence of the Users… and Security Profiles… options in the Admin menu. Makes sense I guess, this is a truly standalone version of P6 so the ability to add users is rather redundant.
Getting back to the installation: it’s also worth noting that the installation is super-fast compared to the R8.3 version because you don’t have to wait for the Oracle XE database to install; which we’ve observed taking twenty minutes or more, particularly when ‘Load sample data’ was chosen as one of the XE database setup options. The SQLite option however; even with sample data loading, doesn’t even appear on the screen. You are simply unaware that a database got installed somewhere during the process.
If you are loading Primavera P6 for self-teaching purposes or to work on schedules off-line, perhaps when you can’t access your company’s network, then this option is the perfect solution. It’s simple, quick and painless. And as was always the case, you can still configure the P6 client to log in to any of the other commercial versions of Oracle or SQL Server. For people who are new to Primavera P6, this simplification of the standalone database installation and configuration process is a terrific value-add. New users can at last concentrate their efforts on learning to tap the power of the P6 Professional tool, without any distractions getting it working first. Nice move Oracle Primavera.