With the recent release of P6 from Oracle Primavera we see a major change in the version numbering and a number of new features. Primavera is changing the version number to the year of release, and the number of releases that year, hence 15.1, the first release this year. This change is to make it clearer which versions of other integrated products, such as Primavera Unifier go together with P6, and Primavera expects this move to reduce the confusion.
Despite the big leap in version number, this is still a point release; so there aren’t a dazzling number of new features in Primavera P6 Professional to talk about, but some good improvements nonetheless. The bulk of new features are usability enhancements in Primavera P6 EPPM, Team Member and P6 Mobile which will be the subject of a later article.
This article looks at a couple of the feature enhancements for the Primavera P6 Professional client that caught our attention in the What’s new in P6 PDF which for your convenience can be downloaded from this link to Oracle’s web site.
Export Baselines with the P6 XML Format
The ability to export a baseline as part of the XML file is an improvement that will be welcomed by many. During export you can choose which baseline you’d like to export with the project as shown in the following figure.
When the resulting XML file is imported back into a P6 system, you have the opportunity to select the baseline you want to import along with the project.
The project is added to the EPS as usual, and when opened, the baseline is already present in the Maintain Baselines dialog. However, you will need to assign the baseline again in the newly created project using the Assign Baselines dialog. Evidently the assignment of baselines is not recorded in the XML file, so you will have to take that extra step.
That said, it’s still a very welcome feature and will save time and confusion when sharing your project with your customers or other interested parties.
Enterprise Features When Connected to an EPPM Database
For those of you working in a shared environment; i.e. both Primavera P6 Professional and P6 EPPM web based clients, you’ll be happy to see the return of some Enterprise menu items that were previously only available when P6 Professional accesses the PPMDB (Professional only or standalone databases) schema.
Specifically Primavera has re-enabled the following Enterprise Menu Items:
- Project codes
- Activity step templates
- Cost accounts
- Funding sources
Again this improvement will be welcomed by the P6 Professional community. The previous assumption that these would be administered via the EPPM web client was unnecessarily restrictive for many users.
Here’s what the menu now looks like when connecting P6 Professional 15.1 to an EPPM database.
Author’s Yes, And.
Now if they’d only give us Professional users a few of the Admin features back too, that would be really awesome. I suspect I’m not alone in this, but sometimes I need to do administrative things, but for one reason or another don’t have access to the EPPM web client on that system. For example, access to the Admin Preferences would go a long way, if nothing other than to be able to get rid of that darned ‘appropriate Industry’ prompt at login:
Separate Module Access for P6 Professional and Visualizer
In short, you now don’t have to have Primavera P6 Professional installed on your system to use the Visualizer. It is now a separate module that can be installed for a user who is only interested in generating Visualizer reports and layouts, but doesn’t need the full P6 Professional client installed on their machine.
Those of you using P6 Professional in an earned value environment may be interested in the improvements that have been made to the Format 6 UN/CEFACT XML which now has enhancements to support all the fields in the D09B version of the XML schema. Template capability has also been added, which allows you to map P6 fields to UN/CEFACT fields.
When you create or modify a UN/CEFACT project template, you can include contractor details, addresses, project, and activity information. This also provides the ability to include WBS and OBS information in the XML file.
Import and Export Visualizer Layouts
You can now share your P6 Visualizer layouts with users on other systems using the new Layout Import and Export features. In the Manage Layouts dialog, accessed via the More option on the Visualizer tool bar, you can export layouts as a .VLF file, and import these back into Visualizer via the More menu’s Import option.
So those are the highlights for what’s new in Primavera P6 Professional 15.1. In a nutshell we’re seeing the ability to export a baseline with the P6 XML format, a few more Enterprise menu options when connected to the EPPM database, separate module capability for Visualizer along with Template exports, Unifier Integration improvements; including the ability to send activity data and UDFs to Unifier activity sheets, and of course UN/CEFACT XML export template and mapping capabilities.
We’ll be doing more on this version of P6 in weeks to come, but hope you’ve found this article helpful in starting to explore what this new version offers to Primavera P6 Professional users. The link below will allow you to download the ‘what’s new’ guide for version 15.1.