DOE PARS CCP Upload Format
You can view the memo at the link below.
In this article we will give you a summary of the memo and its implications and talk about the new Schema v4.00 2023-02023 Data Item Description (DID) for this new JSON format.
Historically, the two accepted formats for the DOE’s upload of project performance data have been the comma separated variable (CSV) format, or the Microsoft Access MDB format, the latter of which has been unsupported by Microsoft since 2007. It is also a 32-bit format which is now being overtaken by more widespread use of 64-bit operating system.
The memo also explains that one of the primary reasons for this change are related to network security, operating system compatibility, and lack of developer support for the MDB format. This obsolete format was also challenging software vendors who are building DOE export support into their applications. It’s 32-bit architecture also imposed size limitations to the file, that also presented challenging implications for contractors managing larger acquisitions.
About JSON’s Origins
He succeeded! Today the format is defined by several international standards, including ISO/IEC 21778:2017 and RFC 8259: not to mention the fact that both the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Department of Energy (DOE) have adopted the standard for data upload and validation of contractor project data.
The key to the success of this format is its extreme simplicity. The brevity of its syntax means that it can be easily parsed into any number of software applications. It is also both human, and machine readable. This makes it an ideal format for automated testing and ensuring the quality of client-submitted data; hence its utility with submitting structured data objects for complex hierarchical systems such as project schedules and earned value management tools. Here’s an example of how the syntax describes a work breakdown structure.
For this reason, the office of Project Management (PM) has adopted this format and is currently coordinating the finalization of JSON data schema, in collaboration with such vendors as Deltek, Oracle, and Web EVMS. These vendors have agreed to develop versions that support JSON exports in their software applications by end of March this year. In reality we may not see the software applications released until the May/June timeframe.
In the case of Deltek Cobra (used by most DOE contractors for earned value processing), we understand that the DOE PARS JSON export development is fundamentally complete and will be added to the Cost Data – Project and Format dialog, along with the IPMDAR Contract Performance Format option, and may appear similar to the following:
As these vendors release supporting versions of their JSON export tools, we will provide further articles to explain their use and the data requirements for the projects in preparation for correctly exporting the required files.
Oracle are also developing a PARS export for those using the Primavera P6 scheduling software.
Currently, DOE contractors are having to extract data from these tools by various means, move it to a data store and then write the output files; a time-consuming process. Therefore, built-in JSON exports will greatly simplify the contractor’s ability to meet the Contract Project Performance (CPP) upload requirements as this new format is rolled out.
The current CSV format will still work for a while, but will be turned off once all contractors and projects are verified on JSON.
Schema and DID
According to the DOE CPP Upload Requirements including DID pdf – DID_V04.00_2023-03-22.pdf (doe.gov) document, the MDB format was discontinued in December of 2022, while the CSV format will continue until April/May of 2023.
The DID lists the following 21 data sets for the new JSON format (where DS = Data Set):
- DS00 header
- DS01 WBS
- DS02 OBS
- DS03 cost
- DS04 schedule
- DS05 schedule_logic
- DS06 schedule_resources
- DS07 IPMR_header
- DS08 WAD
- DS09 CC_log
- DS10 CC_log_detail
- DS11 variance
- DS12 variance_CAL
- DS13 subK
- DS14 HDV_CI
- DS15 risk_register
- DS16 risk_register_tasks
- DS17 WBS_EU
- DS18 schedule_EU
- DS19 schedule_calendar_std
- DS20 schedule_calendar_exception
- DS21 rates
For further technical details of the JSON Schema, click on the following link:
By reviewing this schema, we can tell that there may be additional data such as project header data, activity codes, control account and work package codes, as well as character fields that will be required in the schedule and EVMS systems to support the new JSON format. We will provide further articles about this as the vendors release compliance versions that feature the DOE PARS JSON export.
Software vendors such as Deltek and Oracle have agreed to provide these JSON exports by March 2023. This will usher in greater convenience and time-saving benefits to DOE contractors using these systems.
The DOE will continue with the CSV uploads until all contractors are verified on the new JSON format. Once this occurs, the CSV upload will be switched off.