Sunday, September 20, 2009

Project & Project Server 2010

I am just in the Brisbane Airport waiting for my plane to Adelaide. Over the last week I had the pleasure being at the Project Server Conference 2009 in Phoenix where Project and Project Server 2010 was introduced. Before I start writing about my impressions, I would like to say thank you to all the MVP's I have meet last week. Many of you I have known now for years, but only a view I met face to face. Every time we meet, it feels like seeing an extended Family and I am very happy, honored and proud to be part of this elite of fine, smart and passioned professionals. Cant wait to see you all again.

Additionally I had the pleasure of meeting many people last week that share the same passion then I and one of the main reasons why I attend these conferences is to share my experience with same minded professionals of which some have become friends from all over the world, Finland, Germany, Russia, Israel, France, USA, Malaysia,New Zealand........ I feel very privileged.

OK now 2010:

Quite a view things have already been written over the last couple of days and as most of the bloggers I am also taken by the amount of great work and effort the Microsoft Project Team has been putting into the product. I already had the chance to see 2010 in action before hand during Beta1 and the conference has only backed up my thoughts. WAU, YEIPEEEE, UNBELIEVABLE, FINALLY, MIND BLOWING, these where the immediate words that sprang to my mind and finally I am able to talk about it :) since the NDA has been lifted.

Lets Start with Project Server 2010. The most important part to notice here is that Project Server 2010 requires SharePoint Server Enterprise 2010 to be deployed. This has a lot of license implications for many of my customers, but also a lot of additional feature sets. It took me about 2 sleepless nights before I started to accept the fact that Project Server is now a truly enterprise solution, not just from a feature set ( which it already was) but also from a licensing point of view. Microsoft has not reveled the license cost yet and I doubt that we will have final figures for a while now. So be aware of that.
Secondly ( which I believe was required) the entire infrastructure has to be 64 bit, including SQL Server. Most of my clients run 64bit anyway, so that should not be such a big issue, but for some organisations that means hardware upgrade which was required anyway :)
Now lets talk about feature sets. I don't really know where to start because there are so many :)
  • Project and Portfolio Server are now one product and it looks INCREDIBLE. My prediction is we do not have any more competition. With this solution primaveras of the world watch out. You can not beat what Microsoft delivered in a seamless solution. Not only does it look great, it does the job!!!!
  • Project Server is a SharePoint Solution. All your EPM specialist you will need to become SharePoint Specialists too. There is no life without SharePoint. I personally love it. In the past I had to sell SharePoint to have the featuresets. Now it all comes out of the box. Excel Services, Visio Services, Workflow, Collaboration, KPI's, Perfomance Point, Forms Services and and and I dont know when to stop. That of course means endless possibilities for our customers. I will post more detailed featurests about SharePoint later. By the way the SharePoint conference is on the 15th October. You may want to consider going. This will be a huge event.
  • No More ActiveX and OWC. All Grids are now bases on Ajax and JavaScript. THANK YOU MICROSOFT. No more complicated desktop deployments. All Server based and extensible to accommodate for any requirement.
  • The Reporting Engine is Excel Services. That is great, well I already use Excel Services in 2007 extensible and think that this is a great move. Finally business users can create their own reports using Excel, their most loved reporting tool.
  • Lost of new 3 letter acronyms :) EPT ( Enterprise Project Types). EPT's allow you to create as many different project types as you like ( e.g. proposal, small Projects, Enhancements, large Projects etc). I will write much more about this since this functionality gives you the ultimate flexibility.
    PDP ( Project Detail Page) allow you to associate your own customised detail per EPT. I know that sounds a bit complicated but makes pure sense. :) Also more about this later
  • Departments. Finally you can determine custom fields on a department by department level. This means that Departments can have their individual custom field filter
  • Delegation. Allows you to act as someone else in case of Holiday etc. That did cause a lot of discussion during the deep dive sessions :) but I am sure it will be very interesting for organisations.
I haven't even started with the new feature sets yet :) but unfortunately my plane is boarding in 2 minutes, so you have to bare with me for more information later. My concluding sentence is......I cant wait to show my customers how I am able to help them with the new great Project Server release and I cant wait till it finally is released :)