MSP: Data Exchange with
Clarity PPM

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When you open a project with Microsoft Project (MSP), or save a project, Schedule Connect coordinates the data exchange and updates between
Clarity PPM
and MSP, even when changes occur concurrently. To enable this data exchange, map MSP fields to
Clarity PPM
fields. Key information, such as resources and the costing rules, are controlled in
Clarity PPM
. If you modify this information in MSP, your changes are not saved in
Clarity PPM
.
2
If you work in
Clarity PPM
Studio, enter the PRNAME field in the MSPField table in lowercase and set the attribute ID value.
Clarity PPM
Studio uses this value. However,
Clarity PPM
does not map custom assignment attributes to Microsoft Project.
Open Projects in Microsoft Project
You can open any active projects that you have rights to view or edit from
Clarity PPM
. To open projects from
Clarity PPM
, they must be formatted in MSP. Tasks that are created with dates set in
Clarity PPM
that are different than the project start date get
Start No Earlier
constraints to hold them there. Work effort estimates for each role on each task are loaded into Microsoft Project including the distribution of this work over time.
The access rights to view or edit a project allow you to open the project as read-only or read/write from
Clarity PPM
in Microsoft Project. If read-only access rights are assigned to a project, or if the project is currently locked, you can open the project as read-only.
You cannot open projects with the same project ID and the MPP file name in Microsoft Project from different
Clarity PPM
servers on your computer. To correctly open a project in this situation, first delete the MPP file that you have saved locally. Then, open the project with the duplicate project ID from the other
Clarity PPM
servers.
Follow these steps:
  1. If the project is open in Microsoft Project, save and close it.
  2. Close any open dialogs or let any interactions with Microsoft Project complete.
  3. Complete these steps when attempting to open a project from a different
    Clarity PPM
    server:
    1. Exit Microsoft Project.
    2. Change the server settings in Schedule Connect.
  4. Select Microsoft Project from the
    Open in Scheduler
    menu.
  5. Select one of the following options:
    • Read-Only. Opens the project unlocked in Microsoft Project.
      Read-Write. (Default) Opens the project in Microsoft Project and locks the project in
      Clarity PPM
      .
      If your access rights only allow you to view the project, or if another user locks the project, Read-Only is selected by default and the list box is unavailable.
  6. Click
    Go
    .
  7. When you open a project from
    Clarity PPM
    in Microsoft Project, the following occurs:
    • Your
      Clarity PPM
      login is sent automatically to Microsoft Project. Logging in to Schedule Connect is not required to open a project from
      Clarity PPM
      into Microsoft Project.
    • The project opens in Microsoft Project. If Microsoft Project is already running, that instance of the Microsoft Project is used. Any projects already opened in Microsoft Project remain open.
    • If you open the project from
      Clarity PPM
      in Microsoft Project as read/write, other users can only open the project as read-only.
Open
Clarity PPM
Projects in Microsoft Project
After you have set up the connection to a
Clarity PPM
server, you can open a
Clarity PPM
project in Microsoft Project. You can open any active
Clarity PPM
project to which you have view or edit rights.
The Open from Clarity window displays a list of active
Clarity PPM
projects, formatted for Microsoft Project, that you can edit or view.
Follow these steps:
  1. Launch Microsoft Project.
  2. Click the
    CA Clarity PPM Integration
    tab, and click to
    Open
    .
  3. View the following information:
    • Project ID
      Defines the unique identifier for the project that is typically auto-numbered.
      Limits:
      20 characters
      Required:
      Yes
    • Name
      Displays the name for the project. This value is based on the Project Name field on the project properties page.
    • Locked By
      Defines the user name of the resource currently editing the project.
    • Manager
      Specifies the email address of the resource responsible for managing the project.
  4. Select the project and click Open.
    If the project is locked and saved locally, you are prompted to open the
    Clarity PPM
    version and replace the local version.
  5. Click Yes to open the
    Clarity PPM
    version.
Microsoft Project Save and Save As
When you save a project that you updated in Microsoft Project (MSP) back to
Clarity PPM
, the saved project reflects the updated schedule. The MPP project file is uploaded to
Clarity PPM
including discrete information such as task schedules and resource work amounts.
If you are using the Microsoft Project Interface (the newer version,
not
the Legacy version), you cannot perform
Save As
over an existing
Clarity PPM
project.
Use
Save
and
Save As
in Microsoft Project to save the file locally. Use Schedule Connect to save projects to
Clarity PPM
.
If you exit Microsoft Project without saving the project locally, you are asked to save the project. If you do, the project is saved locally but it is not saved back to
Clarity PPM
. You save to
Clarity PPM
using the
Save
button on the
Clarity PPM
integration menu.
Save New Projects to
Clarity PPM
from Microsoft Project
You can create a project in Microsoft Project and then save it to
Clarity PPM
. The following is assumed:
  • You have access rights to create projects in
    Clarity PPM
    .
  • Any resources or charge codes that are referenced in the project exist in
    Clarity PPM
    .
  • The project is not password-protected. To verify whether the project is password-protected, select the Save option.
When you save a new project that is created in Microsoft Project to
Clarity PPM
, the following actions automatically occur:
  • You become the
    Clarity PPM
    project manager.
  • The project is locked in
    Clarity PPM
    .
  • The project remains open in Microsoft Project.
If the project ID exists in
Clarity PPM
, you can save a project over an existing project by clicking
Save As...
from the
Clarity PPM
Integration
menu bar. If you save over an existing project, the new project information replaces the existing project information. Unplanned tasks and assigned tasks with actuals are moved to the Deleted Tasks summary phase as deleted tasks.
If you open a project from
Clarity PPM
, the project ID that is stored in the MPP file is used as the default project ID. If the project is not opened from
Clarity PPM
, the project title is used as the project ID.
To change the project ID, create a project in
Clarity PPM
. Project IDs are unique. If the project ID exists, you can replace the existing project with the new project information.
If you change the ID, the MPP file name changes to match it.
Follow these steps:
  1. Open the project in Microsoft Project.
  2. Click the
    Clarity PPM
    Integration
    menu bar, and click Save As.... to view a list of active projects to which you have access rights.
  3. Define the following information:
    • Project ID
      . Defines the unique identifier for the project that is typically auto-numbered.
      Limits:
      20 characters
      Required:
      Yes
    • Local file name
      . Defines the default local path and the MPP file name of the project. The MPP file name defaults to the project ID. If the project name exists already, information from the new project replaces the existing project.
      The path and file name are based on the Tools, Option, Save settings in Microsoft Project. Any changes to the setting do not take effect until the next time you start Microsoft Project.
      Track Mode
      . Indicates the tracking method that resource assignments use to enter time that is spent on project tasks.
      Values:
      • Clarity. (Default) Resource assignments enter time against their assigned tasks using timesheets.
      • None. Resources other than labor resources track actuals from financial transaction records or through a desktop scheduler, such as Microsoft Project and Open Workbench.
      • Other. Actuals are imported from a third-party application.
  4. Save your project.
Save Copies of Existing
Clarity PPM
Projects as New Projects
When you save a copy of an existing
Clarity PPM
project as a new project, all of the project information is copied to the new project. Both projects exist independently of each other. No file sharing occurs. In addition, locks are removed from the project, unless you save it locally as an MPP file using the standard Microsoft Project saving functions.
Follow these steps:
  1. Open the project in Microsoft Project from
    Clarity PPM
    .
  2. Click the
    Clarity PPM
    Integration
    tab, and select Save As....
  3. Enter a new, unique
    Clarity PPM
    project ID and click Save As.
    A copy of the project is saved as a new project in
    Clarity PPM
    .
Save Existing Projects to
Clarity PPM
from Microsoft Project
To save an existing project to
Clarity PPM
, you must have edit access rights and a lock option on the project. You cannot save when another user has locked the project, or when you did not lock it. If necessary, you can force a save. Once you save your existing project, you can continue to modify the project.
Follow these steps:
  1. Open the project in Microsoft Project.
  2. Click the
    Clarity PPM
    Integration
    menu bar, and click Save As....
    The project remains open and locked. If you do not have a lock on the project, you can force a save.
  3. Click Yes.
Data Retrieval from Microsoft Project
When saving a project to
Clarity PPM
, information about a project is updated including its tasks and assignments. The following exceptions apply:
  • Resource and charge code information is not updated or created.
  • Time-tracking information about tracked assignments, such as actual hours, is not updated.
  • Unplanned tasks and assignments are not updated or deleted, even when you force a save.
  • Manual edits to the baseline information is not saved.
You cannot delete projects, tasks, and team staff members that have submitted timesheet actuals. You cannot remove resource assignments from tasks that have submitted actuals. When you try to delete an assignment with actuals, the estimates (ETC) are set to zero. When you try to delete a task with actuals, the task is marked as
Complete
.
The tasks are relocated under a Deleted Tasks summary task in the work breakdown structure (WBS).
Clarity PPM
either creates this phase or reuses an existing phase and sets the task ID to a value that is not localized.
Clarity PPM
and Microsoft Project can recognize the task based on the language settings.
When you open a project in Microsoft Project, cost information is retrieved from the financial cost matrix in
Clarity PPM
. Cost rates determine the cost that is associated with a resource that is assigned to a project task. The Microsoft Project cost rates are retrieved from the Cost field in the
Clarity PPM
cost matrix. These costs are shown over time by task and at the project level.
Microsoft Project supports time-varying and project-specific cost rates. The changes that you make to the cost rates in Microsoft Project are for
what-if
purposes only and cannot be saved to
Clarity PPM
.
Concurrent Timesheet and Transaction Changes
Microsoft Project merges any concurrent timesheet and transaction changes. You can update timesheets or financial transactions in
Clarity PPM
that can affect information about projects that you are updating. When a project is locked, most timesheet and transaction updates that affect a project are blocked. The following changes are retained and merged when saving projects to
Clarity PPM
:
  • Unplanned tasks
    . Unplanned tasks are placed in an Unplanned Tasks summary task in Microsoft Project until a project manager moves them. Unplanned tasks occur when staff members do the following:
    • Create new unplanned tasks.
    • Create an unplanned assignment by recording actual time against tasks to which team staff members are not assigned.
    When you save the project to
    Clarity PPM
    , unplanned tasks and assignments are not deleted. Any unplanned tasks and assignments that are opened in Microsoft Project are marked as
    Planned
    . You can delete unplanned tasks and assignments from Microsoft Project at a later time.
  • Pending Estimates
    . Team staff members can set pending estimates (ETC) from
    Clarity PPM
    . If you change this field from Microsoft Project on a tracked assignment, the change is ignored when you save the project back to
    Clarity PPM
    with one exception. That is, when you accept or reject the pending estimate values and a team staff member is not concurrently modifying the estimate in
    Clarity PPM
    .
  • Notes
    . Staff members can add notes to tasks from
    Clarity PPM
    .
  • Actuals
    . Both approved and unapproved actuals show as pending actuals in the project plan.
Assignments are tracked when the Track Mode field in
Clarity PPM
for associated projects and resources is set to Clarity or Other. Actuals, Actuals Thru Date, Pending Actuals and for Pending Estimates field information (except for setting it to blank) is maintained from
Clarity PPM
. Any field changes in Microsoft Project are ignored.
Posted Timesheets and Actuals
Clarity PPM
timesheets affect actuals in Microsoft Project (MSP). The resource assignments on your project typically use timesheets in
Clarity PPM
to enter their weekly work accomplishments on their assigned tasks. These timesheets automatically include tasks that you have scheduled for that week. Resources submit their timesheet and the project manager approves them before posting to the project plan. Pending actuals appear in Microsoft Project before posting actuals.
Map the
Pending Actuals
field in
Clarity PPM
to a custom number field in Microsoft Project.
When a timesheet is posted, the estimates (ETC) on assignments for which a resource enters timesheet actuals is adjusted. Typically, the ETC reduces the amount of the actuals so that the total work on the assignment remains the same.
In Microsoft Project, assignments with a work contour assigned Contoured (Fixed in
Clarity PPM
) are processed differently. In this case, the ETC that is scheduled on or before the week is replaced with the actuals. In addition, the ETC that is scheduled after the week is retained. The result, depending on when the estimates are scheduled in Microsoft Project, can be an increase or a decrease of the total work.
In Microsoft Project, work contour assignments are reset to Contoured if you edit the work distribution. If you modify the total actual or remaining work distributions, the work contour is not modified.
Most of the time, posting a timesheet does not immediately change the finish dates of the timesheet tasks. For example, when work on a task takes longer than planned (more actuals are entered than planned), the result is a new, reduced ETC. Less work is completed on a task than was planned for the week is scheduled at a higher rate within the task schedule. In this case, when you open the project from
Clarity PPM
in Microsoft Project, the task is rescheduled and the finish date is delayed.
A posted timesheet is assumed to be a complete accounting of the project work that a resource did that week. A scheduled task that does not appear on the timesheet implies that the resource did not complete any work on that task. The project manager must reschedule the task for the following week or beyond.
When you open a project from
Clarity PPM
in Microsoft Project, it is scheduled even if you use
Manual Calculation
in Microsoft Project. As a result, task finish dates and resource work distribution in Microsoft Project can be different than in
Clarity PPM
. After posting actuals, rework your plan. Reworking the plan ensures that work is balanced. In addition, the rate of progress does not demand a change of scope, sequence, or other elements of the project.
Elapsed Durations in Microsoft Project
Project managers can enter duration as working days or elapsed (calendar) days in Microsoft Project. An elapsed duration is the amount of time that a task takes to finish, based on a 24-hour day and a 7-day week, including holidays and other nonworking days. To schedule tasks to occur during working and nonworking time, the project manager assigns an elapsed duration to a task (by preceding the duration abbreviation with the letter
e
) in Microsoft Project. For example,
3ed
indicates three elapsed days, whether those days are working or nonworking days. You can define elapsed duration in days, weeks, or months only (hours in not supported).
The Microsoft Project Interface (
not
the Legacy version) retains the elapsed duration values when you open and save a project from Microsoft Project into
Clarity PPM
. For Microsoft Project task dependencies, this interface also retains the elapsed durations for leads (accelerations or overlaps) and lags (delays or gaps) in the schedule. The following dependency types are supported:
  • Finish to Start
  • Start to Start
  • Start to Finish
  • Finish to Finish
However, you can view and edit the elapsed durations only in Microsoft Project. The Microsoft Project elapsed durations are maintained in
Clarity PPM
, unless you modify the task start, finish, duration, or dependencies. If you do, the durations are converted to working days.
Microsoft Project 2010 or a later version is required to retain elapsed durations in
Clarity PPM
.
The Microsoft Project Interface Legacy does
not
retain the values from Microsoft Project into
Clarity PPM
. Durations that are elapsed days in Microsoft Project are converted into working days in
Clarity PPM
.
Clarity PPM
Updates that Impact Elapsed Durations in MSP
Actions in
Clarity PPM
that affect task start, finish, or duration values override the values that were saved from MSP.  The following are some examples of actions in
Clarity PPM
that can affect elapsed duration values that are previously entered in MSP:
  • Running auto-schedule
  • Changing the task start date
  • Changing the task finish date
  • Editing task assignments that affect task start or finish dates
  • Changing the project start or finish dates (if the task falls outside the new dates)
  • Posting actuals for task assignments:
    • Depending on the ETC that remains after posting, the task finish date can change.
    • If posting updates the Task Finish date, then elapsed duration is re-calculated as working days.
  • Editing task dependencies as it converts the elapsed value into working days.  For example:
    • Using the Gantt view to drag-and-drop a task dependency
    • Editing the dependency lead or lag time in the task properties or dependencies page
Microsoft Project External Dependencies
You can insert dependencies into an open project without having to open the project from which the dependent relationship is created. In Microsoft Project (MSP), you can insert dependencies by entering the file name and task ID of the dependent task.
If a task has a dependency on another task from a different project, the ID of the second project does not display with the name of its task in Microsoft Project. If you use a Microsoft Project driver prior to Release 14.x, the ID of the project displays with the task name column in this format: projectID\taskName; With the new Microsoft Project drivers, only the task name displays.
For example, the following image illustrates project PR1059 and a
Network Map
task that has a dependency on task
Define Scope
from another project, PR1028. When you use the Release 14.2 driver, the task name appears in Microsoft Project.
Image showing dependent tasks in Microsoft Project.
When you save a project with external dependencies, external tasks are updated as needed.