MSP: Upgrades from the Legacy Interface to the New XML Driver

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This page explains some of the new driver behavior for users who upgrade to
Clarity
15.5 or higher from previous releases where the legacy PPM-MSP driver was used.
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New Microsoft Project
Task Type
Attribute
You can indicate how a task is mapped to the Microsoft Project
task type
value. This release includes a new
task
attribute named
Microsoft Project Task Type
that represents the Microsoft Project task type. The new attribute derives its value from one of the following lookup values:
0 - Fixed Units 1 - Fixed Duration 2 - Fixed Work
The new
msp_task_type
attribute is supported by the Clarity integration with Microsoft Project and is available in
Classic PPM
,
Clarity
, Microsoft Project, and the XOG.
Support for
Fixed Work
Task Types
You can import or export a project plan to or from Microsoft Project with all of the task types remaining intact, so that you can continue to manage your project.
Previous releases of
Clarity
supported only two (2) task types:
Fixed Duration
and
Non-Fixed Duration
. A Boolean attribute (
prIsFixed
) on the Task object indicated which task type applied. However, Microsoft Project supported three (3) task types:
Fixed Duration
,
Fixed Work
, and
Fixed Units
. These task types correspond to the schedule, cost, and scope dimensions, respectively.
In 15.4.1 and previous releases with the old pre-XML legacy MSP adapter,
Clarity
stored the entire MPP file and overlaid changes onto the file using the OLE macro language. Task settings such as
Fixed Work
were preserved even if they were not stored in the database because they were saved in the MPP file directly. This included situations where MPP files were associated with
Clarity
project templates.
Using the new XML adapter, this information is no longer initially available when exporting to MSP for the first time. As a result, tasks that should have been specifically designated
Fixed Work
were instead set to
Fixed Units
.
Clarity
15.5 and higher MSP integrations resolve this situation by providing the following new functionality:
  • A new Task Type single-select lookup attribute that allows
    Clarity
    to store any of the three (3) MSP task type options. 
  • A new Task Type attribute is also available for reads and writes (updates) through the XML Open Gateway (XOG).
  • A new MSP integration update to leverage this new Task Type lookup and store or retrieve that information when importing or exporting, including the initial generation of tasks from a template.
  • A new upgrade script that will interrogate projects that have existing MPP files attached using the old adapter and initially populate the new Task Type field with the appropriate details. The upgrade script should only have to be run once following the upgrade to the new version for customers who are upgrading from an older version with legacy MSP adapter support.
For example, your corporate office uses an integration template to create a new project. You open it in
Clarity
. You plan to travel to other sites to perform much of the work. To update the project while traveling, you export it to MSP. Some of the tasks in the corporate template are Fixed Work type tasks since it is imperative that they be completed under a certain number of hours in order to hit cost containment targets for the integration process. In this release, you can now:
  • Define a task as Fixed Work or Fixed Units and have that information stored in PPM.
  • Open a project that was generated from a template in
    Clarity
    in MSP and have the tasks created reflect the appropriate Fixed Work, Fixed Duration, and Fixed Units settings.
  • Preserve your existing data without having to manually repopulate the Task Type field for every affected task after you upgrade.
  • Read and write the new Task Type attribute using the XOG.
The new attribute is exposed in the
Classic PPM
user interface so that you can set it when creating a new task in
Classic PPM
. The new user interface also supports a similar API alias so that Task Type appears in the column panel on the Task page and My Tasks page.
The new task attribute is also tied in with the existing Fixed Duration attribute. If you set the Fixed Duration to
true
on the task, this new lookup switches to Fixed Duration. Setting Fixed Duration on this new lookup also sets the existing Fixed Duration to
true
(or
false
if one of the other two values is selected).
MSP Support for the New Task Lookup Attribute
Users of the legacy Microsoft Project interface can upgrade to the new XML interface without loosing the 'task types' defined in their project.
The legacy interface stored the task types in the MPP file. The new XML driver stores the values in the XML file but generates NEW MPP files when projects are opened from
Clarity
. Anything not directly mapped to
Clarity
attributes is lost when opening a project for the first time with the new XML interface. A new
Clarity
attribute mapped to the MSP task type provides a path. When the
Clarity
project is opened in the XML driver, the task types from the existing MPP (if any) will be retained.
UPGRADE: A project saved to
Clarity
with the legacy OLE driver can be opened in new XML driver with the task types intact.
UPGRADE: When opening from
Clarity
, the XML driver will temporarily open the legacy MPP to get the task types, then close it. This
flash
cannot be avoided and is expected.
NORMAL: Values persisted in
Clarity
tasks for the attribute "Microsoft Project Task Type" are seen in MSP when opened in the XML driver
NORMAL: If no value is set in
Clarity
tasks for the "Microsoft Project Task Type", the default task type defined in MSP is used for the task when opened into MSP
NORMAL: Task type values in MSP are saved to
Clarity
and stored in the "Microsoft Project Task Type" attribute on the
Clarity
task.
If no value is set in
Clarity
tasks for the Microsoft Project Task Type attribute, the default task type defined in MSP is used for the task when opened in MSP. The following steps illustrate this behavior:
  1. Create a project in
    Clarity
    .
  2. Create 2 tasks.
  3. Configure Fixed duration and Microsoft project type (MPT) in task list page
    1. Mark task1 MPT for Fixed duration
    2. Do not mark task2 with any MPT |
  4. Open Project in MSP(New Driver)
  5. Set the default task type in scheduling options to Fixed Unit 
  6. Configure type field | 
    1. Task1 should have type as Fixed duration
    2. Task2 should have type as Fixed Unit 
  7. Close MSP without saving
  8. Set the default task type in scheduling options to Fixed work
  9. Open the project in MSP
    1. Task1 should have type as Fixed duration
    2. Task2 should have type as Fixed Work 
A project saved to
Clarity
with the legacy OLE driver can be opened in new XML driver with the task types intact
The following steps illustrate this behavior:
  1. Create a project in
    Clarity
  2. Create 3 tasks
  3. Configure Fixed duration and Microsoft project type(MPT) in task list page
    1. Mark task1 MPT for Fixed duration
    2. Mark task2 MPT for Fixed Unit
    3. Mark task3 MPT for Fixed Work
  4. Open the project with legacy driver
    1. Task1 should have type as Fixed duration
    2. Task2 should have type as Fixed Unit
    3. Task3 should have type as FixedUnit
  5. Re-open the same project with MSP new driver 
    1. Task1 should have type as Fixed duration
    2. Task2 should have type as Fixed Unit 
    3. Task3 should have type as Fixed Work 
Values persisted in
Clarity
tasks for the Microsoft Project Task Type attribute are seen in MSP when opened in the XML driver
The following steps illustrate this behavior:
  1. Create a project in
    Clarity
    .
  2. Create three (3) tasks.
  3. Configure Fixed duration and Microsoft project type(MPT) in task list page.
    1. Mark task1 MPT for Fixed duration
    2. Mark task2 MPT for Fixed Unit
    3. Mark task3 MPT for Fixed Work 
    4. | 3 tasks to be created with corresponding MPT's
  4. Open Project in MSP
  5. Configure type field
    1.  task1 should have type as Fixed duration
    2. task2 should have type as Fixed Unit 
    3. task3 should have type as Fixed Work | All 3 tasks to have tasks types as configured in
      Clarity
  6. Save the project back to
    Clarity
  7. Re-open the project.
    1. task1 should have type as Fixed duration 
    2. Task2 should have type as Fixed Unit 
    3. Task3 should have type as Fixed work 
Values persisted in MSP (XML driver) tasks for the attribute type are seen in
Clarity
tasks for Microsoft Project Task Type attribute
The following steps illustrate this behavior:
  1. Create a project in MSP (XML driver).
  2. Create three (3) tasks.
  3. Configure type field
    1. Configure Task1 type as Fixed duration
    2. Configure Task2 type as Fixed Unit
    3. Configure Task3 type as Fixed Work
  4. Save the project to
    Clarity
    and close MSP
  5. Navigate to task list page of the project in
    Clarity
    .
    The Microsoft project type (MPT) values for task match the values that appeared in MSP.