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Requirements and Advantages of Microsoft Project Server

Posted on 2004-10-14
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Can somebody provide a complete list of all the software required to run Microsoft Project Server, hardware required (recommended), and a complete list of the main features?. We are thinking about getting MS Prj Server because somebody else recommended it, but we don't know much about it. We want to make sure that it's going to satisfy the needs of the company before we make such a large investment. We also need an estimate in price and whether the license is per user or per device. Please provide a complete answer, not a link. Also, what can MS Prj Server do that MS Prj (not server version) can't?

Thank you,
Cindy
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Question by:cindyrod
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by:boblah
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Hi cindyrod,

from:

http://www.microsoft.com/projectserver

system reqs:

System Requirements for Project Server 2003
Published: August 15, 2003

Project Server 2003 processor, RAM, and hard disk requirements are highly dependent on the number of services installed on the computer and the load on the server.

Minimum requirements assume one server where all Project Server components and supporting technologies (i.e., Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Windows® SharePoint™ Services) are installed. Additional system requirement information about advanced Project Server configurations is available in the Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Installation Guide. Also, see the Microsoft Office Project Web Access system requirements below.

To use Project Server 2003 you need:
Component    Requirement

Computer and processor
   

Server with an Intel Pentium III 550-MHz or faster processor

Memory
   

256 MB of RAM or greater (512 MB recommended)

Hard disk
   

80 MB of available hard-disk space

Drive
   

CD-ROM or DVD drive

Display
   

Super VGA (800 × 600) or higher-resolution monitor

Operating system
   

Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server with Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later, Windows 2000 Advanced Server with SP3 or later, or Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 Standard or Enterprise Edition

Other
   

Project Server 2003 processor, RAM, and hard-disk requirements are highly dependent on the number of services installed on the computer and the load on the server. Minimum requirements assume one server on which all Project Server components and supporting technologies (that is, Microsoft SQL Server™, Microsoft Windows® SharePoint™ Services) are installed. Windows SharePoint Services is required for project collaboration; Windows SharePoint Services requires Windows Server 2003 or later and the NTFS file system; Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services with SP3 or later (included with Microsoft SQL Server) is required for Portfolio Analyzer (OLAP Reporting); e-mail requires Microsoft Exchange 5.5, 2000, or later; Internet Simple Mail Transfer Protocol/Post Office Protocol 3 (SMTP/POP3), Internet Message Access Protocol 4 (IMAP4), or MAPI-compliant messaging software is required for e-mail notifications

Internet Connection
   

Internet functionality requires dial-up or broadband Internet access (provided separately); local or long-distance charges may apply




Features/benefits:

Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution Overview
Generating Business Value Through Strategic Alignment
Published: October 20, 2003
   
Related Links
•    Download Project Server 2003 Service Pack 1
•    See Project 2003 in action
•    Learn what comprises the EPM Solution
•    Project solution providers
   
On This Page
    Introduction
    Manage Projects as a Collective Portfolio for Better Decision-Making
    Optimize Resources Across Your Organization for Sustained Competence
    Streamline Project Management Performance for Competitive Advantage
    Strengthen Collaboration Across the Enterprise for Improved Productivity
    Drive Business Value
    Next Steps

The Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution is ideal for organizations that need strong coordination and standardization between projects and project managers, centralized resource management, or higher-level reporting about projects and resources.
Introduction

In a competitive business climate, your organization's ability to efficiently align resources and business activities with strategic objectives can mean the difference between succeeding and just surviving. To achieve strategic alignment, organizations are increasingly managing their activities and processes as projects—in essence, projectizing their business—to monitor performance more closely and make better business decisions about their overall work portfolio. By planning and tracking projects with clarity and precision, organizations can respond with greater agility to the demands of a fast-changing business environment.

Strategic alignment for enterprise project management

Making your strategic goals a reality requires technology that is robust enough to support your core business and yet flexible enough to accommodate your existing processes. The Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution provides this infrastructure, so your organization can gain visibility, insight, and control its portfolio of projects, as well as improve productivity, reduce cycle times, decrease costs, and increase quality.
Top of page
Manage Projects as a Collective Portfolio for Better Decision-Making

More effectively manage your company's project portfolio by continually identifying, prioritizing, and investing in projects that align with your corporate strategy. By doing so, you can make sure your company's efforts are spent only on activities that contribute to the bottom line.

The Microsoft Office EPM Solution can help you manage your project portfolio effectively by enabling you to:
•    

Fairly evaluate project status and quickly identify at-risk and underperforming projects using roll-up scorecard reports that graphically display key business metrics.
•    

Integrate critical project data as Web parts into your executive-level dashboard side-by-side with other critical information for a more complete view of your business.
•    

Gain insight into the performance of your overall portfolio by identifying trends and problem areas using powerful analysis tools.
•    

Understand the impact of trade-offs and evaluate strategies to mitigate risk using what-if scenario modeling features.
Top of page
Optimize Resources Across Your Organization for Sustained Competence

People are the most valuable—and often the most expensive—assets of your organization. To maximize productivity and be cost-effective, it is critical to assign the right people to the right project teams.

Managing people across an organization, however, is complex. Resource information is often controlled in various departments, making it difficult to forecast short- and long-term resource needs accurately. Without a complete understanding of the skills and availability of its staff, your organization cannot strategically hire, deploy, and develop resources that match the needs of your project portfolio.

The Microsoft Office EPM Solution provides you with powerful resource management capabilities to assist you in achieving the greatest return on your investment in your employees.
•    

Better assess resource efficiency and activity across projects by accurately and consistently tracking resource use and workload.
•    

Assemble high-performing project teams using staffing tools that help your organization optimize resource allocation and assignments from a central resource pool.
•    

Effectively determine hiring needs by forecasting short- and long-term resource capacity and project demands.
Top of page
Streamline Project Management Performance for Competitive Advantage

Whether delivering products or services, all organizations need to meet project deadlines, budgets, and stakeholder expectations. To maintain customer satisfaction and meet customer expectations, no room exists for project errors or delays.

To stay competitive, companies are increasingly implementing initiatives to improve their project delivery by continually reducing cycle times, minimizing costs, and controlling quality. These initiatives require skilled people, standardized processes, and superior technology—unified and driven by effective project management.

The Microsoft Office EPM Solution enables your organization to streamline project management processes for greater performance:
•    

Achieve organization-wide compliance and greater efficiencies in project delivery by capturing and deploying best practices and continually improving processes.
•    

Consistently meet project goals and attain higher customer satisfaction by creating plans that reflect realistic schedules, resource requirements, and budgets.
•    

Gain a deeper level of project governance and control through project performance, issue, and risk tracking capabilities.
•    

Comply with government and regulatory requirements by integrating standardized methodologies with your existing project management processes.
Top of page
Strengthen Collaboration Across the Enterprise for Improved Productivity

Effective communication is essential to achieve project success. With clear communication processes, team members can share knowledge, work together smoothly to complete tasks and deliverables, and respond quickly to change.

Project teams, however, are becoming more dispersed—both organizationally and geographically—threatening productivity and elevating the need for technology that can meaningfully connect team members to maintain coordination and quality.

The Microsoft Office EPM Solution provides an infrastructure that strengthens collaboration and accountability among all levels of the organization.
•    

Empower managers and project teams to make timely, informed decisions by giving them Web-based access to real-time business-critical project data.
•    

Increase participation in the project management process by enabling team members to easily manage, track, and report on their project activities through familiar tools, like the Web and e-mail.
•    

Realize greater accountability through a central tracking system that enables project teams to record, assign, and resolve issues.
•    

Gain higher quality and efficiency by jointly developing and organizing project-related deliverables using a central document repository with version and editing control.
Top of page
Drive Business Value

The Microsoft Office EPM Solution is built on a flexible platform that can be customized to support your existing processes and integrate with your line-of-business systems, so you can get the most out of your current technology investments. With the Microsoft Office EPM Solution, your entire organization can work together to continually improve processes, increase efficiency, and facilitate knowledge sharing, driving a sustainable return on your investment.

Learn more about the technologies that comprise the EPM Solution.
Top of page
Next Steps

Microsoft has developed an extensive network of solution providers who can provide skilled professionals to tailor a solution to fit your business needs and get the most of your investment. To start building your own Microsoft Office EPM Solution, contact one of the many Project solution providers.

Cheers!
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by:cindyrod
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Thank you for your help, but I have seen this info before. That's why I didn't want links (I should have mentioned the reason, sorry). I need information from someone who's actually using MS Prj Server and had to install it and configure it.

Thank you for helping.
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by:boblah
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cindyrod,

Sorry, didn't read the question fully - asking about minimum reqs made me assume you hadn't read the site.

I think the list of software requirements is fairly accurate, tho'.

Best way is talk to the person who recommended, and see if they can show you it in action.

I've not used the front end, but it looks pretty slick, and handy in situations where you are juggling lots of projects between a bunch of resources.

However, you probably have a system to handle your projects at the moment - if it's not working, this won't solve it.

I have coded to the database, which is a bit of a nightmare. While the front end provides alot of reporting power, often what you want to do is slightly different. For example, I had to hand code a report that provided a list of managers who had had time sumitted to them for approval, but that hadn't approved/rejected that time yet. I also had to do a report of all the time across all projects for a particular resource for a particular month. There was a report like this in the front end, but it didn't have individual task names against the time. (I may be getting some details confused there, but it gives you a flavour of what it's like)

Sorry I can't be more helpful.
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by:cindyrod
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Oh no, thank you for taking the time to help me. I really appreciate it.

About the requirements, do I really need SharePoint? I'm using Windows Server 2000, so I don't have SharePoint. I wasn't sure if this was required or just something that you can use with MS Prj Server to provide more functionality.
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by:cindyrod
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I didn't really understand what software is required from the Microsoft website. Do I just need the server with Windows 2000 (that's what I have) and SQL Server 2000? Or do I HAVE to get other stuff?
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Alok-Agarwal earned 500 total points
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Hello cindyrod,

I am actual user of MS Project Server hence feel that I would be able to answer your questions right away.

As you have already gone through the links I would try to keep it concise and precise.

First of all MS Project 2003 comes in 2 flavours

1)MS Project 2003 Standard
2)MS project 2003 Professional

In order to connect to Project Server 2003 you would need MS project 2003 Professional as Standard version would not be able to connect to Server. users can also access Server via Project Web Access however they are few tasks which one can do only through Professional 2003 after connecting it to the server.

You can install Project Server 2003 on Windows 2000 Porfessional. Minimum other Software required is IE 6.0 (in case you are having IE 5.5 ensure that SP2 is installed for IE). SQL Server 2000 with SP3 or later.

Now coming to Windows SharePoint Services. You may be wondering what this is and why it is required. With WSS basically  you get the power to track risks, issues and documents more effectively. You need to first decide as to how closely and how critical is the company's requirement to track issues and risks. I have seen people doing this through Excel sheet or customized Word dociments and they do that very effectively. Depending upon the need you can decide to live without it for the time being. Subsequently if the company feels one can always move on to WSS at a later stage. But no way this is show stopper for installing MS project server 2003.

One of the biggest advantage of Project Server 2003 over normal MS Project is that users can now login through project Web Access and can see the tasks assignment to them on the fly. They can also report the status of the tasks through Project Web Access and the Project Manager would automatically see the update.

In Earlier days using only MS Project I have seen people distributing the hard copies of the report taken out from MS project to team members to convey the tasks allocated to them. Moreover the status reporting was also manual/verbal/emails. This is not the case with Project Sever 2003 any more.

Kindly let me know in case you have any further queries.

Thanks

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by:cindyrod
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Thank you for your help Alok-Agarwal. I have some more questions.

1) Just to make sure, if I have Windows 2000 Server, SQL Server 2000, and IE 6, that's all I need to install MS Project Server in our server?

2) If there is a project with several tasks and different people assigned to these tasks, coud I configure the project so that these persons will be notified by e-mail automatically? Can this be done with MS Project (not the server version) too? How?

3) What do you know about pricing? I have been unable to understand the information that I have read before about pricing. We will probably have about 4 - 5 people using MS Project, could be more.

Again, Alok-Agarwal, thanks for your help.
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by:cindyrod
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Someone just told me that Windows SharePoint is required to share project information on the web (or in the network). Is that true?

Alok-Agarwal, would you be able to explain to me more about SharePoint?

Thanks,
Cindy
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by:cindyrod
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Help Please!!
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by:cindyrod
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PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!
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by:Alok-Agarwal
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No, Windows SharePoint is not used just to share project information on the web. Sharing Project Information is done via Project Web Access.

With WSS basically  you get the power to track risks, issues and documents more effectively.

Hope that helps.

Thanks
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by:cindyrod
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Alok-Agarwal, could you look at my questions from Date: 10/18/2004 05:04AM PDT?

Thanks for your help.
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by:cindyrod
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HELP??
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