Subtle Differences between Project Professional 2016 and Project Pro for Office 365 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Earlier this year I posted a question around my experience with Project Professional 2016 and Project Pro for Office 365 and the subtle differences between the two clients when connecting to Project Online.

    I am returning to this topic to see if there have been any changes to the offerings from Microsoft as looking at my original post there were no responses.

    My experience was that whilst I could connect from Project Professional 2016 to Project Online there were some features that were unavailable to me - editing Enterprise Resources in Project Professional and more seriously, edit Enterprise Calendars. I can live with making basic edits to Resources in the browser client however being unable to edit an existing or new Enterprise Calendar could be a show stopper.

    My reason for returning to this topic is that I am now working with an organisation where the ability to download applications from the Office 365 Portal is disabled. Applications are available to users to install via an internal tool.

    I suspect that other organisations employ a similar approach to providing applications to users.

    My concern is that in this scenario with no ability to obtain the default client for use with Project Online will users be deprived of some features as per my experience or have Microsoft changed how Project Professional 2016 integrates with Project Online since my original posting?

    Alternately do Microsoft make the Pro for Office 365 available to organisations to deploy in cases where downloading from the Office 365 Portal is disabled?

    With good wishes,


    Microsoft Project Evangelist

    Twitter:   LinkedIn:    Web:   

    Wednesday, August 23, 2017 1:07 PM

All replies

  • Hi Dom,

    The only differences between Project Pro for O365 and Project Professional 2016 are.... 

    1. The licencing (perpetual vs subscription)

    2. The update frequency.  O365 is updated based upon the Update Channel your organisation subscribes to.  Project Professional 2016 is updated as per Microsoft Update (service packs etc).

    Aside from any differences in functionality provided by 2. above, the products are the same.

    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book

    Wednesday, August 23, 2017 1:59 PM
  • Hi Ben,

    Thanks for your swift answer, it reminds me of the rhetorical question "what's the difference between theory and practise? - in theory there is no difference, in practise there is!"

    My experience suggests that there is/was a difference between the two clients, I encountered it myself and observed the difference at a customer site late last year where two users connecting to the same instance of Project Online with exactly the same permissions through membership of the Administrators group encountered differences. The one with Project Pro for Office 365 could edit Enterprise Resources and Enterprise Calendars, the one with Project Professional 2016 installed could not. As soon as the compromised user replaced Project Professional 2016 with Project Pro for Office 365 these two problems were resolved.

    Is there any way of finding out what updates have been issued for Project Professional 2016 in the past 12 months and what issues these updates addressed?

    I am concerned that the issue I encountered persists and that it could result in one important option (Edit Enterprise Calendars) being unavailable.

    With good wishes,


    Microsoft Project Evangelist

    Twitter:   LinkedIn:    Web:   

    Wednesday, August 23, 2017 2:26 PM
  • Brian Smith started capturing this on the Project Support blog, here are the 2016 client updates:


    Paul Mather | Twitter | | CPS | MVP | Downloads

    Thursday, August 24, 2017 8:37 AM