Is time phased data affected by how date / time is entered in the UI? RRS feed

  • Question

  • This is related to my previous topic  "MS Project 2010 File Size " 


    1. Does anyone know if perhaps entering the time with an actual date (IE: 1/2/2012 8:00 AM) OR if having a date / time outside the work day of the calendar in use would then cause the time phased data to be stored any differently, specifically in a way that might increse the mpp file size.

    Background: One of the other two people working this file with me reminded me that sometimes one has to enter actual dates with the time (IE: 1/2/2012 8:00 AM) to force the progress to land on the right day.


    Primarily, our mpp file seems excessively large and actions like auto calc, sorts, filtering, and resizing columns are becoming increasing slow. At this point I've done the basics like saving to XML, inserting to a new project, and saving down to 2007 & 2003 with little or no improvement. Here are some characteristics of the file: (summarized from previous thread)

    • 7,000 tasks
    • 45 MB
    • Dates run from April 2012 to Jan 2014 currently
    • UIDs current exceed 14000
    • All but 60 tasks have predecessors
    • All but 47 tasks have successors
    • 56 of the tasks have start no earlier than constraints, no other constraints are used
    • Local file, not on Project Server & has never been on Project Server
    • 2 baselines
    • No linkage outside the project to any other project, resource pool, etc.
    • 27 Text columns in use, most are populated for every task
    • 3 calculated date columns
    • 3 calculated number columns, one displays stock round red, yellow, green dot graphics per task
    • ~11 filters
    • 1 macro that creates 8 of the filters, manual run, does not populate any task or resource data
    • 18 Material resources, no work resources, no cost resources
    • The cost of the materials resources is all $0.00
    • Leveling has never been used

    The XML file generated from our mpp file appears to have many, many time phased data entries of the same type with durations of one hour within the same day for some tasks. The XML file from mpp is 417MB+.

    I've done experiments with saving smaller mpp files to XML and the growth factor is much lower.



    Friday, April 19, 2013 5:50 PM

All replies

  • It does have some effect. If a task spans 2 weeks exactly, I think you get two 1 week records. If the task starts 1 day into the first week, you get 6 1 day records and 1 week record and so on.

    How many Baselines do you have? Adding a baseline does increase files sizes notably, so clear any you no longer need.

    File Save as is the easiest way to keep file sizes down and If you've done a xml export then import to a new file, the complexity of your file may well lead to your file size, though I still think it's high.

    I would look to try and split the file. For example if you're halfway thru, all completed tasks could move to a separate project. Create a master file weekly by inserting each project into a new project with Link to Project OFF. This consolidates resource info and creates a great snapshot. A recorded macro makes repeating the exercise weekly quick and easy.

    For your size of project I would also be looking at Project 64 Bit though that shouldn't effect file size.

    Best way for more accurate actual progress recording is to set the status date each week and update to it.

    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book

    Rod Gill Project Management

    Friday, April 19, 2013 11:47 PM
  • Rod,

    Thanks for the help. I'm going to keep scratching at that angle from a diagnostics point of view.

    Not to challenge your assessment at all, I'm curious, is there anything in particular about what I've shared about the project that leads you to think it is complex?  I'm just trying to get a better grip on the boundaries with 2010.  

    We are going to see about getting 64 bit, roger that.

    OBTW - Try this, Save, Close, open the file again, Save, Close. Check the file size. Seems to have the same efect as the Save As.

    Just FYI ... I tried stripping the file down. Deleted everything, really. Some odd things:

    1. About six text fields would not go away from the organizer.
    2. The same six text fields showed up in an XML version of the stripped down mpp and any subsequent XML version of mpps created after that. But they were no longer showing up in the organizer.
    3. Some views and tables continue to show up in the menus of the stripped down mpp. Something ain't right about that.

    Finally, also FYI, I've tried this half a dozen different ways. Very little reduction in size and, really, it's gotten bigger in most cases. Just an FYI.

    Okay ... thanks again. We'll press on and hope for the best.


    Saturday, April 20, 2013 2:11 AM
  • One thing I've noticed is that custom fields tend to persist if there any characteristics are defined - a field rename, it uses a formula (even if the formula is blank), use of a rollup, etc.
    Sunday, April 21, 2013 12:27 PM