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Recommendation for archiving projects / 5000 limit RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Considering the use of Project Online only (not project server 2013), how would you recommend getting around the 5,000 project count limit ? I need to make sure my organization can have a record of projects that completed, and some information about them like the name, major dates, and other high level information like planned start/planned finish, actual start/actual finish, planned hours, actual hours, etc... along with timesheet data about who tracked how much time to what tasks when.... all that should hopefully be maintained. Is that a possible scenario today? Or do we just hope that by the time we hit 5000 projects that Microsoft has raised, or removed that limit... or introduced archiving? I suppose an alternate solution is to export all the information we'd like to report on to another reporting service, but that kind of defeats the purpose to having one tool / one pane of glass for the solution, no?

    Ian

    Tuesday, May 26, 2015 8:37 PM

All replies

  • Hi Ian,

    I would suggest to write down a procedure for archiving projects. It could be for example as following:

    1. in a first step, you flag the completed projects as "completed' through a project custom field, you lock and unpublish all tasks, you add the project into an "archived" security category.
    2. in a second step, you could delete year-1 "archived" projects from the draft/publish DB and only keep them in the archived DB.
    3. in a third step, you could totally delete year-2 projects from the archived DB and keep a local copy on a shared repository.

    Keeping a report is another solution.


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 7:30 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for the reply, Guillaume. Unfortunately it is my understanding that no such ability exists in Project Online. Unless I am mistaken, the strategy you describe requires Project Server.

    Regarding keeping a report... my intent is not to just export a static report about a project that can be viewed later. Instead, I would like the ability to pull reports across projects and across my organization... Things like, "where did all the time go in FY 2015" (by project, resource type, individual, etc), "What projects had actual hours that were close to their estimated hours, or the other way around", "What projects did we do for Department XYZ in years 2015, 2016, 2017", "How many projects did each person work on during a timeframe", or any number of other things executives would want to know, or that the PMO would like to know so that we can help ourselves and our organization get better, promote what we've done well, and otherwise have a historical record of the work we've done... in a format that's interactive. Today I can't imagine what type of report an executive will find useful in 2018, but if I delete the data today, I'll never be able to pull it for the executive tomorrow.


    Ian

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 1:41 PM
  • Hi Ian,

    Indeed just the steps 1 and 3 are applicable for Project Online. 

    That being said, for keeping the projects historical data, I think that 5,000 projects should cover a reasonable timeframe. If exporting the mpp files as local files does not suit your need, you can always use a 3rd-party tool to migrate the project online data to a Project Server 2013 on-prem development environnment.


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 2:07 PM
    Moderator
  • Ah, yes, looking back... step one regarding a security approach is certainly accomplishable in Project Online. Thank you for bringing that up... That's a great idea.

    However, steps two and three you mention an archive DB. No such thing in Project Online, right?

    And you're right, 5,000 should be a reasonable timeframe ;) I suppose by the time we hit that, Microsoft will make some improvements in the limit or we'll have had ample time to move the data to a warehouse.


    Ian

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 2:11 PM
  • Yes you're right, no archived DB in Project Online. But you could just delete the project after having saving it locally. 

    I do agree with you that by the time you'll reach 5,000 projects, Microsoft will probably have reased the limit.


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 2:22 PM
    Moderator
  • I'm still uncertain about the tie between time reporting and projects. For example, time can be reported at the top-level project if so enabled, and not to project tasks. Further, there exist administrative timesheet entries unrelated (directly) to projects. So if there is a 5,000 limit on projects, and you delete the 5,001st, what information do you lose? If a timesheet had actual time attached to a project, certainly the name of a project could be retrieved? Or does that timesheet information that's tied to a specific project get deleted?

    Saving a local copy of the .mpp will allow us to keep information like project name, tasks, schedule, and other attributes about the resources, tasks, and projects... but it would lose the link to the cohesive nature of a common reporting solution, no?

    Can you or someone else speak to what we might lose the ability to report on in Project Online if a project gets deleted, and what would we still be able to report on? I'm thinking about the examples I provided in the above comment and now below:

    Regarding keeping a report... my intent is not to just export a static report about a project that can be viewed later. Instead, I would like the ability to pull reports across projects and across my organization... Things like, "where did all the time go in FY 2015" (by project, resource type, individual, etc), "What projects had actual hours that were close to their estimated hours, or the other way around", "What projects did we do for Department XYZ in years 2015, 2016, 2017", "How many projects did each person work on during a timeframe", or any number of other things executives would want to know, or that the PMO would like to know so that we can help ourselves and our organization get better, promote what we've done well, and otherwise have a historical record of the work we've done... in a format that's interactive. Today I can't imagine what type of report an executive will find useful in 2018, but if I delete the data today, I'll never be able to pull it for the executive tomorrow.

    Again, I do understand that 5,000 is a pretty high number... 25 years of 200 projects a year. Maybe we do more or less, but that's a starting point... even if it's only 10 years worth, that's an eternity in which Microsoft could either add functionality or drop out of the PPM market entirely. However, I think it's a good idea to discuss some basic eventualities assuming no changes.


    Ian

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 2:44 PM
  • Timesheet and projects are stored in different Project tables. If you delete a project, you will not delete the timesheet entries done against this project. The timesheet entry status will change to "rejected" but the timesheet will remain (project name and all project related datain the timesheet), such as the timesheet actuals.

    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 2:50 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks, that helps a lot.

    Assuming we don't have status updates submitted to project managers, but instead timesheet managers approve the timesheet as a whole, would the approval status really still change to rejected if a project gets deleted?


    Ian

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 5:56 PM
  • I would say it will be the same behavior but it should be tested.

    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller |

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015 8:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Ian,

    FluentPro has a solution for Administrative Backup for Project Online - we backup / restore configuration, projects and project sites (http://www.fluentpro.com/project-online/configuration-management/backup-for-project-online/)

    With this approach you can delete projects and sites and on-demand restore them from backup.

    Let me know if you have questions.

    Anton


    Products for Project Server 2010/2013: Business Intelligence, Management and Migration. Implementation & custom development. http://www.ProjectServerBlog.com

    Friday, May 29, 2015 5:30 AM