Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Working with Master Projects

We just posted a new video showing the IntelliGantt Add In for MS Project 2010 working not only with individual projects but with a master project as well. Basically a single MPP file is connected to a SharePoint task list. Then a second MPP file is connected to a second SharePoint task list. Finally, the two MPP files are added as subprojects to a master project. The master is then sent to a third SharePoint task list. Better yet, the IntelliGantt Web Part is used to display both projects, their hierarchy and task dependencies in a single view.

The cool thing about this video that doesn't come across (because I didn't want it to take tooooo long) is that all the connection information is self-contained. Each MPP file will remember its connection information, and the master project will remember it's SharePoint connection information. Why is this so great? Because it means the project managers can focus on their mpp plans, someone else can create a master using the two (or three, or four... there is no limit) and no data will be overwritten-- everyone can carry one oblivous to how many times an mpp file may be shared and where it goes.

This has immediate ramifications for projects that have 'backup' project managers that take over when a primary project manager goes on vacation. They simply check the mpp file out from SharePoint and continue on as normal. The IntelliGantt Add In will remember the connection information and they just need to click 'Refresh' once in a while. Or, better yet, they can turn on the auto-synchronization feature.

The key is the IntelliGantt Add In can adjust which text field it is using to store this SharePoint connection data. By default it's set to use Text11, however you can use any of the 30 available custom text fields. When you choose a custom text field to use, the settings files defined for the new Active Data Field are loaded into you dropdown list. Each active data field can have its own list of settings files-- basically whole new silos of sharing information and possibilities.

Just remember to be a bit parsimonius with who gets to update a tasks hyperlinks property. After all, there's only one of those!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

First Peek at IntelliEvent for SharePoint Calendars

A client liked our Gantt chart solution for SharePoint Task and Project lists they asked if we could do the same thing for SharePoint Calendar lists. With the IntelliGantt Web Part we could actually configure it just so by tweaking this setting and adjusting that knob that we could basically show a calendar. Now we've gone the rest of the way and created a new package expressly for calendars and events.

Here is what it looks like:

The IntelliEvent Web Part will find all the Calendar lists in a SharePoint site and display them on the adjustable timeline. You can include calendars from other sites as well to create rollup calendar views. Of course everything is still editable by either clicking in a cell or dragging on the chart.

We've also changed a few other things to make the IntelliEvent Web Part calendar friendlier like solid colors for the timeline, calendar specific information in the popups and a default 'calendar centric' view.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Displaying Fields in the Gantt Chart

We love to hear feedback from our customers. Big or small, short or tall, everyone has an interesting perspective. What has percolated up, with the substantial aid of one of the largest organizations on the planet, is the ability to select what piece of data to show next to tasks on the gantt chart. This makes it easier to keep track of what task is on what row as you look at data in the task list grid since the task title can be right next to the pretty task image. Here's a look at the first fruits of our labor enhancing the IntelliGantt Web Part. We designed it so once field at a time can be shown by the task. However, you will be able to pick any field from the SharePoint list to display. For example, below I have selected the title:
In this image I have added the assigned resources:
Here are the due dates:
And finally the percent completes for all the tasks:
You'll notice that the data is well formatted for human readability. We actually look at the type of field we are working with by using the corresponding SharePoint column and adjust the display according. You'll also notice that while the text usually appears to the right of a task, we do see if a better fit is to the left and adjust accordingly. Though you can't tell with the picture, the scrolling action is great and with the text smoothly scooting across the screen. This feature (and a few more) will be available next week.