Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Schedule Your SharePoint Task Lists with MS Project

[November 2008 Update - Version 4 Released with a Portfolio Dashboard!]

It's new feature time at TeamDirection once again. This one comes straight from customer requests (pleas?)-- 'How can I schedule a SharePoint Task List we are currently using?'

We thought about it long and hard... Connect an existing SharePoint Task List to MS Project? A SharePoint task list that is currently in use? Can't be done. It's impossible... Inconceeeee-ivable! (apologies to Wallace Shawn :)

And then we realized our IntelliGantt services for SharePoint get us most of the way there. A simple wizard, several cups of coffee for our vaunted programming staff and a few friendly reality checks from QA have led to the cusp of a significant update. The next build of IntelliGantt will be available on the site sometime Wednesday (July 18), but here's a screencast of an MS Project plan created from an existing task list.

There's also a nice supporting feature here, in the middle of the demo, where we show multiple task assignments supported in SharePoint. This has been another high priority customer request and we are happy to deliver this one as well. It does require WSS 3.0 (WSS 2.0 only supports single task assgnments), but if this feature is important to you, then you probably have WSS 3.0 already.

Speaking of features, you may have noticed the 'Add Tasks Created in SharePoint' checkbox. This deserves its own post, and screencast, but the short answer is it will allow MS Project (and IntelliGantt) to recognize tasks people enter into SharePoint with their web browsers. I'll talk about the specific use case soon, but suffice it to say people can add tasks, and project managers can schedule them.

Finally, MS Project users will be happy to note we are making the IntelliGantt Add-In available with its own separate installer. We found companies that have invested in MS Project would like an easier way to distribute and use our add-in. We understand and are happy to oblige. The IntelliGantt Add-In for MS Project will be a standalone MSI installer perfect for pushing via SMS or simply putting on a file server.

We appreciate all of our customer's feedback and encourage everyone to keep pinging us with your ideas. As you can see, your good ideas make it into IntelliGantt products!

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