Microsoft Project Central is a Web-based messaging system that pulls single , or multiple Project summaries.together one central location. It allows for collaborative planning and tracking among project managers and resources, and easy Web-based reporting. By providing access to project data, Microsoft Project Central extends project management organizationally, even to users who do not have Microsoft Project installed on their desktops, Project Central provides enterprise-wide, one-stop shopping for project information, Although there are some installation tasks that require network administrator’s skills, most Project Central administrative tasks are better handled by someone, such as a senior project manager, who is familiar with Microsoft Project 2000 and with the actual projects about which the teams will be communicating, This chapter focuses on installing and administering Project Central and assumes that the person doing the installation [s already familiar with server installations.
For information on using Project Central to manage your projects or work on a project, see “Team Project Management with Project Central 2000;”
understanding Microsoft Project Central
Microsoft Project Central consists of two applications: a client and a server. Team members can plan, deliver, and view their work through the Project Central client interface, shown In Figure 26.1. With proper permissions they can add and delegate tasks. Project managers can review up-to-date information and request status reports. Senior project managers can get concise, action-oriented views and project summary information. The client requires a Web browser, either Internet Explorer 4 or greater, or the Browser Module for Microsoft Project Central (a 32-bit Windows client) for those who do not use Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Microsoft project files and databases are not stored in Microsoft Project Central. You must, however, save your Microsoft Project to a shared network location in order to make information available to Microsoft Project Central. you store your project on your desktop, the project will not be available unless the folder is shared a?d your computer is turned on
Only summary information and configuration options are stored in the Project Central database. It you uninstall Project Central or delete items from the database, you still retain your entire Microsoft Project 2000·file or database.
Enhancements, such as personal Gantt Charts, filtering, sorting, grouping, task delegation, reports, reporting mechanisms, the ability to work offline, set message rules, and much more make Project Central a necessary tool in project management.
Web Server Requirements
Microsoft Project Central Server takes advantage of a full-scale Windows NT or Windows 2000 server. It integrates well with the applications and services installed. However, it can be installed on a Windows NT workstation if no more than 10 users–project managers, administrators, and work group members–need to work on the projects in Project Central Before continuing, you may want to check the server that will host Microsoft”, Project Central and note the following
• Available disk space on shared drives
• Operating system (some flavor of Wi~dows)
• Internet Information Server (Web-hosting software)
• Database server (SQL Server, Oracle, or MSDE)
For the operating system, Internet Information Server and database note their version numbers and any installed service packs. You can com,.pare your server’s information to the tables that follow and make sure that you have the correct hardware and software to begin your install shows the system hardware requirements for a installation of Microsoft Project Central. The table shows the minimum requirements for Project Central to at all; your system requirements will undoubtedly be greater and may vary depending on the configuration options you choose
Workstation Client Requirements
The browse client-side interface runs on any Pentium computer operating with Windows 9S or greater, but, as with any Web software, more memory and a faster network connection are nice things to have. To use Microsoft Project Central, a user must have a
browser installed on their workstation. Internet Explorer 5.0 is included on the Microsoft Project Central CD. If your organization does not use Internet Explorer, you must install the browser module included on the Microsoft Project Central CD. Table 26.3 lists the hardware and software requirements for the Project Central client
Preparing for Server Installation
After you’ve checked your server installation against the information in Table 26.2 and added or updated server software, the next step is to set up the database. Carefully read the description for the database you wish to install before proceeding.
There are two installation methods for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0: you can .use, the default installation of the database or you can create your own database. To use the default method, you run two scripts from the command prompt. The first script creates the database and builds the ‘tables
You cannot run a default installation when using an Oracle database. See the help file on the Microsoft Project 2000 [CD-for information on how to create the database to be used with Oracle.
Microsoft Database Engine is only a viable option if you have 10 or fewer users (and with some systems, you may find that more than S results In serious performance degradation). If MSDE is not installed on your system, the Install ow option from Microsoft Project Central setup will automatically install MSDE, create the database, and run the SQL scripts. After you reboot your system, you are ready to continue the Microsoft Project Central installation. If MSDE is installed on your system, Microsoft Project Central setup does not reinstall the database.
Installing Microsoft Project Central Server
After the preceding specifications have been met, you can begin installing Microsoft Project Central Server. If you have chosen to use MSSQL or Oracle, you must use a Custom Installation. If you are using MSDE, then choose the Install Now option .