This paper provides insight into the anticipated ‘Fall 2014’ release of Oracle’s® Primavera P6 R8.4 PPM/EPPM.
Oracle’s roadmap for the next several years will be focusing on both cloud solutions and the tighter integration of its flagship PPM/EPPM products; Primavera P6, Primavera Prime, and Primavera Unifier.
One of the behind the scene changes in Primavera P6 R8.4 involves the standalone database that comes bundled with the software. Prior to the sale to Oracle, Primavera P6 came bundled with Microsoft® SQL Server® Express 2005 database but soon after the acquisition of Primavera by Oracle, the SQL Server Express database was replaced with Oracle Database Express (Oracle XE). Because of some confusion on how to manage and install Oracle XE, Primavera P6 R8.4 will come bundled with SQLite.
Another change that appears fairly substantial is the ability to transfer global data (codes, calendars, etc.) between P6 databases. In the past, the predominant method to transfer global information from one database to another was through the use of the Software Development Kit (SDK) and in particular the Excel spreadsheets that Primavera had provided throughout the years to support the migration of data. Now it appears that at least some of the global data will be transferrable between two discrete P6 databases. I’m hoping that this will alleviate the issue which pertains to a user implementing a Primavera P6 PPM based solution in-lieu of a Primavera P6 EPPM solution but then later deciding to deploy the P6 Web component. At the very least the global data should be transferrable.
Two new cloud-based services will be added that appear to augment some of the tighter integration between Primavera Unifier and Primavera P6. The P6 Update Baseline and Import/Export functions will now have the capability to be automated via a scheduled service.
A number of enhancements will be made to Primavera P6 Team Member:
- Team Member will effectively be merged with Progress Reporter (aka Timesheets) giving it the capability to status both activities and actual labor expended (Browser-based timesheets)
- All resources assigned to a given task in Team Member will be able to be updated all together
- The ability to update P6 Notebook Topics
- The ability to filter by a given resource
- The ability to attach a picture as a document (as taken by a mobile device running TeamMember)
- The ability to update ‘This Period’ actuals (ability provided by merging Timesheet function)
- Will include an enhanced sorting capability
Primavera P6 Visualizer will also contain some improvements with the release of Primavera P6 R8.4:
- Will allow a Shift to be used as a date interval
- The ability to summarize values into grouping bands
- The ability to include a legend in the header or footer
- The ability to turn on or turn off gridlines
- The option to copy a bar
Future releases of Primavera P6 will focus on an increased integration capability and functionality with Primavera Unifier and Primavera Prime. Included with the release of Primavera P6 R8.4 will be a number of improvements for the integration between Primavera P6 and Primavera Unifier:
- The integration of Primavera Unifier and Primavera P6 will rely on Primavera Gateway
- Primavera P6 will have the ability to send P6 resources, rates, expenses, and a high-levelWBS to Primavera Unifier
- Primavera P6 will have the ability to send summarized and baseline data to PrimaveraUnifier
And finally some ‘ease of use’ enhancements were made to Primavera P6 R8.4 EPPM:
1. The ability to search on resource attributes when assigning a resource
2. The ability to view a scheduled service status in the EPS View (in Primavera P6 R8.3 this function was in the Activities View)
3. The visibility of users that are logged into a given project (versus the entire database)
As far as I can tell, there are no enhancements being made to the P6 Professional Client (although some bug fixes always seem to be present in any major P6 release) and all changes and enhancements primarily focus on the P6 Web component.