MS Project - Just output as HTML or go for Server?



My organisation is in the process of rolling out new machines and with
it comes the question who should have MS Project.

Less than 5 of the 25 people requesting it need write access to the
schedules and as license cost is a major issue I have been asked to
look at alternatives.

Only the very basic features of Project are used by this group, simply
adding tasks and looking at Gantt charts. For this reason I thought
that simply saving schedules as HTML in a shared location may be a
solution. This would make a great saving on licences and increase
accessibility, allowing publishing to the intranet, etc.

Even with its limitations of outputting into pretty ugly tables or
just inserting a screen dump which does not necessarily display all
fields or all of the chart. I thought I could combat this by only
outputting selected tasks or periods so that everything could fit on
the page (e.g. we could output on a monthly basis), etc.


I have now started looking at MS Project Server, but this seems to be
a rather complex implementation, particularly if we would not use all
the available functionality. Some q's would be:

- How much would this cost (Server + CAL's I guess?)
- Is this overkill for the requirement?
- Time and effort of configuration?

I know these q's cannot be answered with such limited background but
any thoughts would be greatly appreciated?





A useful alternative would be printing GANTT's, reports
etc. to .pdf files and distributing these. Graphic
quality is excellent and printable.


There's licensing issues with Server. Each CAL is something in the $35
range, but it's still a lot better than buying a bunch of MSP copies.
The implementation isn't too bad, esp if you use integrated security.
However, I can't speak to the initial cost of the server. Chances are
it's a cheaper solution than paying someone to maintain all those files
in HTML or PDF.




Rod Gill


First evaluate exactly what you want form your project reporting and what
you need Project to do. The solution may well be solved by saving as Excel,
html and GIF files. There are also solutions that will suck data directly
from .mpp files. See the companion products page in
for utilities that read files.

Given the use of project you make, Project Server is over-kill for now.

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