Now that Wednesday’s start line has been crossed, we can post the mountain of info we gathered during the Ignite Project Technical Airlift (hey, I didn’t come up with the name) over the past two days.

There’s FAR too much to hit in one single blog post, but I do want to pull out some highlights.

In no particular order, here are some tidbits that got our attention during the Airlift:

  • No more ActiveX in PWA.
  • No more OWC in PWA.
    • Data Analysis is now rendered using Excel Services.
  • You’re going to have to invest in some software to upgrade. You will need:
    • Windows 2008 64-bit
    • SQL 2005 or 2008 64-bit
    • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition
    • Microsoft Project Server 2010
  • You’re going to have to invest in some hardware to run all this. Everything is 64-bit, which is great, but it takes some horsepower to make it go.
    • On a very positive note, the whole front end is a great candidate for virtualization. As always, don’t virtualize SQL.
  • The Project client and PWA now have the Office ribbon.
  • You may not need Project Pro to use Project Server. The server-side scheduling available in PWA may actually be enough for you to create and manage relatively detailed schedules.
  • You may be able to use SharePoint in place of Project Server.
  • Timesheets and task updates are now really done from the same page. Really.
  • You can have multiple Project Workspace templates, with a specific template assigned to an Enterprise Project Type (like a proposal vs a small project vs a large project, etc).
  • Most of the functionality of the old Project Portfolio Server has been ported over to Project Server 2010. When you hear the term “Demand Management” in Project Server 2010, you are hearing about functionality from the Builder, the Analyzer, and the Optimizer from PPS.

 

I think everything above is a good.

Some stuff I’m not sure about:

  • There’s this thing called “Manual Schedule Mode” which allows you to use Project Pro without the scheduling engine. That’s right, you can essentially turn off the scheduling engine in Project. There are a ton of unskilled PMs out there who ask for this sort of feature, but I think it is a horrible idea.
  • Portfolio Server lives on. Well, sorta. A lot of PPS’ functionality is now folded into the overall application. A lot of the terminology is the same as it was, although the admin and setup interface is FAR more forgiving. Or is it?
  • You can now “delegate” to someone else. PMs have been asking for something like this for years, and Microsoft delivers. However, the audit trail and security around delegation is not at all clear. This has the potential to make auditors and security people very nervous.

 

We’ll be delving into all this, and more, over the coming months. First opinion from here: This. Thing. Looks. Awesome.