P6 installs in the real world

P6 installs in the real world

Twice in the last week, long-time clients asked us about the optimum  implementation of Primavera P6 to best benefit their project management needs. As is most often the case, there is simply not a single right answer. However, the question is a common one, so I talked with the expert team at Stenstrom Group Inc, our Oracle | Primavera Business Partner, and came up with this list of options to shed light on the solution:

Server install

Requirements:  adequate SQL server resource availability

Typical platform: MS SQL Server (option: Oracle, only recommended for larger installations, and if client has access to Oracle DBA).

Location: centralized server

Advantages: centralized Enterprise database, accessible via Internet regardless of user’s location, centralized IT management, more reliable data backups , (if configured by Client in MS SQL).

Disadvantages: only accessible with Internet connection.

Internet connection issues: Fragile Internet connections can cause data loss / corruption issues.

Recommended Options: install P6 on Citrix server, Terminal Services, or RDP with a VPN connection for security.  This creates a more stable connection between the client and the server.  (dependent upon the type of Internet connection available to the client).

Workstation install

Requirements: SQL database engine on remote machine

Typical platform: MS SQL Express on remote machine

Location: User’s workstation or laptop

Advantages: accessible without Internet connection

Disadvantages: decentralized Enterprise database, inconsistent data backups, higher risk of data loss, remote IT management of additional resource

Hybrid Install

Main installation on the Server

Secondary installs on users’  local machines, with separate database aliases for access to Server’s database, as well as the local version of P6 with local database (when Internet connection unavailable).

Web server install

P6 can be accessible without a thick client installed on user’s machine.

MUCH different from thick client, but suits many client’s needs, (especially Executive Dashboard).

Requires a separate server for the web portio. If virtualized servers are used, much smaller footprint is required, and a separate, dedicated server is not required.

Note: SGI currently recommends P6 version 7 at this time. The recently released new version, (P6 version 8) is not available in the stand alone configuration model at this time.  P6v8 is scheduled for release later this year.