Oracle Primavera Cloud is Oracle’s newest project management and CPM scheduling platform. OPC is a cloud-based alternative to Primavera P6. Using common workflows from P6, OPC allows users to create and manage schedules in the same way. There are many benefits to using Oracle Primavera Cloud over Primavera P6. For example, OPC is much lower in price. Additionally, as P6 is an installed application, you can only access it from a single computer. OPC, on the other hand, is accessed from an internet browser – anytime, anywhere.
Due to the recency of OPC’s release, its original launch did not offer all the same capabilities that P6 did. However, Oracle updates OPC monthly with new features and enhancements. They are working to ensure that OPC has all the capabilities that P6 does – along with additional tools as well, such as lean scheduling. When implementing these changes, Oracle looks to customer feedback and suggestions. If you have any suggestions to add to OPC, you can submit them to Oracle here, and they may add them to the program in the future.
As an instructor of both OPC and P6, I have assisted many companies transition from P6 to the cloud. For many of my clients, the biggest pain point in this transition was due to the differences in baselines. In Primavera P6, you can create baselines at any time. These baselines could be a copy of the current project – which OPC can do as well. However, P6 also had an option to convert another project to a baseline of the current project. Many find this feature important, especially when receiving updated projects from outside contractors. To be able to compare the updated data with the planned data, they would need the updated project as a baseline.
Originally, OPC didn’t feature this capability. You had the option to create a baseline as a copy of the open project from any time – but not from outside projects. OPC did not offer the capability to import another project as a baseline of a project. Thankfully, as of the Primavera Cloud 23.10 update, you can now perform this critical function. Just like in P6, OPC users can now import projects as a baseline or a scenario of another project within the cloud. Users can now perform baseline comparisons, even when receiving updates as separate files.
In this article, we will cover how to import a project as a baseline in Oracle Primavera Cloud.
You can create a baseline from a project while importing the project in to OPC. This option is only available while importing. If you want to add a baseline from a project already in the cloud, you will need to export it and then import it back in.
To import a project, first navigate to the workspace you want to place the project into. When importing as a baseline, use the same workspace as the project you’ll be adding the baseline to.
In my database, I have a project named City of South in my Heavy Civil Projects workspace. Our company is outsourcing our scheduling to an outside contractor, and they have sent us the updated schedule as an XML project file. I want to be able to add this separate project as a baseline to my original City of South project. To start, I need to open the Heavy Civil Projects workspace, where the original project is located.
To open a workspace, select the Object Selector and select Workspaces. Using the Search bar, I can find the workspace I need and select it from the list.
Within the open workspace, navigate to the Projects screen by selecting View All Projects under the Projects section.
Within the Projects table, select the Actions menu and press Import From P6. This option allows you to import in XER or XML project files created from Primavera P6. At this time, you can not import MS Project files as baselines. If you need to do this, you should import the MS Project file into OPC and then export it out as an XML file. Then, you will be able to import it back in as a baseline. In this window, use the ellipsis button to search your computer for an XML or XER project to import. I’ll select the City of South – January Update.XML file from my computer.
Under Import As, you’ll have the option to import this file as a new project, a baseline, or a scenario. I’ll choose Baseline. Under Import Details, you can choose to have this project added as a new baseline or as an update to an existing one. I’ll keep this on New. Then, choose which project to add this baseline to. You’ll only be able to choose from the projects within the same workspace. I’ll choose my original City of South project. Lastly, you can adjust the baseline’s name – I’ll set this to January Update. Then, select Finish.
The baseline will then be added to the project. You’ll receive a notification once the baseline import is complete.
Accessing the Baseline
With the project imported as a baseline, you can access it within the project it was added to. Open the project by selecting it from the Projects list. Then, select Schedule > Activities from the toolbar.
On the Activities screen, you can now access your baseline by selecting the Open dropdown menu. You may see your imported project listed as a baseline – if not, select View All. This will open the Manage Baselines window. Here, you can adjust the baseline’s settings, such as its Name and Type.
The Baseline Type allows you to view the baseline data within the Activities screen. There are 3 types available, and each type can only be assigned to one baseline at a time. These types relate to columns that you can add to the table and bars that you can add to the Gantt Chart. For example, let’s say I set my baseline’s type as Original.
When I adjust my View, I can add columns for Original BL – which will now show data for my assigned baseline. I can also add bars to the Gantt Chart for Original BL, for visualizations of the baseline dates. By assigning a type, I can use these fields to compare the current project’s data with the baseline’s data.
In OPC, you can also open up baselines as if they were their own project. To do this, right click on the baseline within the Manage Baselines window and select Open. On the Activities screen, a ribbon will appear, warning that a baseline is open. The fields in the table and the bars in the Gantt chart will now display the baseline values.
Once you’re done working with the baseline, you can return back to the current schedule by selecting Open > Current Schedule. You are now able to work with these two schedule versions as if they were separate projects if needed.
Replacing the Source Project with the Baseline Copy
In Oracle Primavera Cloud, you can even replace the current project with the baseline copy. At this point, I may want to replace my current project’s data with the updated data from the baseline. Before doing this, I may want to create another baseline of the project as it is now. That way, I can always get back to the current project’s data if I need to in the future.
You can use both baselines and scenarios to replace the current project’s data. Doing this will remove the baseline or scenario and replace the current project’s data with its data. To do this, first open up the baseline on the Activities screen using the Open dropdown menu.
With the baseline open, select the Actions menu and press Set As Current Schedule. The program will warn you that performing this action will replace the current project with the open baseline. Press Yes to continue.
Once performed, the Current Schedule will open up. Now, this schedule shows data from what was once the baseline copy.
If you chose to create a baseline of the previous current schedule before replacing it, you can always access it from the Open menu. You could even use that baseline to replace the new current schedule if needed. This will bring the project back to how it was before any changes were made.
In Oracle Primavera Cloud, you can now import project schedules as baselines. If your organization works with outside contractors, this tool is vital for baseline comparisons. By adding projects as baselines, you can perform baseline variance with ease. You can do this on the Activities page using columns and bars, and even on the Schedule Comparison page. Additionally, you can open the imported baseline and work with it as if it were a separate project. You can even replace the current schedule with the baseline copy to make changes permanent. With these baseline capabilities, it’s now easier than ever to make the transition to Oracle Primavera Cloud.
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Lauren Hecker is an Oracle Primavera Cloud Instructor and teaches onsite and virtual Oracle Primavera Cloudcourses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our OPC page. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!