Oracle Primavera Cloud (OPC) is Oracle’s latest cloud-based project management solution. For companies looking to move into the cloud, OPC offers a powerful, yet low-cost, option. Since the program’s launch in 2019, users of various applications – such as P6 and Microsoft Project – have transitioned to OPC. Oracle has made this transition easy by allowing users to import both P6 files and MS Project files into the cloud. Rather than starting from scratch, you can still access and work with past project data. The program also allows you to export projects out of OPC for use in both P6 and MS Project alike.

For P6 users, you can import in and export out project files in XML and XER formats. For Microsoft Project, users can import in and export out MS Project XML files. Importing and exporting files for either of these applications is easy – once you learn how to do it.

In this article, we will cover how to import Microsoft Project XML files into Oracle Primavera Cloud. We will also take a look at exporting OPC files to share with Microsoft Project users. This article will focus on the integration between MS Project and OPC. If you are looking for help in importing or exporting P6 files, please refer to this article here.

Setting up Microsoft Project Integration

Before you can begin pulling data from Microsoft Project for use in OPC, you need to set up MSP Integration. This is generally done by the administrator of the OPC database. By default, this integration should already be set up. However, if you aren’t finding the option to import or export MS Project files, you may need to set this up manually. This integration will determine if OPC users can import in or export out MS Project files.

If you are an administrator, you can set up this connection by navigating to Global Admin from the Object Selector. In the Global Admin toolbar, select the Integrations app. Here, you can set up integration connections between different programs. Under Microsoft Project, select Integrate.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

The About tab will tell you about this integration. Essentially, this integration will allow for MSP imports and exports within OPC. At the top of the page, select the Connect tab. Here, you can choose to Enable Import/Export for all Workspaces. This option will allow you to import MS Project files into any workspace within the database. However, you could also choose individual workspaces to allow these imports in as well.

For my database, I don’t need to limit MSP integrations by workspace – so I’ll select Enable for all workspaces.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

Adjusting Data Mapping

From this same page, you can also adjust data mapping settings. Data mapping determines what the fields within MS Project will display as within OPC. Due to the differences between the platforms, some MSP data will appear under a different name in OPC. To view or adjust the current mapping settings, right click on one of the Business Flow fields. Here, you can adjust the mapping for both importing MSP projects into the cloud, and exporting cloud data into MSP. Within the dropdown menu, select Edit.

This window will show what MSP fields will be within OPC. For example, the Summary Tasks within Microsoft Project will become WBS in Oracle Primavera Cloud. From this window, you can adjust these mapping options and add more parameters.

For the most part, I recommend leaving the data mapping as it is. Oracle has set up the data mapping to pull data as accurately as possible from Microsoft Project. If you adjust this data, you are more likely to run into import errors in the future.

For now, I’ll close out of the Mapping window. Before exiting the Integrations page, make sure you press Save in the upper right hand corner. My users are now able to import from and export to Microsoft Project.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

Exporting XML Files from Microsoft Project

The default file type for Microsoft Project is MPP. If you save a MS Project file, it will automatically save in the MPP format. However, Oracle Primavera Cloud does not allow for MPP imports. If you want to be able to use a MSP project for OPC, you need to make sure to export it out in the XML file type. Luckily, it’s very easy to create an XML file from Microsoft Project.

To start, open your desired project within Microsoft Project and select the File menu. In the backstage view, select Export and then Save Project as File. Within the list of file types available, you should find an option for XML Format. Select this option and press Save As. Give your project a name, and then save it to an accessible location on your computer.

With the XML file saved, you can now import this project into Oracle Primavera Cloud.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

Importing Microsoft Project XML Files into OPC

Within OPC, first open up the Workspace that you want to place the project into. I’ll do this by selecting Object Selector > Workspaces, and searching for the desired workspace. On the Workspace Home page, navigate to the full Projects list by selecting View All Projects.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

From the Actions menu, select Import/Export – Microsoft Project. If this option is not available, your database does not allow for MS Project integrations. You will need to contact your administrator to ensure that access.

Within the Import tab, select the ellipses button and search your computer for an MS Project XML file. The project will appear in the list below. If needed, you can adjust the Import Action – by default, this will be set to Auto-Detect. This means that the program will detect whether this project is already within the database or not. If the project is within the database, this import will update the existing project. If the project is not within the database, the import will create a new project. You can also toggle between these options for more control. Then, select Import.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

The import will be performed as an integration service in the background. You will receive a notification once the integration starts and finishes. Once you receive the completion notification, refresh the Workspace’s Projects list. Your imported project will appear, and you can now work with it as if it were any other OPC project file.

My Import Failed – What Now?

Due to the differences between the two programs, MS Project imports may occasionally fail. If this is the case, you will receive a notification that the integration process failed. You can find more information about why the process failed by accessing your inbox. Select the Notifications bell in the upper right hand corner, and then select View All in Inbox.

The Inbox will display all notifications and information about these processes. As the MS Project import was an integration service, you will need to navigate to the Manage Services app within the toolbar.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

By default, you will only see In Progress services. As this service has completed, select All. Here, you’ll find all integration notifications – when they start, finish, and most importantly, fail. The red status icon indicates failure, and you can see more information about the service by selecting it. On the right side of the screen, you can view more details about the service.

I’ve found that you can get the most information about the failure by selecting the Steps tab. Then, select the Status icon next to the failed step. This will open up the Failure Details window, where you can see what went wrong during the import. This isn’t always helpful, as these details are written in code that can be hard to decipher. However, it can occasionally point you in the direction to make corrections.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

If you still aren’t sure why the failure occurred, you can ask Oracle for help via Oracle Support. I would recommend taking a screenshot of the Failure Details window to include within any service requests. Oracle should get back to you within a few days to assist you further with your import.

Exporting OPC Files for Microsoft Project

Now, let’s say that you’ve been working on a project within Oracle Primavera Cloud and you now need to share it. If your recipient is a Microsoft Project user, you can export out an OPC project for use in MSP. Similar to importing, you can export OPC projects as XML files for access in MS Project.

To export an OPC project, first open up a Projects screen. You could open up the Projects screen for an individual workspace, or the Projects screen for the full database. Unlike importing, you do not need to be within a specific Workspace to export projects.

I can access the Projects screen for the database by selecting Object Selector > Projects > View All Projects. Find the project you want to export, right click on it, and select Export to MSP. Within the Export window, you’ll see your selected project listed – but you can adjust this if you selected the wrong project. Then, select Export.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

Like with importing, exporting is performed as a background service. You will receive a notification once the integration has begun and once it has completed. The completion notification is very important – you will need to access it to download the exported file. Once you receive the notification, select the Notifications bell in the upper right hand corner. Select the completion notification, and then press Download MSP file.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

The exported XML file will save to your computer. Now, you can send it to your recipient and they can import the file back into Microsoft Project.

Opening XML Files in Microsoft Project

With XML files, you can’t just double click on the file to open it within Project. Instead, you will need to import it as a new project.

Within Microsoft Project, select File > Open. Use the Browse button to search your computer for the location of the downloaded file. You may not be able to see the downloaded file by default. This is because in the lower right hand corner, you’ll see that you’re only searching for MPP files. To see your XML files instead, select that dropdown menu and select XML Format. Now, you’ll be able to see your XML files within the Windows Explorer. Select the desired project and press Open.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

The Import Wizard will open, allowing you to configure the imported project. You can choose whether you want to import this project as a new project, or append or merge it with a previous project. I’ll keep this on As a new project and select Finish.

The imported project will open and you can now work with it in Microsoft Project. Going forward, you can use the import and export tools between the two programs to ensure work efficiency.

How to Import XER file into newer version of Primavera P6

Limitations to Microsoft Project Integrations

Microsoft Project and Oracle Primavera Cloud are very different applications. Both work with projects and project data in a different manner. Because of this, some project data may change between one program and another. While most Microsoft Project data will map to OPC fields, some data may be removed, instead. For a full list of data mappings between OPC and MSP, please refer to this article here.

One important item that is removed during the import/export process is Baselines. MS Project baselines will not be imported into OPC, and OPC baselines will not be exported for use in MS Project. If you plan on working with both programs, it may be a good idea to save additional versions of the project as baselines instead.

Another thing to note is that Oracle Primavera Cloud works with different resources than Microsoft Project. All resources and costs will import in and export out, but occasionally the resource type will change. For example, OPC does not have Cost resources, whereas MSP does. If you import in an MSP project with a Cost resource, it will become a Material resource in OPC.

Besides baselines, however, most data will transfer between the two programs. If you’re ever unsure of where specific data is, refer to the full Field Mappings table here.

Conclusion

Oracle Primavera Cloud and Microsoft Project can be integrated with one another to share projects. You can import MS Project files into and out of OPC using the XML file type. OPC requires a little initial setup before this can be done – the administrator will need to allow integrations between the two programs. There are limitations to the integration, as some data can not be shared – such as baselines. Through importing and exporting XML files, OPC and MS Project users can collaborate together on the same projects with ease.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please use the comment section on the bottom of this page, and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to get more scheduling tips & tricks directly in your inbox!

Lauren Hecker is a Microsoft Project, Primavera P6, and Oracle Primavera Cloud Instructor who teaches onsite and virtual scheduling courses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our calendar. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!

2 Comments

  1. Roberto Bustos

    When importing an XML coming from OPC to MSP, the duration is imported in hours instead of days.
    This is not the case when importing an XML from P6. From P6, the duration is imported as days.

    Is there a way to make sure the imported schedule will display days if coming from OPC?

    Reply
    • Lauren Hecker

      Hi Roberto, the durations that display in MS Project are determined by your program settings. You can adjust the duration display by selecting File > Options > Schedule in MS Project. Here, you’ll find an option for “Duration is entered in” and you can adjust the displaying duration.

      Reply

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