What’s new in MS Project 2007?

The Microsoft Office Project 2007 family of products provides a range of tools to support variety of approaches to work management and business goals.  Office Project 2007 addresses the needs of sophisticated project management organizations that require centralized and strategic financial control in addition to support for rigorous project management methodologies.

The Office Project 2007 family includes the Project client applications, Project Server, the client and server APIs, and the necessary infrastructure such as Microsoft SQL Server and Windows SharePoint Services.

Here are several new features in the tool from its predecessor

Multilevel Undo

  • Unlimited levels of the Undo command with Easy-to-use drop-down list of Undo actions, to allow what-if experimentation with scheduling changes
  • Programmable model to allow undo use by add-ins

Visual Reports

  • Easily export Project data to Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office Visio 2007 to produce charts, graphs, and diagrams of things such as resource allocation or project status against plan
  • Define custom report templates to share with other Project users
  • These templates and reports can be previewed from a dialog box in Project
  • Publish report templates to shared folders and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Change Highlighting

  • Highlights changes to a schedule that have been caused by Project calculations
  • Visible indicators provided for all tasks affected by calculations

Task Drivers

  • Provides quick access to factors that affect task dates
  • Enables easy browsing of the critical path in a project plan

Cost resources

  • New resource type
  • Enables multiple planned and actual costs to be defined by task across time
  • Supports integration with accounting systems
  • Custom fields can be rolled down to the assignment level to allow better task reports of costs in a given cost center, type, or category

Budgeting

  • Defines a budget at a high level (program or project) so that the project manager can allocate funds and track costs against the budget
  • Supports budget variance reporting

Calendars

  • Named calendar exceptions
  • Definition of recurring exceptions and different work weeks
  • Arabic calendar support

Calendar View enhancements

  • Updated look and feel familiar for Office users
  • Supports daily, weekly, and monthly views
  • Monthly preview pane puts schedule in context

Gantt chart view enhancements

  • 3-D texturing of Gantt bars supported
  • Enables you to call out important dates, costs or tasks by changing the background color of cells in the table portion of the view
  • Enables you to highlight categories of cells, such as critical tasks, external tasks, highlighted tasks, marked tasks, noncritical tasks, milestone tasks, summary tasks, and changed cells

Desktop OLAP cube

  • Create customer reports or archive Project values with data exported from Project into an Access database and OLAP cubes
  • Five cubes are generated:
  1. task time-phased
  2. task non-timephased
  3. resource timephased
  4. resource non-timephased
  5. assignment timephase

 

Multi-Value custom fields

  • Custom fields support multiple value selections

Over 25 new templates, including:

  • Annual report
  • Hiring forecast
  • HRIS implementation
  • Marketing event planning and execution
  • Performance reviews
  • Strategic merger or acquisition evaluation
  • Vendor evaluation and consolidation
  • Insurance claim processing
  • Internal readiness training
  • ISO 9001 management review

All in all, a feature rich release of project which, if mastered, could help project managers breeze through scheduling challenges if used to its full potential.

Managing an Agile Project Portfolio

Numerous articles and books have been written about proper project management techniques and how to steer a project from start to finish.  Many of them offer help in maneuvering a floundering project back on track. What is mind-boggling, however, is that despite receiving so much help and advice, so many IT projects are considered failures, even those that were delivered on time and on budget. Furthermore, if you add the project evaluation criteria to measure the success of IT projects, it’s likely that the list of success stories would shrink even further.

One reason for all this dissatisfaction is that many customers initially don’t even know what they want, or more importantly, they don’t know what they could get for their money. Once a project starts, however, customer expectations often rise while scope creep and churn take the energy out of the project team.  On an individual project level, agile software engineering addresses these concerns and seeks to develop project iteratively as a way to better serve the customer’s true needs. But what about the projects themselves?  Could applying agile concepts to how we balance the mix of a company’s IT projects ensure that we choose to work on the projects that will be successful and meet customer needs?

Find full article by Jochen Krebs

DNN Upgrade to 4.5.3 and dasblog (virtual directory) crashing…

Recently I upgraded my DotNetNuke installation from 3.x to 4.5.3. Upgrade went smooth but I had tough time making dasblog work under DNN (running on virtual directory under DNN).

I googled for solution nearly full day but didn’t get the exact solution. All the solutions were for dnn 3.x though which I was using for around an year (on .Net 1.1). tag does not work to clear root HTTP modules and handlers settings which gets inherited to any .net applications under root. Hope this solution helps guys in similar trouble. This can be applied for any DNN 4.5.3 installation to have any virtual directory within the same…

1) add following entries in the beginning of section of web config file in dasblog.  



 


2) Add entries in section.







3) add following entries in tag.. (make sure, all attributes of tag (if exists) are same as before.  Idea here is to clear the namespaces).


   
  

All this and you’d have your web application working under DNN!!!

Cheers!!!
 

C# Design Patterns

In software development, a  design Pattern describes a general solution to a design problem that recurs repeatedly in many projects. Software designers adapt the Pattern solution to their specific project. Patterns use a formal approach to describing a design problem, its proposed solution, and any other factors that might affect the problem or the solution. A successful Pattern should have established itself as leading to a good solution in three previous projects or situations.

Here are 3 categories of the Patterns involved in software designing…
1) Creational Patterns

  • Abstract factory pattern: centralize decision of what factory to instantiate
  • Factory method pattern: centralize creation of an object of a specific type choosing one of several implementations
  • Anonymous subroutine objects pattern
  • Builder pattern: separate the construction of a complex object from its representation
  • Lazy initialization pattern: tactic of delaying the creation of an object, the calculation of a value, or some other expensive process until the needed first time
  • Prototype pattern: used when the inherent cost of creating a new object in the standard way (e.g., using the ‘new’ keyword) is prohibitively expensive 
  • Singleton pattern: restrict instantiation of a class to one object
    2) Structural Patterns
  • Adapter pattern: ‘adapts’ one interface for a class into one that a client expects
  • Composite pattern: a tree structure of objects where every object has the same interface
  • Aggregate pattern: a version of the Composite pattern with methods for aggregation of children
  • Bridge pattern: decouple an abstraction from its implementation so that the two can vary independently
  • Container pattern: create objects for the sole purpose of holding other objects and managing them
  • Decorator pattern: add additional functionality to a class at run time where subclassing would result in an exponential rise of new classes
  • Extensibility pattern: aka. Framework – hide complex code behind a simple interface
  • Facade pattern: create a simplified interface of an existing interface to ease usage for common tasks
  • Flyweight pattern: a high quantity of objects share a common properties object to save space
  • Proxy pattern: a class functioning as an interface to another thing
  • Pipes and filters: a chain of processes where the output of each process is the input of the next
  • Private class data pattern: restrict accessor/mutator access
    3) Behavioral Patterns
  • Chain of responsibility pattern: Command objects are handled or passed on to other objects by logic-containing processing objects
  • Command pattern: Command objects encapsulate an action and its parameters
  • Interpreter pattern:  Implement a specialized computer language to rapidly solve a specific set of problems
  • Iterator pattern: Iterators are used to access the elements of an aggregate object sequentially without exposing its underlying representation
  • Mediator pattern: Provides a unified interface to a set of interfaces in a subsystem
  • Memento pattern: Provides the ability to restore an object to its previous state (rollback)
  • Observer pattern: aka Publish/Subscribe or Event Listener. Objects register to observe an event which may be raised by another object
  • State pattern: A clean way for an object to partially change its type at run time
  • Strategy pattern: Algorithms can be selected on the fly
  • Template method pattern: Describes the program skeleton of a program
  • Visitor pattern: A way to separate an algorithm from an object
  • Single-serving visitor pattern: Optimise the implementation of a visitor that is allocated, used only once, and then deleted
  • Hierarchical visitor pattern: Provide a way to visit every node in a hierarchical data structure such as a tree

    Look for subsequent posts for clarification of each one from C# point of view…

    Cheers!!!

Web 2.0 Color palettes and design

via newsmotto

Stuart Brown has grouped colors into three color sets -neutrals, muted tones and bold colours and called this Web 2.0 Colour Palette:

Joseph followed the tip and made his wordpress blog theme web 2.0 like DC Media points to some more web 2.0 colors – Mile Burke?s The Web 2.0 Secret Weapon and a little more comprehensive web 2.0 Color palette. There is even a web 2.0 logo creator [Via Sticki Widgets ]

And if you want to learn from the start – Web 2.0 Design From Start to Finish and Designing in Web 2.0

Other Web 2.0 Links:
Design, fonts, logos, blogs, etc.

Web 2.0 Zen
Jim Hobart on web 2.0 design and usability
DIV & Pure CSS for web 2.0 design
Web 2.0 Design Tutorials
Web 2.0 Design Kit
Top 10 Web 2.0 design
Tag, You?re It
Design, Font, Color, and Logo 2.0 from jeremiah
Web 2.0 design for sale on Ebay!
Corporate Web 2.0
The Logos of Web 2.0
Dion Hinchcliffe?s Web 2.0 Blog

……….

Cheers!!

Harvard Business School Case Study on Wipro’s Factory Model

To examine the advantages and disadvantages of software outsourcing, as well as the application of lean principles to software development, Harvard Business School has done a case study on Wipro’s innovative Factory Model approach. It specifically explores Wipro’s experimental use of lean principles as a source of new competitive advantage in software services.

The case study addresses the advantages and disadvantages of software outsourcing and how to mitigate the effects of, for example, lock-in and hijacking. Explores how Wipro has helped its customers deal with these issues and looks at the changing competitive role of Indian outsourcers (from low-cost, to high-quality/rapid turnaround). Specifically explores Wipro’s experimental use of lean principles as a source of new competitive advantage in software services. Also addresses the issue of standardization in information technology, examining why companies progressively develop so many standards and how companies like Wipro can help them standardize, thus limiting one of the primary drivers of companies’ IT costs.

A copy of the case study can be retained from either Wipro

Integrated ERP software uses Microsoft.NET

VISIBILITY.net is one of the first Enterprise business applications to be written from the outset entirely using Microsoft.NET framework and Web services architecture. This methodology provides engineer-to-order (ETO) manufacturers with a distinct set of advantages when deploying the enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. VISIBILITY.net has a highly functional user interface, providing the user with a multi-document interface (multiple windows) in a single browser session.

Visibility extended the standard Microsoft ASP.NET development environment by providing a highly intuitive, interactive user experience that would not usually be possible within an Internet application. This accomplishment is achieved with a zero client interface. VISIBILITY.net does not download any software onto client PCs to operate. Any client PC with Internet Explorer 5.5 or later is capable of operating with VISIBILITY.net.

VISIBILITY.net is deployed as a true internet application – the system administrator need not know anything about the client hardware because no installation is necessary. In doing so it provides ubiquitous access for users inside the four walls of your organisation, for users at remote plants and sales offices, and for users ‘on the road’.

* Internet Standards based – some ERP vendors have put a ‘tick in the box’ against industry standards such as HTTP, XML, .NET and Web services through the use of ‘bolt-on’ technology modules.

The very core of the VISIBILITY.NET application makes use of this technology today, without the need for additional middleware or integration applications. Read Full article here