Changes in Phoenix 3.6

Phoenix Project Manager 3.6 brings many new features and changes.

New Features

Prior to this version an activity’s Actual Duration reflected the number of working days between an activity’s start and finish. For unstarted activities the name Actual Duration can be confusing. To resolve this we’ve added a new column: Duration At Completion. This column has the same meaning that Actual Duration previously had. Actual Duration has been redefined to mean Duration At Completion minus Remaining Duration which reflects how much work has actually been performed on an activity.

Percent Complete in Phoenix 3.0 was calculated based on completion against Original Duration but that calculation can be unhelpful if an activity takes longer than was originally planned. For Phoenix 3.6 we’ve changed Percent Complete to base its calculation off of Duration At Completion. Many schedulers still prefer calculating Percent Complete using Original Duration so we’ve added a new column, Original Percent Complete, which does just that. You can use these to quickly see the progress against both the original plan and the current estimate.

You can now display Today and Project Finish sightlines on your schedule and we’ve added more formatting options for all sightlines. You configure them in the Sightlines dialog found the Format menu.

We’ve been busy making Phoenix faster than ever. Scheduling is faster (particularly with schedules which have calendars that make heavy use of holidays), importing XER files is nearly twice as fast, and both Gantt and Network Diagram views draw your schedule many times more quickly. This means the user interface is more responsive and updates with changes faster than ever.

We’ve also made it easier for system administrators to do mass deployments of Phoenix in their organization by adding a command line option to the installer which lets them specify their organization’s Product Id for Phoenix Project Manager so they only have to provide this in their software deployment tool once rather than rely on sharing the product id with a multitude of users. They can also specify a silent installation using /S. These options can be used like this:

Phoenix Setup 3.6.0.0.exe /S /PRODUCTID=Z4B3-1M0S-HJN2-03LT

Changes

Because not many people used the feature, we’ve removed the option to flag an activity’s start or finish as Estimated. This allowed us to simplify the interface for setting dates as Actual.

Fixes

  • Importing schedules from SureTrak is now tolerant of invalid relationships (no predecessor or successor specified) that SureTrak schedules sometimes have.
  • Fields taking up multiple lines in MPX files are now imported.
  • Project Start and Data Date from a P3 import is now correct.
  • SDEF export more aggressively includes non-working calendar days for the schedule time frame.
  • The float of Finish constrained Finish Milestones has been fixed (it was off by one day).
  • Changing the ID of an activity which has been assigned to Activity Codes no longer causes the program to sometimes prematurely shut down.

This update is available for free to all existing Phoenix Project Manager 3 users.

 

Hotfix Updates:

  • We released 3.6.0.1 shortly after 3.6.0.0 to address a minor issue with creating relationships.
  • We released 3.6.0.2 on July 24 to address a rare situation in which importing Activity Codes without descriptions from an XER are not handled.
  • We released 3.6.0.3 on August 28 to handle a program shutdown that can occur with changing activity IDs (especially using the Renumber Activities command).