Project Management Software Alternative for Microsoft Project

By | July 11th, 2011|Microsoft Project, Project Management Software|Comments Off on Project Management Software Alternative for Microsoft Project

One of the most used project planning software of all times is Microsoft Project with millions of users worldwide. The product is used mainly by companies to manage projects in almost any activity area. However the users base does not end here and the software package is also used for educational purposes or for personal use.

In the past there were very few project management tools hence a poor competition and for this reason the prices for such tools were high. In the last years the software market has grown rapidly such that at this moment there are hundreds of such products: some of them have just some basic functionality while others offer a full solution to manage projects. For this reason the prices have dropped significantly.

What to look for when searching for a Microsoft Project alternative

However many users still use Microsoft Project despite the high price. Why? Simple: Microsoft Project is still considered as the “de facto” standard in project management and many project plans are stored in its format. The biggest problem in migrating to another project scheduling software is the conversion of existing data to the new format. For this the new adopted product must be able to successfully read Microsoft Project files. Even more if it is needed a Microsoft Project integration then the new product must also be able to export data in MS Project Data Exchange format.

Another important factor in deciding what alternative to Microsoft Project to choose is the list of available features. It must supply some powerful tools like Gantt charts, scheduling mechanisms, resource management, cost management, etc. If it provides even additional features like running on multiple platforms, support for collaboration or even the possibility to handle multiple interdependent projects that is even better.

One major problem that users have with MS Project is the fact that they do not always need to modify projects. Many times they only need to view the projects or even less to see what they have to do. OK you might say that some printed reports will do the trick but this is somehow limited. Instead of using some static reports it would help a lot more to have a dynamic view over the projects: on short a Microsoft Project viewer.

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RationalPlan Project Management Software 3.22 Is Available With Stronger Server Privacy Options

By | June 17th, 2011|News, Project Management Software, RationalPlan|Comments Off on RationalPlan Project Management Software 3.22 Is Available With Stronger Server Privacy Options

RationalPlan project management suite version 3.22 added support for custom roles and rights for its Project Server module and the possibility for users to work from different timezone locations world wide. More reporting capabilities, easier to use and more intuitive interface, improved Microsoft Project integration and many more useful features were added. All these also available in German and French language.

RationalPlan is a project management software that follows the general recommended guidelines from project management domain. It has been developed to help project managers keep their projects on time and within budget. RationalPlan Project Server is a better solution for those companies that need a concurrent user project management system by adding a server module that gives project managers concurrent access to a central project data repository.

Important changes added to this version:

  • Added support for rights and permissions for users on RationalPlan Project Server
  • Possibility to create custom roles
  • Added the notion of TimeZone on server
  • Translated to German and French
  • Possibility to create task details reports
  • Render special working days in resource sheet
  • Added more filters to assignments page
  • Possibility to clear history on server side
  • Store graphical interface settings for resource sheets from all Gantt views
  • Allows users to select different positions for the labels on Gantt task bars
  • Possibility to move resources up and down in the list
  • Improved Microsoft Project integration
  • Possibility to fit horizontally to visible area on Gantt chart
  • Allow setting a fixed cost and accrual on phases

Some significant improvements regarding data privacy were added to RationalPlan Project Server. Business owners have now more powerful tools to keep their projects sensible data under control. “We decided to give our customers the possibility to create custom roles and rights and the ability to assign them for each created user. This is necessary to hide certain data like costs or other project details that should be kept private.” says Gabriel Toader, CEO of Stand By Soft. The list of rights usefulness expands further so that it can be used to also restrict access to certain functionality and features of the product. A resource or a stakeholder should always have less power over a software product than a project manager.

A sensible problem for companies that work over multiple locations is the timezone variable. Time related data like dates and working hours may be perceived differently by a user from Europe as compared with a user from Asia or America. This is why a solid project management tool should correctly manage time zone differences. Other improvements were also made to RationalPlan Project Server: the possibility to clear the history of changes, more filters for resources assignments and much more.

Current version also gets translated to German and French languages. “We would like to thank to all the users that helped us in translating RationalPlan products with special thanks to Mr. Jan Hefer from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft research organization.” says Gabriel Toader, Stand By Soft CEO.

When resources in a project work according to a special calendar it is very useful to see those special working days while controlling the worksheets. All these are possible now in RationalPlan. Special working days are displayed with a different color while in Resource Sheet. It is easy to select the corresponding resource by just clicking on those special days.

All charts but especially the Gantt chart have been redesigned to offer more flexibility in presenting and handling data. A very useful “fit to page” action was added that will help users to easily scale the charts such that to fit horizontally to the visible area. This is neded when a project is spread over a large period of time and you want to easily see an overall presentation of it without too much details. Another useful feature is the possibility to present task details near the task bars in customizable locations (left, right, center). With this feature it is possible to generate better looking reports and printouts.

Other features: task details reports were added, the Microsoft Project integration was improved with a better support for MS Project 2010 files and more changes were made regarding the input of project’s data, allowing more flexibility in managing projects and resources.

RationalPlan suite includes:

RationalPlan Single Project – project management software for single projects
RationalPlan Multi Project – project management software for multiple projects, projects that are interconnected through dependencies and share common resource
RationalPlan Project Viewer – free project management software viewer, the solution for anyone (from project stakeholders to team workers) to view projects details
RationalPlan Project Server – a centralized management of company’s projects while offering concurrent/controlled access for different users

RationalPlan Project Management Software is available at http://www.rationalplan.com. It can be download from https://www.rationalplan.com/download.php.

About Stand By Soft

Stand By Soft was founded in 1997 as a software company specialized in building desktop applications and components. RationalPlan is a project planning software that follows the general recommended guidelines from project management domain. MOOS Project viewer is aMicrosoft Project viewer that allows you to open, view in a dynamic way and print any Microsoft Project file.

Contact name: Lucian Ioan
Address: Aleea Parului, Nr.4A, Craiova, Dolj, 200346, Romania
Email: marketing@rationalplan.com
Phone: +40771610710

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New Features Added In Version 3.21 For RationalPlan Project Management Software

By | February 15th, 2011|Microsoft Project, News, Project Management Software|Comments Off on New Features Added In Version 3.21 For RationalPlan Project Management Software

The new version for the project management suite RationalPlan from Stand By Soft comes with additional features like better reporting capabilities, improved Microsoft Project integration, more undo and redo actions, online launch from browser and much more. And all these are now also available in Dutch language.

RationalPlan is a Microsoft Project alternative with additional features like multiple projects management, shared resources and email integration developed to assist busy business owners looking for a better way to manage their projects. For those companies that need a concurrent user project management system RationalPlan Project Server is a better solution by adding a server module that gives project managers concurrent access to a central project data repository.

Important changes added to this version:

  • Better reporting capabilities
  • Manage projects directly from browser when using RationalPlan Project Server
  • Improved dependencies rendering
  • Improved Microsoft Project integration
  • More Undo and Redo actions
  • Translated to Dutch
  • Possibility to reset passwords in RationalPlan Project Server
  • Added colors for tasks for tables
  • Added description to iCalendar items when sending emails
  • UTF-8 characters support for the server

Almost any view from RationalPlan can be printed either to the printer or to a PDF file. All the user has to do is to customize the way he wants that view to look (arrange and resize columns, scale to the preferred timescale, filter, etc.) and then print it. But there are certain reports that can not be printed this way by using a view. And for these reports an additional method was created which is independent of the current view from the application. Reports like the project status, project information, working calendars, etc. that were not available in previous versions can now be generated as PDF files.

One of the most important features that was added in current version is the possibility to launch the Multi Project product directly from the browser while using the Project Server. There is no need to install it anymore on each user’s computer. With this feature RationalPlan makes an important step in becoming an online project management software.

Other changes make working with RationalPlan easier. Dependencies are displayed in more details using not just the dependency type but also the lag amount if needed. This is the most visible in the Predecessors and Successors columns. More undo and redo actions will help users to safely return to an older state of the project’s plan with the minimum effort. Now the colours for tasks can also be used in the tables and not just over the chart. This gives a better insight over the project or a nicer way for reporting. Plus iCalendar support was improved by adding descriptions to each item.

Certain changes where also made to the project server product: password reset mechanism, support for UNICODE characters for languages like Chinese, Japanese, Russian, etc.

And all these are now available in Dutch language thanks to the great efforts and help from Cees Riedijk a trainer of project management software.

RationalPlan suite includes:

RationalPlan Single Project – project management software for single projects
RationalPlan Multi Project – project management software for multiple projects, projects that are interconnected through dependencies and share common resource
RationalPlan Project Viewer – free project management software viewer, the solution for anyone (from project stakeholders to team workers) to view projects details
RationalPlan Project Server – a centralized management of company’s projects while offering concurrent/controlled access for different users

RationalPlan Project Management Software is available at http://www.rationalplan.com. It can be download from https://www.rationalplan.com/download.php.

About Stand By Soft

Stand By Soft was founded in 1997 as a software company specialized in building desktop applications and components. RationalPlan is a project management software that follows the general recommended guidelines from project management domain. MOOS Project viewer is a Microsoft® Project viewer that allows you to open, view in a dynamic way and print any Microsoft® Project file

Contact name: Lucian Ioan
Address: Aleea Parului, Nr.4A, Craiova, Dolj, 200346, Romania
Email: marketing@rationalplan.com
Phone: +40727159969

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RationalPlan Project Management Software Version 3.20 Is Officially Launched

By | December 8th, 2010|Microsoft Project, News, Project Management Software, RationalPlan|Comments Off on RationalPlan Project Management Software Version 3.20 Is Officially Launched

Stand By Soft announces the new release of RationalPlan Project Management Software. The new version 3.20 comes with many new features like filters on tasks, better Microsoft Project integration, increased execution time, easier to use interface and the list continues. Plus by the end of the year RationalPlan Project Server will be offered for free to all users.

RationalPlan is a Microsoft Project alternative with additional features like multiple projects management, shared resources, email integration developed to assist project managers in creating plans, tracking progress, allocating resources, managing budgets and analyzing workload. RationalPlan Project Server is a concurrent user project management software developed to improve the existing RationalPlan suite of project management products by adding a server module that gives project managers concurrent access to a central project data repository when creating plans, tracking progress, allocating resources, managing budgets or analyzing workload.

Important changes added to this version:

  • Added filters for tasks
  • Better Microsoft Project integration including external tasks
  • Execution time improvement while in Gantt Chart view
  • Added default work-driven, fixed-units and resource forced-working values per project
  • Added new columns for tasks like ID, predecessors and successors
  • Improved the possibility to create dependencies using task IDs
  • Added new units like months and years duration and work
  • Added a User Account page and the possibility to change password into RationalPlan Project Server
  • Possibility to handle large files
  • Memory leaks fixes

At users requests the new version offers support for task filtering in Gantt Chart view and includes many types of filters. Among them it is worth to be mentioned:incomplete tasks, late tasks, tasks with deadlines, milestones, completed tasks, tasks with calendar, conflicting tasks, tasks with calendar, a.s.o.

While previous version added support for opening MS Project 2010 files in RationalPlan current version offers a better integration for external tasks. This includes representation of external tasks with gray color both on Gantt chart and in the task table. MS Project users will be able now to port their projects to RationalPlan Multi Project to see and manage them in a multiple projects software environment.

The resources now have the possibility to also filter the assignments using a late task filter. This will allow them to see all the tasks with completion date before current date that is all tasks that are late or behind the schedule. These assignments are rendered with red color to suggest the importance of these tasks. Another useful feature for resources is the ability to update the percentage completion of the assigned tasks. This way it is easier to keep the project evolution up to date since the project manager delegates the work of updating tasks completion to the corresponding resources.

Many changes where made to the application that makes working with RationalPlan more easier. Users will now have the possibility to create tasks by default as work-driven, fixed-units or to force assigned resources to work based on the calendar of the task. Also columns for ID, predecessors and successors where added for an easier tracking of the plan. The ID column is also useful when creating dependencies. Sometimes it is more easier to add predecessors or successors based on the task ID instead of its name.

Certain changes where also made to the project server product allowing users to easier manage the database: password reset mechanism, automatic version upgrade notification, etc.

Some memory leaks problems where solved and the execution time while in Gantt chart was improved allowing RationalPlan to run faster and work with larger files.

RationalPlan suite includes:

RationalPlan Single Project – project management software for single projects
RationalPlan Multi Project – project management software for multiple projects, projects that are interconnected through dependencies and share common resource
RationalPlan Project Viewer – free project management software viewer, the solution for anyone (from project stakeholders to team workers) to view projects details
RationalPlan Project Server – a centralized management of company’s projects while offering concurrent/controlled access for different users

About Stand By Soft

Stand By Soft was founded in 1997 as a software company specialized in building desktop applications and components. RationalPlan is a project management software that follows the general recommended guidelines from project management domain. MOOS Project viewer is a Microsoft® Project viewer that allows you to open, view in a dynamic way and print any Microsoft® Project file

Contact name: Lucian Ioan
Address: Aleea Parului, Nr.4A, Craiova, Dolj, 200346, Romania
Email: marketing@rationalplan.com
Phone: +40727159969

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