Microsoft Project Service Description

Overview

Microsoft Project offers the following applications to help meet your organization's needs for project and work management:

  • Project for the web
  • Project Online
  • Project Online desktop client

This article will help you understand which applications are provided in each Project subscription and what capabilities each application offers.

Project for the web

Project for the web is Microsoft’s most recent offering for cloud-based work and project management. Project for the web provides simple, powerful work management capabilities to meet most needs and roles. Project managers and team members can use Project for the web to plan and manage work of any size.

Project for the web is built on the Microsoft Power Platform. The Power Platform consists of PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, Power BI, and the Common Data Service (CDS). Project for the web data is stored in CDS.

Project for the web is available through three subscriptions: Project Plan 1, Project Plan 3, and Project Plan 5. Features listed in the Project for the web features section interact only with data in the Project for the web data store.

Project Online

Project Online is a flexible online solution for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and everyday work. Project Online provides powerful project management capabilities for planning, prioritizing, and managing projects and project portfolio investments—from almost anywhere on almost any device. Project Online can be used by administrators, portfolio managers and viewers, project and resource managers, and team leads and members.

Project Online is built on the SharePoint platform, and it stores data in the SharePoint data store.

Project Online is available through two subscriptions: Project Plan 3 and Project Plan 5. Features listed in the Project Online features section interact only with data in the Project Online SharePoint data store.

Team member functionality for Project Online is available through a Project Online Essentials subscription. Project Online Essentials is a team member add-on subscription for customers who have Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 subscriptions. It gives team members a web interface to perform task and time updates to projects managed in Project Online.

Team members with Project Online Essentials can perform the following Project Online functions:

  • Use a web-based interface
  • Update tasks, issues, and risks
  • Submit timesheets
  • Share documents and collaborate with Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business users

Project Online Essentials does not include Project for the web.

Project Online desktop client

Microsoft Project Online desktop client is a project management program that features automated scheduling, project resource management, and built-in reporting. Project Online desktop client can be used as a standalone application or it can connect to Project Online. Project Online desktop client is the subscription version of the Project Online desktop client and is available in Project Plan 3 and Project Plan 5 subscriptions.

Using Project for the web and Project Online together

Although Project for the web and Project Online are separate applications, you can use them side-by-side. You can see all your projects from both applications in Project Home. You can use the Project Roadmap capability to build roadmaps that include projects from both applications. And you can use Power BI and the Project for the web Power BI content pack to gain insights into projects and resources across the two applications.3

This diagram shows how the applications can work together side-by-side.

Diagram showing Project on the web and Project Online together

Going forward, Microsoft will focus on Project for the web innovations. However, you can continue using Project Online with confidence as it will continue to receive key performance and security improvements.

Microsoft Project subscriptions

Microsoft Project is available through three different subscriptions to best meet the needs of your organization. These subscriptions are Project Plan 1, Project Plan 3, and Project Plan 5. To compare features across subscriptions, see Feature availability across applications and subscriptions.

Product Plan 1 Plan 3 Plan 5
Project for the web x x x x x
Project Online x x x x x
Project Online desktop client x x

In the table above, the number of checks (x) indicates the general level of capabilities provided by a plan. For example, for Project Online, Plan 5 provides more capabilities then Plan 3.

Feature availability across applications and subscriptions

Project for the web features

Features listed in this section interact only with data in the Project for the web data store. All these features are available in all Microsoft Project subscriptions: Project Plan 1, Project Plan 3, and Project Plan 5.

Feature Description
Project, task, and time management
Board view Track project tasks visually for improved workflow and status monitoring using out-of-box and custom task boards.
Dependencies Set and visually track dependencies between tasks.
Grid view Plan and manage projects using a hierarchical grid view of tasks.
Milestones Establish and track important project and task milestones.
Project Home Get a birds-eye view of projects that you've worked on recently, as well as important projects that you need to monitor closely.
Task scheduling Use task start and end dates, effort, work, and dependencies to get an accurate schedule of project dates.
Timeline view (Gantt chart) Visually track and understand project dates, dependencies, and assignments in a hierarchical timeline view.
Summary tasks Plan, manage, and track deliverables and phases using summary tasks.
Collaboration
Microsoft Teams integration Collaborate on projects in Microsoft Teams.1
Resource and program management
Project team setup Manage a project team by adding and removing members and setting the working calendar.
Roadmaps Build visual, interactive roadmaps across projects from Microsoft Project Online, Microsoft Project for the web, and Azure Boards projects.2 With Project Plan 1 you get read-only access to roadmaps. With Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 you can also create roadmaps.
Reporting3
Out-of-box reporting Use pre-built reports to understand project, program, portfolio, and resource data.
Custom reports Understand the data important to your organization by building custom reports based on out-of-box reports or from scratch.
Dashboards and portals Build custom dashboards and portals to help meet specific organizational needs.
Usability
Coauthoring Work together with stakeholders and team members to simultaneously build, edit, and update task lists, project schedules, and more.
Graphical indicators Understand task status, assignments, and more with graphical indicators.
Mobility
Mobile applications Build custom mobile applications with PowerApps.4
Customization and integration
PowerApps Build and consume solutions for web and mobile with PowerApps.4
Workflows Automate and integrate business processes with Microsoft Flow.5
Microsoft Office 365 integration Collaborate, manage documents, and more using familiar Office 365 tools and applications.1
Security and user management
Office Modern Groups Build a project team to collaborate with and easily set up a collection of resources for team members to share.

Project Online features

Features listed in this section interact only with data in the Project Online SharePoint data store.

Feature Description Project Plan 3 Project Plan 5
Project, task, and time management
Alerts and reminders Stay on schedule for important upcoming tasks and project events with reminders in Outlook and Microsoft Teams.1 Yes Yes
Baselines Set project baselines to monitor current performance against past performance using the Project Web App. Yes Yes
Board view Visually track project tasks for improved workflow and status monitoring. Yes Yes
Critical path Visually track the tasks that represent the longest path through the project using the Project Web App. Yes Yes
Deliverable management Track and manage deliverables using start and end dates and automated scheduling. Yes Yes
Dependencies Set and visually track dependencies between tasks. Yes Yes
Gantt view Visually track and understand project dates, dependencies, and assignments on a hierarchical Gantt chart using the Project Web App. Yes Yes
Grid view Plan and manage projects using a hierarchical grid view of tasks using the Project Web App. Yes Yes
Issue and risk management Identify and track issues and risks at the project and task level. Yes Yes
Master projects Group smaller related projects under a single master project using the Project Web App. Yes Yes
Notifications Stay on top of task assignments, status, and important project events with Outlook and Teams notifications.1 Yes Yes
Project Home Get a birds-eye view of projects that you've worked on recently, as well as important projects that you need to monitor closely. Yes Yes
Project versioning Compare different versions of a project with a report that shows what changed between versions. Yes Yes
Summary tasks Plan, manage, and track deliverables and phases using summary tasks in the Project Web App. Yes Yes
Task scheduling Use task start and end dates, effort, work, lead and lag times, and dependencies to get an accurate schedule of project dates using the Project Web App. Yes Yes
Task updates Capture time and status with comments on project tasks, non-project work, and non-working time. Yes Yes
Timelines Visually track and understand project dates, dependencies, and assignments on a timeline view using the Project Web App. Yes Yes
Timesheets Team members can enter time and status against tasks, non-project work, and non-working time. Yes Yes
Timesheet approvals Team members can submit timesheets for approval. Resource managers and supervisors can review, approve, and decline submitted timesheets. Yes Yes
Non-working time setup Add vacation, holidays, medical leave, and other nonworking time into your project schedule. No Yes
Collaboration
Attachments Attach documents, images, and other files at the team, project, or task level. Manage these attachments in a central library at the team or project level. Yes Yes
External team members Collaborate with people from outside of your organization by granting them access to view and interact with your projects, tasks, and documents.6 Yes Yes
Project sites Create and customize a hub for collaboration and documents for a project. Yes Yes
Microsoft Teams integration Collaborate on projects in Microsoft Teams.1 Yes Yes
Demand management
Project request approval workflow setup Build the workflows you need to evaluate, prioritize, and approve incoming demand. No Yes
Project request forms creation Capture important data about incoming demand to help you evaluate and prioritize new work. No Yes
Project requests Track, manage, evaluate, and prioritize incoming demand from within your organization and from external customers and partners. Yes Yes
Resource, program, and portfolio management
Project costing and budgeting Compare planned progress and budget against actual time and costs using the Project Web App. Yes Yes
Project team setup Manage a project team by adding and removing members, setting allocation levels, and adding external members. Yes Yes
Resource capacity views Track and manage resource capacity at the project, team, and organization level. Yes Yes
Resource costing Track and manage the resource costs of your project. Yes Yes
Resource engagements (bookings) Project managers can submit requests for resources by role, skills, or name. Resource managers can review requests and assign the best resources available. Yes7 Yes8
Resource capacity planning Track and manage resource capacity at the project, team, and organization level. No Yes
Roadmaps Build visual, interactive roadmaps across projects from Microsoft Project Online, Microsoft Project for the web, and Azure Boards projects.2 Yes Yes
Portfolio analysis and prioritization Identify, select, and deliver project portfolios that best align with your organization's business strategy and maximize your return on investment (ROI). No Yes
Dashboards/portals Understand status, prioritization, and more at the portfolio, program, project, task, team, and resource level with real-time interactive dashboards. Yes Yes
Work, generic, and material resources Add resources to a project, such as work resources like people, generic resources like carpenters, and materials resources like computers and cement. Yes Yes
Reporting3
Out-of-box reporting Use pre-built reports to understand project, program, portfolio, and resource data. Yes Yes
Custom reports Understand the data important to your organization by building custom reports based on out-of-box reports or from scratch. Yes Yes
Dashboards and portals Build custom dashboards and portals to help meet specific organizational needs. Yes Yes
Customization and integration
Custom branding Customize your Project deployment using your own brand, logo, and colors. No Yes
Custom fields Add custom fields at the project, task, and resource level to track data important to your organization and projects. Yes Yes
Formulas Calculate and capture important data using formulas across tasks and projects. Yes Yes
PowerApps Build and consume solutions for web and mobile (through OData) with PowerApps.4 Yes Yes
Workflows Automate and integrate business processes (through OData) with Microsoft Flow.5 Yes Yes
Microsoft Office 365 integration Collaborate, manage documents, and more using familiar Office 365 tools and applications.1 Yes Yes
Microsoft Planner integration Connect Project tasks to a Planner plan and track detailed work in Planner.1 Yes Yes
Security, user, and service management
Active Directory integration Build teams from any member of your organization's Active Directory.9 Yes Yes
User management Manage user and group roles and permissions at the project, team, and organization level. No Yes
Service administration Plan, install and configure, maintain, and extend your Microsoft Project environment as part of your Office 3651 environment. No Yes

Notes

1 Requires an Office or Microsoft 365 commercial subscription.
2 Azure Boards acquired separately.
3 Reporting for Project for the web and Project Online is available using Power BI. Viewing, editing, and creating reports requires a Power BI Pro subscription. Microsoft provides a pre-built set of Power BI reports. Users can customize these reports or build additional reports using Power BI.
4 Building custom PowerApps mobile applications that access Project for the web data requires a PowerApps subscription and a Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 subscription.
5 Automating and integrating business processes with Microsoft Flow with Project for the web data requires a Microsoft Flow subscription and a Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 subscription.
6 Project Online licensing for external users follows the same policy as that for internal users. Any interaction on a Project Online site requires a Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 subscription.
7 Users with a Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 subscription can submit resource engagement requests. They cannot review, fulfill, or approve resource engagement requests.
8 Users with a Project Plan 5 subscription can review, fulfill, and approve resource engagement requests.
9 Active Directory requires a separate subscription.

Project Online desktop client features

Feature Description
Project and task management
Baselines Set project baselines to monitor current performance against past performance.
Calendar view Track important project and task deadlines and milestones on a weekly or monthly calendar view.
Critical path Visually track the tasks that represent the longest path through the project.
Deadlines Establish and track important project and task deadlines.
Dependencies Set and visually track dependencies between tasks.
Gantt view Visually track and understand project dates, dependencies, and assignments in a hierarchical Gantt view.
Grid view Plan and manage projects using a hierarchical grid view of tasks.
Master projects Group smaller related projects under a single master project.
Milestones Establish and track important project and task milestones.
Network diagram View tasks, dependencies, and the critical path of your project in a network diagram view.
Task scheduling Use task start and end dates, effort, work, lead and lag times, and dependencies to get an accurate schedule of project dates
Team planner Track the allocation and capacity of all project team members, including non-project work and non-working time.
Timelines Visually track and understand project dates, dependencies, and assignments in a timeline view.
Inactive tasks Use inactive tasks to track work without affecting resource availability or allocation and without affecting the project schedule.
Summary tasks Plan, manage, and track deliverables and phases using summary tasks.
Task inspector View factors that affect the scheduling of a task, such as a changed start date or error messages.
Task path analysis See how one task connects to other tasks by highlighting its task path throughout the project.
Resource and financial management
Resource leveling Resolve resource conflicts or overallocations by automatically leveling the assignments.
Work, generic, and material resources Add resources to a project, such as work resources like people, generic resources like carpenters, and materials resources like computers and cement.
Project costing and budgeting Compare planned progress and budget to actual time and costs.
Resource costing Track and manage the resource costs of your project.
Reporting
Custom reports Build custom reports for projects, programs, portfolios, and resources.
Out-of-box reporting Use pre-built reports to understand project, program, portfolio, and resource data.
PDF and XPS output Save a Project file as a PDF or XPS file.
Usability
Auto-complete Get suggestions for task or resource names and dependencies as you type.
Filtered views Filter project plans by any value in the plan
Graphical indicators Understand task status, assignments, and more with graphical indicators.
Multi-level undo Undo multiple changes at the same time by using the Undo menu.
Sorting and grouping Use custom sorting and grouping to get a focused view of your project, tasks, and resources.
Customization and integration
Custom fields Add custom fields at the project, task, and resource level to track data important to your organization and projects.
Forms Create and deploy custom forms to capture important project data.
Formulas Calculate and capture important data using formulas across tasks and projects.
Templates Create templates for common projects including project plans, teams, and assignments.
.mpp import/export Create new projects from existing .mpp files or create an .mpp file of an existing project.
Excel import/export Create new projects from Excel files or create an Excel file of an existing project.

Service considerations

Licensing considerations

  • Any interaction on a Project Online site requires a Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 subscription.
  • When your last Project Plan 1, Project Plan 3, or Project Plan 5 subscription expires, your Project for the web instances will be deleted after 120 days.
  • When your last Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 subscription expires, your Project Online instances will be deleted after 120 days.
  • For Project for the web and Project Online trial subscriptions, your trial instances will be deleted 30 days after your trial period ends.

Use of SharePoint Online

Project Online requires the use of SharePoint Online, which is provisioned as part of Project Online. Rights to the SharePoint Online functionality provided with Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 subscriptions are limited to storing and accessing data to support Project Online.

Project Roadmap and Microsoft Flow

Project Roadmap requires the use of Microsoft Flow, which is provisioned as part of your Project subscription. Rights to Microsoft Flow functionality are limited to those Microsoft Flow capabilities required by Project Roadmap. Microsoft Flow functionality required by Project Roadmap appears as the Data Integration for Project with Flow service plan in the Apps section of the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Project for the web and Common Data Service

Project for the web requires the use of the Common Data Service (CDS) for storing its data. CDS is provisioned as part of your Project subscription. Rights to CDS functionality are limited to storing and accessing data to support Project for the web. CDS functionality required by Project appears as the Common Data Service for Project service plan in the Apps section of the Microsoft 365 admin center.

Data backup and retention

Project for the web and Project Online both have the same data backup and retention policy as Office 365. For details, see Data Retention, Deletion, and Destruction in Office 365.

Project for the web boundaries and limitations

Project for the web has some limitations, which are described in the following table.

Entity/field Limit
Task
Max. hierarchy level for task 10 levels
Max. links (successor + predecessor) for a task 20
Max. duration of leaf task 1250 days
Max. duration of summary task 3650 days (10 years)
Max. resources that can be assigned to a task 20 resources
Supported date range for task 1/1/1984 – 12/31/2149
Project
Max. total tasks for the project 500
Max. total duration of the project 3650 days (10 years)
Max. total resources for the project 150
Max. total links (successor only) for the project 600

Project Online boundaries and limitations

Project Online has some limitations. For details, see Project Online: software boundaries and limits.