Exchanging Information with Other Applications

Copying Information 471

Embedding Information 479

Linking Information 489

Hyperlinking to Documents in Other Applications 492

Publishing Project Information to the Web 493

Creating Project XML Data 496

Importing and Exporting Information. . . 497

You can exchange data in Microsoft Office Project 2003 with other applications. This capability can save everyone involved an immense amount of time and effort and can also provide for the flexibility of information so essential in an efficient project.

For example, you might want to provide a set of data from your project plan to a stakeholder who doesn't have access to Project 2003, but has another compatible application such as Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word.

You might want to send project data to a spreadsheet or database application to manipulate the information in ways that those applications specialize in.

In the same way, you can easily bring information into Microsoft Project from other applications. If someone has a list of tasks or resources along with associated information that you need in your project plan, copying or importing this information can save you from rekeying existing data.

Note When referring to the exchange of data between applications, we use the terms source and target to mean the originating application and the receiving application, respectively.

There are several techniques for exchanging information between applications. The method you use depends on what you're trying to accomplish with the information. Table 16-1 provides some basic guidelines.

Table 16-1. Appropriate Methods for Information Exchange

To Do This

Use This Method

Copy static text, numbers, or pictures between Microsoft Project and

Copy

another application. The information appears as if it were created

originally in the target application.

Add data along with its source application to another program. When you double-click the embedded information, the source application opens and you can work with it there.

Embed

Table 16-1. Appropriate Methods for Information Exchange

To Do This

Use This Method

Create a dynamic connection between the information in the source

Link

and target applications. When the information is updated in one, it's

updated in the other as well.

Reference a document at its source, whether it's a Web site or file

Hyperlink

location. Clicking the hyperlink finds and launches the document in

its native application.

Bring information into Microsoft Project from another application or

Import

another file format, making the information appear as if it were cre

ated in Microsoft Project to begin with. Similar to copying, but typi

cally used with entire files.

Converts Microsoft Project information into a file format able to be

Export

used by another application, making the information appear as if it

were created in that other application to begin with. Similar to copy

ing, but typically used with entire files.

Converts Microsoft Project information into Hypertext Markup Lan

Export project data

guage (HTML), typically for use in a Web page.

as HTML

Converts Microsoft Project information into extensible Markup Lan- Export project data guage (XML) for use in Web pages or any other application that reads as XML or is based on XML.

Converts Microsoft Project information into extensible Markup Lan- Export project data guage (XML) for use in Web pages or any other application that reads as XML or is based on XML.

c It's important to keep in mind that some methods of exchanging data move the data and then a freeze it, so the information transferred cannot be altered after the exchange. Other methods

"O

r move the data into the other application and allow it to be dynamically manipulated.

Note Microsoft Project has particularly convenient and robust methods for exchanging information with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook.

These methods are covered in their own chapters: Chapter 17, "Integrating Microsoft Project with Microsoft Excel," and Chapter 18, "Integrating Microsoft Project with Microsoft Outlook."

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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