Tell Microsoft to fully support custom fields in Project for the web

If you use OnePager with Microsoft Project Online, take note: Project Online’s days are numbered. Although Microsoft has not committed to a firm date, it intends at some point to sunset Project Online in favor of Project for the web, a fully cloud-resident PPM offering that is built on the Microsoft Dataverse rather than on SharePoint.

OnePager will introduce an integration with Project for the web in its 7.2 release in 2023. Theoretically, when Microsoft flips the switch, OnePager users who previously brought in their data from Project Online will be able to instead bring in their data from Project for the web.

I say “theoretically” because Project for the web is far from a finished product, as I wrote in a recent MPUG article. That article detailed numerous deficiencies of Project for the web — the most important of which, for OnePager users, is the lack of third-party application support for custom fields.

Project Online has over 400 predefined fields; at last count, Project for the web has 16. That means a project of any complexity will require heavy use of custom fields to get the same information across. The good news is, Project for the web has a custom field capability that will look familiar to Project Online users. For instance, you can define a Yes/No field named “Flag20” and put “Yes” and “No” values in the column.

The bad news is, custom fields from Project for the web cannot be read by third-party applications like OnePager, and we need your help asking Microsoft to make these fields available.

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OnePager’s Next Integration

Earlier this year, after years of focusing primarily on the Microsoft Project user base, we announced two new connections to Smartsheet and Oracle Primavera P6 as a part of our 7.1 release. We’re continuing to evaluate new connections, and would like feedback from our existing customers as to which would be helpful:

Take the Survey

In the survey, we’ll ask you which connections you’re using today, and which connections you think might be helpful in the future as your company grows its use of OnePager. If you’re happy with the connections that we offer today and don’t see a need for anything else right now, that would be helpful for us to know as well.

We look forward to your feedback!

OnePager 7.1: Seeking Beta Testers

We are excited to announce that we’ll be releasing a beta of our new OnePager version 7.1 in the next few weeks. A lot of users have already reached out and asked to be a part of our beta program for version 7.1, but if this is the first that you’re hearing about it, there is still room for you to join.

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OnePager Supports Windows 11

A few weeks ago, we confirmed OnePager’s support for Office 2021 and Project 2021. Now, on the heels of that certification, we are pleased to announce that OnePager also supports Windows 11.

As you are probably aware, Microsoft announced the pre-release of Windows 11 in late June and begin shipping preview builds on June 28th. We immediately commenced our testing efforts to ensure that any of our users who take an early release of Windows 11 will be in good shape when it comes to OnePager.

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Microsoft Project 2021 and Office LTSC Certification

We are pleased to report that OnePager has certified that the latest versions of Project and Office, due out in late 2021, are compatible with the latest versions of OnePager. As a Microsoft Certified Partner, we always get early access to the latest updates from Microsoft to ensure that we test OnePager well in advance of those same updates being pushed to you, our end users.

Our certification process involved testing OnePager 7.0 against the following upcoming releases from Microsoft:

  • Microsoft Project Professional 2021 has been certified for use with OnePager Pro 7.0.
  • Microsoft Office 2021 has been certified for use with OnePager Express 7.0.
  • Microsoft Office LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) has been certified for use with OnePager Express 7.0. Office LTSC is a new version of Office designed for highly-regulated devices or devices in secure or classified environments (SCIFs).

If you use Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), you may soon receive the same updates from Microsoft that are covered under these perpetual license releases, and can expect similar results with respect to OnePager compatibility.

OnePager issued patent for Smart Text Optimization

We’re excited to announce OnePager was issued its seventh U.S. patent today, for Smart Text Optimization, a new feature available in version 7.0.

Numerous users of pre-7.0 versions of OnePager told us that their initial charts were full of text collisions, which required manual repositioning of labels to make them suitable for presentations. We honed an algorithm that sequentially applies a series of strategies to avoid these collisions, seeking to produce the best-looking output with the minimum user effort.

Our users’ feedback helped us refine this new technology, so thank you! Let us know how you’re using Smart Text Optimization and what improvements remain to be made.

OnePager 7.0 is Here!

We are pleased to announce that OnePager 7.0 is now available to the general public. We would also like to extend a heartfelt thanks to our many beta testers who have provided us with feedback since April.

Here’s what’s new in OnePager 7.0:

  • Multiple Swimlane Levels – Group and sort into up to three levels of nested swimlanes to better illustrate the hierarchy of your projects and programs.
  • Smart Text Optimization – Optimize the whitespace in your chart so that text is easier to read and less likely to overlap.
  • Refreshed User Interface – All screens, forms, and buttons have been beautifully redesigned for a clean, modern look.
  • Easier Timeline and Gantt Chart Layouts – Quickly switch between timeline and Gantt chart layouts, and decide whether you want overlapping tasks to align or stagger.
  • Easier Text Editing – New point-and-click editing lets you more easily fine-tune the formatting of individual text elements in the chart.
  • Advanced Swimlane & Text Column Formatting – New striping and background options make it easier to add color where you need it.
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Working from home? We’ve made spare license keys easy.

Photo Credit: Doreen Salcher, Dreamstime.com

We’ve gotten a lot of questions over the last week about how OnePager plans to accommodate licenses for users that need to work remotely due to COVID-19.

If you are using the same computer that you use at work, then you should not experience any interruption as most users’ licenses do not require network connectivity or a VPN to remain active. If your company has an enterprise license that was activated on a server behind your firewall, it should also continue to remain active on that device.

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Why it’s Important to Keep OnePager Up to Date

We’d like to remind all of our users, especially those who have been with us for a while, to keep their installations of OnePager current. OnePager interfaces directly with components from Windows, Microsoft Project, Project Online, and Excel. Microsoft periodically makes updates to Windows, Office, and Project, especially if you are using Office 365. If you’re running an outdated version of OnePager, there’s a possibility that you could encounter issues that we’ve already fixed in a later update.

Photo Credit: Guilia Poggiali

Many IT departments are very good about installing Windows Updates as soon as they come out, and doing the same with Office updates. OnePager isn’t always top-of-mind for them, so we occasionally see cases where the IT department stays on top of updates from Microsoft but forgets to maintain OnePager. This is akin to rotating the tires on your car every 10,000 miles but never changing the oil. The tires will be in great shape, but your engine might end up giving you a nasty surprise!

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OnePager Issued Patent for Non-Linear Time Axis

Last October, we told you about the non-linear time axis feature of OnePager version 6.1. This new feature allows you to call out a portion of your timeline — making, say, the third quarter of 2019 wider than the second and fourth quarters, so the tasks and milestones from Q3 stand out. OnePager users had been asking for this feature for years, and have been enthusiastic about this new capability.

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