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Swimlane Timeline Compared to OnePager

At first glance, OnePager and Swimlane Timeline may appear to be able to generate the same types of timelines and Gantt charts. However, OnePager excels at ease-of-use, flexibility, and overall application performance and stability.

Swimlane Timeline's reliance on outdated Visio technology ultimately limits its ability to offer what OnePager does, despite comparable pricing between the two applications.

OnePager also offers best-in-class technical support. Have a question? Just call us--we'll be happy to help, and we won't charge you by the hour! In the meantime, we've prepared a side-by-side comparison of some of the most important features of OnePager and Swimlane Timeline below.


Screenshots taken using default, out-of-box settings with minimal customization, other than removal of headers and footers for cleanliness. Results will vary based on source data and settings selected by the user.


Overview

OnePager

Swimlane Timeline

Description

OnePager is a leading project reporting application that interfaces with Microsoft Project, Project Server, Project Online, or Excel. OnePager creates presentation-ready Gantt charts and timelines that can easily be shared in PowerPoint, PDF, or SharePoint.

Swimlane Timeline is a Visio plug-in that can import data from different Office applications such as Project or Excel. Swimlane Timeline's project reports are created as Visio diagrams.

Type of application

Preferred Installs as a standalone application, with the option to also launch from Microsoft Project or Excel as an add-in.

Non-Preferred Visio add-in. Visio licenses must be purchased separately at an added cost in order to use Swimlane Timeline.

Full-Featured Trial License

Preferred OnePager's trial license is fully-functional, which makes for a more realistic evaluation experience. No features are disabled or limited, and demonstration charts are not watermarked. OnePager's trial is for 15 days, and can be extended for longer periods upon request.

Non-Preferred Swimlane Timeline disables or limits several features of its 30-day trial software:

  1. Users cannot save charts created during the trial.
  2. Multi-project imports are limited to only three files during the trial.
  3. Charts created with trial software are watermarked.


Compatibility

OnePager

Swimlane Timeline

Standalone Application

Preferred OnePager can be run as a standalone application and can launch independently from Project or Excel. This is increasingly the preference of corporate IT departments, since certain add-ins can pose security risks.

Organizations that prefer add-ins may continue to use OnePager as an add-in.

Preferred Swimlane Timeline only works as an add-in. While not a security risk itself, IT departments often blanket-disable add-ins for security reasons, which blocks Swimlane Timeline from running.

International Compatible

Supported by OnePager OnePager works with all international and regional configurations of Windows and Office.

Not supported by Swimlane Timeline Limited non-English support for Office. If you want to run Swimlane Timeline successfully and are outside the US, you have to switch Microsoft Office into English language.

View Swimlane Timeline Example >

Easy Upgrades

Supported by OnePager Install newer versions of OnePager without having to uninstall older versions first.

Supported by OnePager All newer versions of OnePager will continue to work with old and new versions of Microsoft Project, Project Server, and Project Online.

Not supported by Swimlane Timeline Users must uninstall older versions of Swimlane Timeline before upgrading to a newer version.

Not supported by Swimlane Timeline While newer versions of Swimlane Timeline continue to work with older and newer versions of Project, Visio compatibility can be an issue. The latest version of Swimlane Timeline (v10 as of this article's last update) is not compatible with Visio 2010. Users of Visio 2010 will either need to purchase a newer version of Visio or remain on an older (v9) release of Swimlane Timeline.

Install without Admin Rights

Supported by OnePager OnePager installers are digitally-signed by a third-party security company. This ensures that you won't receive warning messages when installing or running the application without admin rights.

Not Supported by Swimlane Timeline Admin rights are required to install Swimlane Timeline.


Speed and Performance

OnePager

Swimlane Timeline

Single Project (50 lines)

Preferred 9 seconds to create a new timeline

View OnePager Example >

Non-Preferred 22 seconds to create a timeline from the same data, more than twice as slow as OnePager.

View Swimlane Timeline Example >

Multiple Projects (3 plans at 3 lines each)

Preferred 7 seconds to create a new multi-project timeline

View OnePager Example >

Non-Preferred 21 seconds to create a timeline from the same three files, three times slower than OnePager.

View Swimlane Timeline Example >


Performance metrics are given as a relative guide, not as an absolute guarantee of the precise amount of time that it takes to create a chart in either application. Measurements were taken using default application settings on a 64-bit Windows 10 computer with 6.00 GB RAM and 1.70 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, running 32-bit Office 2019, Visio 2019, and Project Professional 2019. Results will vary with other system configurations and when using different application settings. Times measured begin after source file(s) are selected and end when the view appears in the editor without any wait cursors or progress bars.


Support and Training

OnePager

Swimlane Timeline

Professional Support Ticketing

Preferred Submit a support ticket by phone, by e-mail, or online and receive a confirmed case number within minutes. All tickets have a guaranteed response time.

Non-Preferred Not offered.

Wiki Documentation

Preferred Searchable wiki with hundreds of in-depth articles covering basic to advanced features.

Non-Preferred Not offered.

Support Videos

Preferred Available.

Non-Preferred Available.

FAQs

Preferred Categorized FAQs updated with each release.

Non-Preferred Not offered.

LinkedIn Users Group

Preferred Free to join.

Non-Preferred Not offered.

Training

Preferred Available.

Non-Preferred Available.


Data Connections

OnePager

Swimlane Timeline

Microsoft Project

Supported by OnePager Import one or more Microsoft Project schedules quickly and easily. No need to pre-load anything into Microsoft Project first, though pre-loading is available as an option if desired.

OnePager can do its import behind-the-scenes, so that users don't have to see the inner-workings of the application.

View OnePager Example >

Not supported by Swimlane Timeline Swimlane Timeline requires that documents be opened in Microsoft Project before they can be read. This means that you either need to open your Microsoft Project plan(s) before starting Swimlane Timeline, or that Swimlane Timeline needs to do it for you.

When Swimlane Timeline launches Project to import a plan, users will see the application switching from Visio to Microsoft Project, and then back again, which can be jarring.

View Swimlane Timeline Example >

Microsoft Excel

Supported by OnePager Supported.

Supported by Swimlane Timeline Supported.

Seamless Multi-Project Support

Supported by OnePager Quickly and easily build a timeline from multiple Excel or Project plans. OnePager gives users the option to run outside of Microsoft Project, allowing it to import multiple files silently, without needing to launch a visible Microsoft Project session, allowing for minimal disruption to the end user.

View OnePager Example >

Not Supported by Swimlane Timeline While multi-file reporting is supported, each file must be opened individually in an active Microsoft Project or Excel session, which can take additional time and system resources. In extreme cases, this can cause Project or Excel to crash because it runs out of memory due to having opened and closed too many files in rapid succession.

Swimlane Timeline's need to read data through an active Microsoft Project/Excel session also means that users will often see Microsoft Project launch as a part of the import process, if it wasn't running previously. The switching between Visio, to Project, then back can be disruptive to end users.

View Swimlane Timeline Example >

Microsoft Project Server

Supported by OnePager OnePager connects directly to your Project Server environment, eliminating the need to open one or more Project Server documents locally on the desktop before creating a report.

OnePager uses Microsoft's latest Project Server APIs, meaning that OnePager can create Project Server reports even if Microsoft Project is not installed on the end-user's computer. OnePager can import enterprise custom fields directly from Project Server, even if those fields are not showing in Microsoft Project.

Non-Preferred Swimlane Timeline can read Project Server data, but only if the data is passed through Microsoft Project first. This means that anytime a user wants to create or update a timeline, the Project Server document must be loaded into Microsoft Project. This is also true of enterprise custom fields: they must be displayed in the local Microsoft Project file in order for Swimlane Timeline to be able to use them.

Depending on the size of the schedule, this can take considerable time and system resources.

Project Online

Preferred Direct connection to Project Online, just like Project Server. No local Microsoft Project installation is required.

Non-Preferred Only reads Project Online data through Microsoft Project. This often requires a paid upgrade to later versions of Microsoft Project, since most earlier Project versions do not support Project Online connections, and therefore cannot be used by Swimlane Timeline.


Key Features

OnePager

Swimlane Timeline

Multi-Page Reports

Supported by OnePager Create multi-page project reports with an unlimited number of tasks. OnePager will automatically insert page breaks as needed when your chart is first created, or you can customize where page breaks appear with an easy drag-and-drop interface after the fact. Advanced page scaling and fitting are also supported.

Not supported by Swimlane Timeline Swimlane Timeline draws everything into a single-page Visio document. Users must export from Visio to another format in order to paginate a large document. Unfortunately, this means that:

  • Users have no control over where page breaks appear
  • Users cannot edit a multi-page document after it has been paginated, since it is no longer in Visio after exporting.

Point and Click Conditional Formatting

Supported by OnePager OnePager's patented conditional formatting engine lets users automatically control the color, shape, size, border, and font of items on the timeline, all based on existing Microsoft Project or Excel data. No programming experience is required thanks to an intuitive point-and-click conditional formatting wizard.

Conditional formatting will be automatically reapplied each time you add a new snapshot (version) to your schedule, and you will have the ability to track different formatting over the different dated versions of your project, all in a single OnePager chart. Navigate between snapshots to see the colors and shapes change dynamically in accordance with how your project is changing.

In the event that you ever need to manually adjust a color or a shape, OnePager's conditional formatting will yield to that manual formatting, while continuing to assign dynamic formatting elsewhere in the chart. Users can easily revert from a manual format to a conditional format if desired.

Not supported by Swimlane Timeline Available, but does not track different conditional formats across multiple snapshots in the same chart, and overwrites manual edits without prompting the user.

Templates

Supported by OnePager Supported

Supported by Swimlane Timeline Supported

Versioned History of a Project Using Snapshots

Supported by OnePager OnePager's patented snapshot capability allows a single timeline to have multiple versions at different dates. This allows for project managers to create an audit trail week-by-week or month-by-month, tracking project changes over time.

Not Supported by Swimlane Timeline Not supported.

Instant Timeline Updates

Preferred With a single button click, OnePager will reimport data from Project or Excel and update any changes to the timeline in real-time. All updates are done quickly and seamlessly, so that the end user gets updates instantaneously.

Non-Preferred Swimlane Timeline does allow for updating, but it is more involved than OnePager. As is the case with building a new Swimlane Timeline report, individual data files have to be reopened back in Microsoft Project or Excel before any updates can be made. This causes a good amount of back and forth between Visio and Project/Excel before updates are visible.

Standard Milestone Shapes

Preferred 200+ shapes available

Non-Preferred 15 shapes available

Custom Milestone Shapes

Preferred Custom milestone shapes can be designed to meet end user specifications. Custom milestones can be added to OnePager at any time, and do not not require a major release cycle.

Supported Supported

Graphics style

Preferred PowerPoint

Non-Preferred Visio/CAD

Export to PowerPoint, E-mail, PDF, etc.

Supported by OnePager Pro Yes

Supported by Swimlane Timeline Yes

Display additional Microsoft Project or Excel data in Text Columns, row by row

Supported by OnePager Pro Additional data columns can be displayed on the chart if users need space to annotate dates, costs, resource, status, or other text-based information.

Non-Preferred Swimlane Timeline supports Summary Fields, which are a useful way to sum numeric data within a swimlane. However, Swimlane Timeline does not support text columns that provide a value for each row in the chart, which is required to display non-numeric data such as dates, resources, or other text-based data that cannot be summed.


Data Integrity

OnePager

Swimlane Timeline

Guaranteed reporting accuracy out of Microsoft Project and Excel

Supported by OnePager Pro Yes

  • Microsoft Project and Excel are the only data source driving a OnePager chart and cannot be corrupted.
  • Task/milestone dates are always be based on real data.
  • Percent complete values are always be based on real data.

Not Supported by Swimlane Timeline No

  • Visio documents can be unlocked and edited free-form, creating room for inaccuracies in the timeline.
  • Percent complete values can be dragged out of sync with the project plan.
  • The time axis can be overwritten manually instead of adhering to a strict calendar.

Protects against changes to Project or Excel data

Supported by OnePager Pro OnePager is 100% read-only and never makes any changes to the underlying Microsoft Project or Excel data. This ensures that the project plan remains a clean, consistent source of record.

Not Supported by Swimlane Timeline Before importing data, Swimlane Timeline temporarily reformats several key Microsoft Project fields.

Most corporate IT departments disapprove of third-party applications making unauthorized changes to their data, no matter how trivial those changes may seem.

The example below illustrates the date reformatting that Swimlane Timeline performs on source data prior to importing. In newer versions, this reformatting is not immediately visible to end users, but can be observed if the user happens to make Microsoft Project visible during the import process.

View Swimlane Timeline Example >

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Microsoft is a registered service mark of Microsoft Corporation. Original product comparison made in October, 2016 between Swimlane Timeline 7.4 and OnePager Pro & Express v5.3. Revised product comparison made in June, 2020 between Swimlane Timeline v10.11 and OnePager Pro & Express v6.1. Feature comparison subject to change in future versions.