RationalPlan 3.9.0: manage actual data, iCalendar and Mac integration

December 12, 2008 in Project Tracking (F)

[prMac.com] Craiova, Romania - Stand By Soft has released RationalPlan 3.9.0, a strong project management software application developed to assist project managers in creating plans, tracking progress, allocating resources, managing budgets and analyzing workload. Whether your application is in the area of construction, engineering, services and consulting, software development or a simple student project, RationalPlan can help you to complete your project on time and within budget.

Here is a list with all the important changes of this version:
* Import of MS Project .mpt template files
* iCalendar integration
* Added actual/remaining data for tasks
* Edit multiple tasks from one shot
* Better Mac integration
* Archive/Restore projects in Multi Project version
* Interval chart printing
* Bug fixes

Current version is adding new powerful features like the management of actual data for tasks, importing MS Project .mpt templates, easier mechanisms for task editing and archiving/restoring projects in Multi Project version. Features from previous versions like email notifications and printing mechanism are improved with iCalendar integration and interval chart printing.

With this version you can import not just .mpp and .xml files but also .mpt project templates created with MS Project. Having a .mpt template that you would like to use? Now there is no problem anymore with RationalPlan. Just import it and there you go... you have a project plan set up in an instance.

Previous version added email notification for resources assignments. Current version continues to improve this mechanism by adding iCalendar integration. The emails received by resources not only display a table with all the assignments but even better you have all this information as an attached .ics file which can be opened with many programs that support iCalendar protocol. The project manager can generate the resources assignments to be displayed as "events" or as "to do" items. Let's take an example. Let's say that you as a resource working on a project are using Gmail as a mail client to receive your periodical assigned tasks. With the help of Google Calendar that integrates just fine with Gmail you will be able to see your assignments on a calendar representation sheet. Nothing more simple. See the image.

Another feature added by version 3.9.0 is the possibility to handle actual and remaining data on tasks like: actual/remaining duration, work, cost, etc. Starting from now you have a better way for tracking your project evolution. You can see what has been done until now and how much there still is to be done. Your costs will be under your control and at every moment you will see how much has been spent and if are still within budged or you need further fundings for your project. All you have to do is to enter the percent completion or the percent work completion on a task and all actual and remaining data are computed. You do not know the completion percentage to be entered? No problem just enter the actual duration or the actual work that has been done on that task and the completion and the rest of data will be computed. Simple but powerful!

Working with RationalPlan application when handling tasks was a bit overwhelming with previous versions when having to create the project plan. Many task editing operations where done in a repetitive manner hence a waste of time and a decreased productivity. Now you can edit multiple tasks in one single move. Do you need to set a certain calendar on a set of tasks? Just select then, open the task details panel and set the working calendar that you need. The same goes for setting a constraint, duration, percent completion, etc. Maybe you even want to assign a resource on multiple tasks because they all require certain skills and experience and that resource is the right one for that kind of job. Do it in just two steps: select desired tasks and again in task details panel ("Resources" tab) select the desired resource(s). And all this process can be done for predecessors, colors and even notes. Your work is just getting more easy don't you think?

Mac users will be happier with the release of this version. Things are starting to change here. We are begining to give an increased attention to you Mac guys. Also your feedback is highly welcomed. For now we can mention that RationalPlan is using "Command" shortcuts as on Mac and not "Control" as on Windows and other minor improvements. So keep an eye on us! We are working on this.

Besides all the above mentioned features and enhancements the Multi Project version has added the possibility to archive and restore projects. This was needed because certain clients that are working on a large scale with a lot of projects just feel the need to move the completed projects in a separate place for future references and in the same time to remove them from the apllication if possible. So the solution was to archive them and to restore them when ever they need to. Hence all you have to do is move to Project Portfolio view select the project that you want to archive and then go to Project > Archive project...

Printing mechanism was also improved. As clients requested now you have the possibility to print charts between selected dates and not just full pages.

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 perfect solution for anyone (from project stakeholders to team workers) to view projects details

RationalPlan is designed as an affordable alternative to Microsoft Project with some extra-features like multiproject management and it is covering project management area from WBS construction, project planning and scheduling to critical path management, over allocated resources detection, progress tracking, cost estimation, etc. Gantt chart support as well as various time line reports are also provided. It offers you the most important capabilities of a good project management software while being able to operate on various platforms starting with Windows, Mac, Linux and all other Java enabled platforms.

Stand By Soft was founded in 2003 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. It has been developed to help small and middle sized companies to plan and manage their projects. Our goal is to make the process of planning projects as short and as straightforward as possible, guiding novice project managers through each step but offering enough tools to those more experienced.


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