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Getting Started with the 4castplus MS Project App Link

 The 4castplus Microsoft Project App Link provides you with real-time integration between your project in MS Project and the equivalent project in 4castplus. The AppLink is a desktop Application that manages the synchronization between the two systems. As such, to take advantage of this integration, you’ll need to have three Applications open concurrently:

  1. 4castplus – through your web browser
  2. 4castplus Microsoft Project App Link
  3. Microsoft Project 2010

 

Download and Launch the App Link

 The first step is to download the Microsoft Project App Link.

  1. Open Projects.
  2. Click on Project and then click on Download MS Project App Link button.  

Access to the AppLink is a permissioned feature - check with your Administrator that you have been enabled with the MSProject Integration permission.

 

 

 

       3. After clicking on the download AppLink button, a download screen will Appear.  Click on Save File.

 

 

 

      4. Click on jAppLinkMSProjectSetup.exe.  After clicking on the file, click on Run.

 

 


 

 

 

6.  The 4castplus App Link - Microsoft Project Setup Wizard will Appear.  Click on Next to start the installation process. 

 

7.  Check the License Terms Acceptance box and click on Next.


 

8. Select the destination folder for the App Link and click on Next.

 

 

 

9. Click on Install to being the installation process.

 


 

10.  Once the App Link has completed installation, click on Finish.

 

 

 A short cut to the App Link will Appear in your Windows Program menu, under Jetsoft Group > App Link MSProject.

 

 

  1. Click on the 4castplus App Link - MSProject link.  The next screen you will see is the App Link log-in.

 

 

Let's take a look at the fields in the Log In screen:

 

  1. Website: choose either the Production or Training website.  Production is your company’s 4castplus account that your data and reports are recorded in.  Training is your company training account, where you can "practice" and self-train on 4castplus and its components.
  2. Email Address: enter the same email address that you use to access your 4castplus account
  3. Password: enter the same password that you use to access your 4castplus account
  4. Click on Log In to open the App Link.

 Now, let's look at the App Link screen and the steps to synchronize your project data:

 

  1. Select the 4castplus Project.  All 4castplus Projects which have been created using a Microsoft project file will be displayed in the upper left hand panel.
  2. Browse to the Microsoft Project file to link to your 4castplus Project.  Microsoft Project will automatically open.

Important!  Your Microsoft Project file must be located on your local hard drive, not a network drive.

  1. Click on Synchronize to sync the two.
  2. The updated information will be presented in the Details screen.

 

I can't see the 4castplus Project I am looking for.

 

Similar to the controls in 4castplus, the App Link has access controls which will only display active projects which you have been assigned to. If you do not see the 4castplus Project you are looking for:

 

  1. The project may not have been created by importing a Microsoft Project schedule. To verify: open up the 4castplus Project WBS. If the WBS was created from a Microsoft Project import, the file name used to create the WBS will be stamped at the top of the WBS.
  2. Verify that you are assigned to the project.
  3. Make sure the project is active 

 

The AppLink Interface

 

The two main functions of the MS Project App Link are:

 

  1. Attaching
  2. Synchronizing

 

 

 

 

To make the initial link between the MS Project project and a 4castplus project, you’ll need to Attach the projects together. Attaching the projects instructs the AppLink as to which MS project file is associated to which 4castplus project.

 

To do this, click on the Attach button in the AppLink.

 

 

 

 

 

When you click on Attach, a 4castplus project list will popup. This is a list of active projects that you are permissioned to access in your 4castplus account. Only projects that are not already attached will show up in this list.

 

Click on the 4castplus project you want to attach to and click Ok.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After clicking OK, another dialog will popup to allow you to select the MS Project file to attach. Navigate to the location of your .mpp MS Project file that you want to link to. Once you locate the project, click Open to make that attachment.

 

 

 

 

Once you’ve selected your MS Project file, the AppLink will validate that these projects can be attached. If any errors are encountered, you’ll see a popup describing the details of the error. In the case of error, you can correct the problem and try attaching again.

 

Once the projects are successfully attached, you’ll see the new project in the project list in the AppLink.

 

 

 

 

Synchronizing Projects

 

Once you’ve attached projects, you can then synchronize on a regular basis to share key data elements between the two projects. Synchronizing follows a set of predefined rules as to what data points are copied back and forth based on the system precedence detailed below.

 

 

 

To synchronize the projects, simply click the Synchronize button. This will update both 4castplus and MS Project at the same time. Your MS Project file should update immediately, however to see the changes in your 4castplus project, you’ll need to refresh the WBS grid or reload the project.

 

 

 

 

 

There is an order of precedence regarding the direction of synchronization for all data points shared. Each data item has an implied system of origin and therefore can only move one way. Put simply, schedule data moves from MS Project to 4castplus, and Cost information moves from 4castplus to MS Project. This restriction is necessary to maintain clarity as to which data points need to be synchronized in which direction.  Each section below that describes the data items will have a directional element to it in that data flows from left to right in the tables.

 

 

 

 

MS Project Data Item Name

4castplus Data Item Name

Start

Start Date

Finish

Finish Date

Duration

Duration

WBS

WBS code

Task Name

Workpackage Name

Critical

Critical (new)

Rollup

Phase or Folder

Budget Level

 

Progress Weight

 

Task Cost Code

Workpackage Cost Code

 

 

 

 

Regardless of whether a change order has affected the project budget, 4castplus will update the “Baseline Cost” value in MS Project. The user can then save this value to a new baseline in MS Project.

 

4castplus Data Item Name

MS Project Data Item Name

Cost Budget

Baseline Cost

Total Actual Cost (Resources-only)

Actual Cost

Total Actual Expenses

Fixed Cost

Cost Budget – Total Actual Cost

Remaining Cost

Actual Labor Hours / Estimate Labor Hours

% Work Complete

Quantity (units completed)

Work

Percent Complete

Physical % Complete

Quantity to Date (unit progress)

Actual Work

 

 

 

 


 

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