Import your .mpp files to Project for the web through Project home

One of the features released in May 2021 is “Import your .mpp files to Project for the web through Project Home”.

To give you a reason why this is a big announcement. Project desktop client is a great product for project planning and tracking by single user.

Now, project management is decentralized and almost every stakeholders wants to be involved in project planning and execution for which Project desktop is not the solution. Project desktop doesn’t have collaboration features to support editing as well as viewing the plan simultaneously or even give real time feedback.

Project for the web is a cloud-based project management solution with capabilities to customize its experience to meet your organization needs and also it can be used by managers and team members at the same time. What’s even more is now you can import the .mpp file to Project for the web to start this journey.

I spent a few hours on this new feature – Import your .mpp files to Project for the web through Project Home. This post is my experience and what you should be aware of about this feature.

I created the below plan using Project Professional 2016 desktop client. This plan had different types of tasks such as inactive/active, four constraint types, deadlines, predecessor, successor, empty tasks, custom columns, sub projects, auto scheduled/manually scheduled tasks, with / w/o resources assigned, for demonstration purpose.

I had Project Plan 1 license (the import feature will also work in Project Plan 3 and Project Plan 5 licenses too).

The import is pretty straight forward.

In Project home, selected “Import from Project desktop” and choose the .mpp file.

The Import complete message displayed the features that are not supported.

As you can notice – deadlines, manual tasks, resources, constraints, and inactive tasks are not supported yet in Project for the web. It was surprising to see the sub project in the project was not listed in this message. Let’s see how it is handled.

Refer to the above image, to follow the changes.

  1. Project summary task in Project desktop is now the name of the project
  2. Imported project had two custom Number fields – Number1 (renamed to Number of days) and Number2 (without any title / field name). Number of days custom field alone is imported as Project for the web expects title/column name to add custom fields. Also note a project can have only 10 custom fields (Date or Yes/No or Number or Text types)
  3. Only Start No Earlier Than and Finish No Earlier than constraint is supported in Project for the Web. So other constraints are changed to As soon as possible.
  4. Empty tasks are just empty tasks. They are not removed Tasks with blank name is imported while an empty line (completely blank) will not be imported. Thanks to @Heather (Microsoft) for pointing this.
  5. Don’t expect the sub project or its tasks to imported. The top level tasks of the sub project is added as a normal tasks

If you are planning to import .mpp file to Project for the web, be sure to read the limits and boundaries to projects and tasks.

I strongly feel this feature would be time-saver, and as more features are supported, Project for the web will be clean solution to provide simple collaborative solution for project management.


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