Product News

EPS 2011 SP1 Update

The following features are being implemented in EPS 2011 SP1 which will be released October, 2011.

Hammock Tasks
Hammock tasks can now be created that derive their information from milestones or key tasks in a source project.  This is useful for summarizing of detailed plans into tasks that are better suited for different types of analysis.  For example, one business unit is in charge of project scheduling, while another needs to estimate resources for key project phases.

Multiple Divisions

EPS will support multiple Divisions. Divisions can represent individual sets of project data within the same instance of EPS.  Users can be granted access to multiple divisions as needed, and switch between divisions while using EPS.  Each division can link to a different MS Project Server.

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Right-click Menus
Many toolbar options are now available in right-click context menus.  The options that appear in the menu are different depending upon the selected items.  Click on the grid row to access.

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Hide and Show Columns
Columns can be hidden.  It is useful for certain types of analysis.  Columns can be hidden or shown by right-clicking on the column headers.  The hide/show state is saved on a per-user basis.

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Contour Visualizations
A sparkline has been added to the contour view in order to visualize contour trends.  Contour points > 1, which will increase a base value, are shown in green.  Contour points < 1, which will decrease a base value, are shown in pink.

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Expressions in Task Templates
Similar to Resourcing and Financing Templates, Task Templates accept the use of expressions, which can include numeric variables.  This is useful for source project plan’s custom fields to drive task template information.  For example, the source project may contain information about survival or variability that can be used for the tasks when the template is applied.

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Breadcrumb Navigation
In views that are hierarchical in nature (Project Repository, Portfolios, and Scenarios), you will see a breadcrumb element above the grid.  Breadcrumbs make it easy to:

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  • See which item or items are currently selected in the grid below.
  • Quickly switch between parent items using the drop down. 
  • Navigate back up a level by clicking on the link.

Simultaneous Simulation Support
Scenarios can now be simulated simultaneously.  When the user selects more than one scenario to run, the scenarios can run at the same time, up to the number of simultaneous simulations defined when EPS was installed.

Reporting Enhancements
Cost/Revenue Totals Report
This report allows analysis of the total cost and revenues accrued in any given time frame and supports percentiles.
Expanded Resource Work Report Options
This report previously had four separate series for 8-hour days and 24-hour days.  Now, there are only two ‘Work …’ series, and work can be displayed in minutes, hours, 8-hour days, and 24-hour days.

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Export Report Images
Report charts can be saved to an image file, with or without the legend, by right-clicking on any blank area of a chart.

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Displaying Unfinished Gantt Tasks
Tasks that don’t complete before the simulation completes, are displayed and the simulation end date is used when calculating average finish dates.  In this case, these tasks are highlighted with a red border to denote that the average finish dates may use the simulation end date for one or more replications. 

Save Grids to Excel
You can save an entire grid to an Excel file.  This option is accessed by right-clicking on the top-left cell of a grid.

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Restrict Users to ‘My Items’
In some views, the user may be restricted to viewing and editing only the items they have created or last edited.  This permission is set in the User – Permissions view.

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Additional Features

The following additional features have been or are scheduled for implementation in EPS 2011 SP1.

  • Additional Simulation Status and Cancel.  A new status icon is shown after a scenario is checked to run and begins loading for simulation.  Simulations can now be canceled by clicking on the running icon.
  • The Financial – Productivity report now supports stacking by projects, tasks, and attributes.
  • The wildcard character (*) can now be entered in a Date type attribute field for the templates.  This is useful for defining a date as a matching criterion for some template row, while ignoring the matching for others.  Text and Number type attributes also support the wildcard, while Flag types do not.
  • Point labels are no longer shown for data point with a ‘0’ value.
  • Report tabs text can be edited.
  • Report attribute filters now group the attributes by type.  I.e. task, project, and resource type attributes have their own groups.
  • Various performance improvements have been made to the database queries and other general functionality.

ProModel, MedModel, ServiceModel, and Process Simulator

The next updates and releases of Process Simulator, ProModel, MedModel, and ServiceModel will be announced at our Predictive Analytics with Simulation conference in Orlando, Florida.

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