How to Install the SDK for Primavera P6
Written on . By Tracy Mah
Are you an automations engineer and like do-it-yourself projects? Perhaps you’re an advanced planner and scheduler with a technical background, who would like to develop a faster and easier way to load data into your projects. Having a similar background is extremely handy because it will save your company significantly in costs in buying finished integration/data loading products.
Beware… you should always do a cost-benefit analysis when spending time on a consuming project such as programming your own spreadsheet to work with P6. Is it worth your time and return on investment, versus buying a finished product out right? Make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting into with a solution you either build yourself or purchase. These products, take hours to build by expert developers in the field, which is why they are so expensive – but it could cost you the same if you spend a long time doing it yourself.
What is the SDK?
Primavera comes with a great tool called the Software Development Kit, which is an optional component that comes with your purchase of the license. Essentially, the SDK will help make your data available to other external applications and it can help facilitate integration to other databases. If you have knowledge of database schema or how the data is stored in your database, the projects you enter into P6 are stored into tables from fields. The SDK basically gives you access to those tables of data in the backend. However, you must have a good understanding of how to map your data carefully, exactly to the right field, which is why your project will have all those unique IDs for projects, activities, WBS, code values, etc.
For the developer, here is an extremely helpful Primavera Software Development Kit Programmer’s Guide which is free and online. It will explain the schema in further detail and is a great resource for custom-builds.
These tools don’t necessarily use the SDK as they are finished products built by a team of developers. The integration API, included with EPPM, is a code that allows for P6 to integrate and exchange data with third party applications. Applications that utilize the API typically get a one-to-one integration of information and the systems will tend to speak to and update each other. Sounds easy? It definitely isn’t. Integrations are messy and take hours and hours to complete. Some of these tools will need continuous support as well, because they are more complex than they look or sound. As of 2015, we partnered with a couple of these developers to offer some cool new items:
Legare – This tool is modular and can provide basic one-to-one mapping from simpler sources (such as excel, MS project, etc.) to more complicated sources (such as JD Edwards, SAP, etc.). It is an extremely powerful product and can help consolidate your bucket loading, especially if you are receiving different data sources.
Project Tracker – A very user-friendly software that will read your project files (they must be exported outside of the database as it is not integrated with the program) and turn the data into S-curves and graphical analysis. The software can pinpoint data at certain points in your project, filter down to each level, resource, etc. of your project.
User-built and provided tools
There is a huge online community out there that have shared and developed tools to help you be a more efficient and streamlined user of P6. However, many of these tools are customized to the person who built them, so they can be hard to use. Programmed excel spreadsheets are the most common ones I have seen and I find it fantastic that there are some generous users out there willing to donate their hours of effort in building these applications to help others in similar dilemmas. Some popular tools that can be found online (Plan Academy has posted some really good ones):
P6XL Bridge – An excel tool that uses the SDK that can help you with massive, complicated data manipulations and changes (similar to Global Changes) without the need for manual data entry if it cannot be done in P6’s native functionalities. There are some tutorials out there that exist to help you use this tool.
P6 Project Dashboard in Excel – This tool will help you create reports and dashboards in ways that P6’s native reporting capabilities cannot. We all know that the S-curves are very simplistic and from what I’ve seen, some companies will have people built more detailed graphs in excel.
Primavera SDK Tools – Even Oracle has provided some excel spreadsheets to help you with importing data.
For Release 8 and below
This assumes you’ve successfully configured EPPM or PPM and also installed the SDK component.
1. Run Setup.exe from the installation media. This file will always be located with the Professional Client installation source.
2. Select the option for Software Development Kit under Other Components. Click Next.
Note: DO NOT UNCHECK the Primavera Client Applications. That will uninstall the client.
3. Click the install button.
4. An instruction box will appear. Please read the instruction box entirely, and then click OK.
5. Select the driver type from the drop down list for the SDK to connect to your database, then click Next.
6. For Oracle Users: Enter the Oracle Service name in the Oracle Connect Sting box, over-writing the Database Name entry. Click Next.
7. Note: Your system must have the Oracle Client software installed on your machine and configured to connect to the database you wish to connect the SDK.
8. For MS SQL/MSDE Users: Enter the SQL Server Host Name (i.e. Machine Name). Enter the SQL Database Name. This is the database name as it appears in the SQL Server Enterprise Manager. Click Next.
9. The installation wizard will check your database connection once you click Next. If successful, click Finish. If unsuccessful, please verify the information.
10. Setup will display the Borland Data Engine Configuration Box. Click the Ok button. If the information in the Database Alias (BDE) box is blank, click on the create database alias and follow the instructions above depending on the type of database connection chosen.
11. The Installation Complete Box will appear. Click Finish
For Release 8 and Standalone Oracle XE Database
Oracle discontinued offering their XE database with the newer releases of P6, but there may be the odd few that still have their database configured. Although it is slightly faster, many opt for MS SQL because it is less complicated to manage and fix.
1. Double-click setup.exe in the P6 EPPM physical media or download. This file will always be located with the Professional Client installation source.
2. At the Setup Maintenance program screen, choose to Modify the current installation and click Next.
3. On the Select Features to install dialog box, select the Software Development Kit option and click Next.
4. On the Ready to Install the Program screen, click Install to begin the installation.
5. After reading the explanation of the remaining process, click on the OK button to proceed to the Database Configuration Wizard.
6. Configure the Database Connection for the P6 SDK to a Standalone Oracle XE Database
7. In the Select Driver Type dialog box, select Oracle and click Next.
8. In the Configure Oracle Connection dialog box, enter the Oracle connection string as XE and click Next.
9. In the Enter Public Login Information dialog box, enter the following information for a default standalone Oracle XE database:
– Username: pubprm$pm
– Password: pubprm$pm
– Public group ID: 1
NOTE: If these settings were changed by you or the administrator, enter the new values here.
10. In the Validate Database Connection dialog box, click Next to test the database connection.
11. If the connection was not successful, click Back to revise the database information. If the connection was successful, click Finish to complete the database connection configuration. A database alias named PMSDK will be created.
12. On the Primavera Software Development Kit Setup dialog box, change the public group ID, password, and username fields to match the values entered in step 3 during the database configuration and click OK to create an ODBC DSN named Primavera P6 SDK.
- Public group ID: 1
- Password: pubprm$pm
- Username: pubprm$pm
NOTE: If these settings were changed by you or the administrator, enter the new values here.
13. If the log file directory does not exist, click Yes, when prompted, to create one.
14. Click Finish to complete the installation.
Source: My Oracle Support
The main question is, is it worth your time to utilize these free solutions while you have access to them? Or is it worth your money to purchase a finished product that will do the same thing and more? The answer to these questions will be different for everyone, because time is money. It would also depend on your expertise and the amount of time you think you’d spend on learning some of the solutions mentioned above. It is very risky if you do not know what you are doing, so please make backups of your projects before exploring some of this fun stuff. If you are worried about solutions being too expensive, a good way to get the tools you need is to expense them with your project, rather than through your department/general budget.