Can Merlin Project View Files from Microsoft Project?
Yes, Merlin Project can open and import MS Project files. It supports following formats for import:
- MS Project .MPP - versions 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016
- Project .XML
- MS Project .MPX - legacy format - discontinued with Project 2000
To view Microsoft Project files just open them in Merlin Project.
Merlin Project also supports export in Project XML files. To export, call File -> Export -> MS Project.
MS Project users open Project XML Files thus.
Data Conversion Notes
Since the concepts of both programs are quite different in individual cases, one or more messages may appear in Merlin Project after importing an MS Project file:
- Cost resources have not been imported because Merlin Project does not support them. However, their assignment costs have been converted into base costs.
There are no cost resources in Merlin Project. In order to calculate the values contained in them anyway, they are stored on the base costs.
- The value 'x' on element 'y' could not be imported and was ignored.
This shows in detail the values that were not imported into Merlin Project due to different calculations or data structures.
- Empty task rows were not imported because Merlin Project does not support this concept. Subsequent row numbers were changed by this. Note that outline or WBS codes can always be used as a stable reference to activities.
Merlin Project does not support blank lines between tasks, as the various sorting and grouping functions would repeatedly conflict with blank lines.
- Percentaged lags on dependencies were ignored. Merlin Project does not support this concept.
Merlin Project does not support different transaction types and therefore does not support buffering. If they are required, a normal transaction can be used for this purpose.
- Milestones with non-zero work or duration or with unequal actual start and finish have been imported as regular activities because Merlin does not support these configurations.
We don't know what led Microsoft to the decision to give milestones duration or even work. By definition, a milestone is completed or not completed. Therefore we cannot import these values.
- Milestones with 99% completion have been imported as being 100% complete as Merlin Project does not support this configuration.
From Microssoft's previous decision, it naturally follows that a milestone can also be completed differently than 0% or 100%. Since we do not want to follow this assumption either, we cannot import these values.
- The constraint dates of some tasks lie before the project start date. Merlin Project treats this situation differently than MS Project so their scheduled dates may differ.
We don't know why Microsoft allows tasks to be created before the project starts. Therefore, we postpone the project start to the first activity date in the file.
- The constraint dates of some tasks lie after the project end date. Merlin Project treats this situation differently than MS Project so their scheduled dates may differ.
Analogous to the project start, MS Project also allows you to create activities after the end of the project. This is also not possible in Merlin Project. Therefore the project end is moved to the end of the last task.
- Assignments without a valid resource could not be imported and were ignored.
If a resource is not included in Merlin Project, no task can be assigned to it.
- Actual start or finish dates on some activites have not been imported because they contradict the values on the assignments. Merlin Project does not support this configuration.
If an assignment does not have the same logical start & end dates of the operation, further work with the operations above would always lead to logical problems. Therefore we cannot import the data.