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When implementing Microsoft Project into your organisation, it’s important to first understand the differences between Project Online, Desktop and Web to identify which platform is right for your business and users needs.

So let’s take a look at the different versions of Project and what they offer the end-user:

Project Desktop:

Originally released in 1984, Project Desktop allows users to develop a schedule, assign tasks, track progress and manage budgets. The desktop version suits users who don’t require cloud-based collaboration tools for project management. This version is ideal for those requiring detailed schedules of one Project by itself. It allows users to manage tasks, projects, resources and timesheets.

Project Desktop is available in two different versions:


      • Does not allow users to connect to Project Online or Project Servers
      • Has Team Planner view to help manage Team work
      • Has Inactive Tasks feature for "what-if" testing
      • Can synchronise with SharePoint task lists
      • Can use proposed or committed booking types

Ideal for: Project Managers, Management, Business Analysts.

Project Online:

First released in 2000, Project Online is designed for Project Portfolio Management (PPM). It is built on the SharePoint platform requiring its data to be stored in the SharePoint data store. Project Online is ideal for when managing multiple projects at once and allowing oversight across multiple projects in one view.

Team member functionality for Project Online is available through a Project Online Essentials subscription. Project Online Essentials is a team member add-on subscription for customers who have Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 subscriptions. It gives team members a web interface to perform task and time updates to projects managed in Project Online. 

Ideal for: Administrators, Managers, Team Members and Team Leads.

Project for the Web:

Released in 2019, Project for the Web is Microsoft’s most recent offering. It offers stripped down capabilities of the previous two, making it the perfect offering for simple and fast projects. Data is stored in the Common Data Service (CDS) and as it’s built on the Power Platform, Power Apps can be built and incorporated into the user experience. Project for the Web is available through Project Plan 1, 3 and 5 subscriptions.

Ideal for: Project Managers, Business Analysts, Developers. 

To view our range of Microsoft Project Courses click the button below. 

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