Asta Powerproject vs Primavera P6. What are the differences?
Primavera P6 and Powerproject are mainly used as construction project portfolio management solutions. Both are powerful in planning and scheduling mid to large size projects, programs, and portfolios.
However, there are differences and similarities between them. In the following sections we will discover the most important aspects of Asta Powerproject vs Primavera P6 in more details.
Overview of Primavera P6 and Powerproject
Primavera P6, also called Oracle Primavera P6, is a project portfolio management software that operates using locally installed or cloud-based database. It supports scheduling, project portfolio, resource, collaboration, issue, risk, opportunity, and document management.
In addition to workflow and reporting, Oracle Primavera has two solutions:
- Primavera P6 PPM (Project Portfolio Management) which is a standalone, on-premises desktop version.
- Primavera P6 (cloud) or Primavera EPPM (Enterprise Project Portfolio Management) designed to manage multiple projects and for large scale-projects which is a cloud-based version operates using a web browser.
See a detailed comparison of Primavera P6 PPM vs Primavera P6 EPPM.
Powerproject is a project, portfolio management, planning and scheduling software designed primarily for construction projects. One of the most important and unique features is its integration with 4D BIM simulation.
4D BIM simulation is the linking between building information modeling and scheduling information. In addition to its scheduling and 4D BIM simulation, it is scalable, supports small to large projects, resource management, collaboration and integrated with mobile app.
History and developer
Primavera is originally developed and launched by Primavera Systems Inc, which is an US private company founded in 1983. Oracle Corporation acquired Primavera Software in 2008.
Powerproject, formerly called Asta Powerproject was developed by a UK/London based company called “Asta Development plc”. The software then was acquired by a Eleco plc, which is another British company.
In 2015, Eleco plc changed its name to Elecosoft plc changing the brand name of the software from “Asta Powerproject” to “Powerproject”.
First version was released under the name of “Asta Power Project 1” in 1988.
Major differences: Asta Powerproject vs Primavera P6
Architectural and Database
Primavera P6 must have a database to operate, where multiple users can open and update multiple projects simultaneously. There are two types of databases used in the two different versions of Primavera P6 as follow:
Primavera P6 PPM (on-premises) database, which has the following features:
- Mostly used by small to large companies.
- Database options: Oracle, SQL or SQLite.
- Runs on Windows. Administration happens in-tool in desktop.
- Key features: Project planning, scheduling, resource management, cost management, reporting.
- Applications: Methodology manager, P6 Visualizer, P6 Job Services.
- Add-ons applications (optional): P6 SDK, P6 Pro Cloud Connect, Compression Server and API.
Primavera P6 EPPM (Cloud-based) database, has features as follows:
- Mostly used by medium to large companies.
- Database options: Oracle or SQL.
- Runs in a browser. Administration happens in-tool web-based.
- Key features: In addition to Primavera P6 PPM database key features, it supports portfolio management, dashboards and collaboration.
- Applications: P6 Professional for EPPM, P6 Job Services and publication services.
- Add-ons applications (optional): Teammember, iOS App, Android App, P6 Gateway, Integration API, Web Services, BI Publisher Reports and P6 Analytics Reporting.
P6 uses either Windows or Web Client to communicate with databases. Both PPM and EPPM solutions use Windows Client to develop and update their project’s schedules because it is significantly faster than Web Client. On the other hand, Web Client is used to open EPPM database for reporting and collaboration purposes.
Powerproject has two types of solutions, Powerproject standalone (local) and Powerproject Enterprise (server). Similar to Primavera it requires a database to operate.
For Powerproject Enterprise, server database (SQL or Oracle) allows multiple users to access many projects at the same time including sharing and integration with other related reports and data for all projects.
Powerproject Enterprise is a 3-level simultaneous multiple-users Environment as follow:
- The lowest level is the database
- The middle level is the server which operates all Enterprise client operations, maintaining only one single connection to the database.
- The top level is the client application which is installed on Windows machine or web application depends on the selected license.
- Primavera P6 saves and exports files in the form of XER, XML, XLS, MPX and other file formats. XLS file format enables users to open the data using Excel sheet, and MPX file format enables opening the file using MS Project. And since Powerproject supports exporting to XER or XML format there is no issue in importing it to Primavera P6.
- XER, XML and XLS schedules exported from Primavera P6, can also be opened by the ScheduleReade software. ScheduleReader is a “Project Viewer” that can be used by project teams to view the schedule apart from Primavera P6.
- In addition to its standard file format (.PP), Powerproject supports saving or exporting to other famous systems in the market file formats including: MPP, XER, XML, Excel, CSV, HTML and SQL.
- Powerproject supports importing CSV, XML, MPP, XER and other file formats. Noting that some information may be modified or lost when importing due to the difference between file formats.
- Project Viewer: Powerproject license offers project team members the ability to download “Project Viewers” for free which helps viewing, navigating, and printing project scheduling data. It supports file formats created by Powerproject, Easyplan, MS Project and Primavera.
There are no big differences in the installation of both solutions. Installation depends on the architecture of each system which is explained in detail in earlier section in this article.
Primavera PPM and Powerproject standalone are easier to install as they are desktop versions, both solutions require the installation of a database on the machine in Windows environment.
However, Primavera EPPM and Powerproject Enterprise are more complex as they require hardware and software infrastructure in addition to a technical team. Primavera Cloud and Powerproject SaaS require minimal installation effort as they only require the setup of subscription licenses and administration access for users.
Primavera P6 EPPM enhances communication and collaboration to facilitate taking wise decisions across project team members with its powerful business operation automation, following are few features:
- Multiple users can access, view, edit, print, and interact with one or multiple projects at the same time.
- Customizable interactive templates and forms built in within the system allow the team to avoid wasting time by going off the system.
- The system is integrated with mobile devices and email to enhance communication between project team and stakeholderswhich allow easy and seamless progress update and reporting.
- Improves the storage, access, and control of project documents by utilizing EPPM’s enterprise-level content and document management capacities.
Powerproject Enterprise on the other hand, promotes communication and collaboration in the project environment by introducing following features and/or integrated products:
- Obviously, authorized users can access and modify projects simultaneously, including schedule, resource, and cost data.
- Project Viewer (free for license holders) allows sharing project schedules and plans with project team members easily and quickly.
- Ability to update the progress of the project by field team using Site Progress Mobile App (Available on a separate license basis).
- Powerproject Vision provides customizable views for executive level and task level access for schedules, plans, data and documentations of all projects, programs, and portfolios in a business in one central location (Available on a separate license basis).
Software solutions, developed by independent third-parties, such as ScheduleReader and ScheduleCleaner can be used alongside the Primavera P6 software, as companion tools that allow teams to be more efficient in their work.
Oracle Primavera P6 EPPM integrates with thorough list of systems, not exclusive to:
- Oracle Business Intelligence, CRM, or ERP systems such as SAP, Primavera Gateway, Primavera Web Services, APIs as well as E-Business Suite. Primavera Gateway provides the ability to customize applications to provide consistency of data between projects, portfolios, and resources data. On the other hand, Primavera Web Services helps connecting Primavera system with business systems.
- The system is integrated with mobile devices and email to enhance communication between project team and stakeholders which allow easy and seamless progress update and reporting.
Powerproject Enterprise integrates with many systems adding more flexibility and scalability to the system. Here is a list of the most important integrations:
- 4D BIM Integration: One of Powerproject unique features is the ability to import and link the BIM 3D physical model of the project to schedule data. This feature adds simulation visuals to how the project is going to be constructed and how it is tracked.
- Integration with Site Progress Mobile allows project team members to update the progress of the project from anywhere anytime.
- Easy to integrate with other systems as Powerproject uses SQL or Oracle database allowing open environment for sharing data with other systems like Primavera, Microsoft Project, Procore, ERP and CRM applications.
- Integrated with a web-based time sheets for easy and real-time expense and cost control.
- Integration between Bidcon BIM which is estimation solution and Powerproject BIM allows planners import estimated costs including material and work resources data to Powerproject schedule, this provides powerful capabilities of estimating activity duration based on predefined productivity rates.
- Its integration with Business Intelligence system offers dashboards rich with precise reports and visuals for projects, programs, and portfolios across the organization.
Primavera P6 and Powerproject has minor differences in term of resource management as both are powerful resource management tools.
However, Powerproject has features that make it easy to assign and track resource leveling such as drag and drop functions and overallocation alert. In addition, Powerproject has modeling tool that is driven by resources which is not available in Primavera P6.
Portfolio Project Management
Primavera P6 and Powerproject are project portfolio management solutions, this is an overview of the portfolio management features within both applications.
Primavera P6 offers the following portfolio project management:
- In addition to Portfolio management, it offers capital planning.
- CPM (Critical Path Method) planning and scheduling.
- In addition to planning and scheduling, it features resource and cost management.
- A Risk register and dashboard for risk management centralized for all projects.
- Histograms and S-Curves for cost, resource, and risk for all projects.
- Features to prioritize, select, plan, and manage the most valuable projects to the organization’s strategic objectives.
- Multiple baselines per project and baseline options management.
- Advanced coloring, coding, organizing and features for tasks.
- Central overview and visual reports of projects, programs, and portfolios including progress, health, risk, and issues status.
- Resource and cost forecasts
- What-if scenario analysis for schedule, risk, resources, and cost.
- EVM, earned value management.
- Progress update using team mobile applications.
- Scheduling boards
On the other hand, Powerproject offers the following portfolio project management:
- Executive level reporting: Centralized dashboard with visual reporting for organization wide projects, programs, and portfolios with ability to create, manage, prioritize, sort, and optimize in line with management strategic objectives.
- Shared resource pool which allows managing and optimizing resources to the best value of the organization.
- Rich reporting in metrics and key performance indicators that facilitate effective decision making.
- Easy to analyze impact by implement what-if analysis across all projects.
- Project scheduling supports all time unites, multiple calendars, readymade templates to speed up the process, addition types of dependencies, drag and drop features, activity codes visuals on Gantt chart, planned vs actuals using multiple baselines.
- Project and program management planning and scheduling using Critical Path Method CPM.
- Thorough list of features in resource, cost and income management and control.
- Progress update using integrated mobile application for field team. And time sheet submission using web form.
- Risk assessment capability using Monte Carlo simulation method. And project documentation and configuration features.
Bonus tip: Portfolio Project Management
Schedules and project data from Primavera P6 and Powerproject, can be used as an input for the PPM Core platform, where projects and portfolios can be managed in a more simple and straightforward way.
PPM Core is a cloud-based platform for managing projects and project portfolio operations that features several modules such as Universal Project Viewer, Project Portfolio Management and others.
The platformed unites all project participants and information and enables efficient collaboration across companies, teams and projects.
Primavera P6 has more advanced features in term of What-If Analysis, where it allows users to reflect a program to a new program, and do changes, then compare and analyze changes using What-If feature, if found feasible then user can accept and implement changes.
On the other hand, Powerproject can perform the same function manually. A user can save a baseline, do changes, save another program baseline, and compare the two baseline and analyze changes.
Scheduling features of Asta Powerproject vs Primavera are listed and evaluated against each solution in the detailed comparison table shown below.
Comparison table – Asta Powerproject vs Primavera P6
To preparing fair and objective review and comparison, the table is prepared taking in consideration the most resourceful version of both solutions, thus Enterprise version is considered for the purpose of this comparison.
|Comparison Criteria||Primavera P6||Powerproject|
|Overview||A project portfolio management software that operates using locally installed or cloud-based database. It supports scheduling, project portfolio, resource, collaboration, issue, risk, opportunity, and document management. In addition to workflow and reporting.||A project, portfolio management, planning and scheduling software designed primarily for construction projects. One of the most important and unique features is its integration with 4D BIM simulation.|
|Project Viewer||Not Available.
Independently developed, third-party software tools such as ScheduleReader can fill this gap.
|Free for license holder|
|Pros, cons, free trial & customer support|
|Pros||· Solid and stable project schedule update where incomplete tasks are rescheduled in future dates.
· Customizable Gantt chart, network diagram and histogram.
· Integrates with Claim Digger to track and report project changes in comparison with another project version.
· Calculate % complete, actual, and remaining durations from actual start and status date automatically.
· Ability to show 4 baselines and save unlimited numbers of baselines.
· Multiple means of customer support.
· Higher capability in risk management.
· Being part of Oracle’s products family gives Primavera P6 superiority in term of integration with other products related to ERP, CRM and other business intelligence, and other business management applications.
|· Offers free Project Viewer.
· Schedule incomplete tasks in future. Ability to schedule part of a project.
· Drag and drop feature which make linking and resource loading easier.
· Ability to show 10 baselines in Gantt chart with resource data and baseline critical path.
· Ability to estimate durations based on quantities and productivities.
· Offers multiple dependency linking between activities and parts of activities.
· Ability to highlight activities in Gantt chart with different patterns based on their codes.
· Flexibility in updating resource and cost data in Gantt chart visuals.
· File format compatibility with P6 and MS Project.
· Show non-working time and multiple data dates in Gantt chart.
· View resource bars, multiple undoes, income management, show multiple activities in one bar, and more.
|Cons||· More expensive.
· Shows limited data for baseline of the current project.
· Bar formatting issues with the default activity views.
· Does not schedule actual start dates into past dates.
· Formatting for dates and time may change from user to user depend on user preference which may create communication inconsistency.
· Weak graphical and visual control for bars and Gantt chart.
|· It is more difficult to learn due its sophisticated scheduling features.
· At the same time, its sophisticated features could be confusing for newly trained schedulers.
· Less means of customer support (Only chat)
|Free trial||Unavailable. However, Oracle offers interactive demo.||Available|
|Portfolio Management Features|
|Advanced and customized reporting||Yes||Yes|
|Centralized visual dashboard||Yes||Yes|
|Project portfolio Management (prioritize, select, plan)||Yes||Yes|
|Projects, programs, and portfolio planning and scheduling||Yes||Yes|
|Earned Value KPIs||Yes||Yes|
|Reflection and comparison of two programs||Yes||No|
|What-if analysis||Built-in feature||Manual|
|Resource, cost histograms and S-Curves||Yes||Yes|
|Assign activity codes||Yes||Yes|
|Assign code visuals to Gantt chart||No||Yes|
|Resource optimization and auto leveling||Yes||Yes|
|Number of baselines||Save unlimited baselines, shows only 4 with limited data.||Save unlimited baselines, shows up to 10 with resource and cost data.|
|Risk analysis-Monte Carlo simulation method||Yes||Yes|
|Copy/Past from Excel||No, imported manually.||Yes|
|Drag and drop capabilities||No||Yes|
|Progress update using Mobile App.||Yes||Yes|
|Project data, documents, site pictures, and configuration management.||Yes||Yes|
|Integration with email||Yes||No|
|Integration with forms and templates||Yes||No|
|ERP, SAP, and CRM||Yes||Yes|
|Resource and Cost Estimation App.||No||Yes|
|Web-based time sheets||Yes||Yes|
|File Formats||Limited compatibility||Compatible with MS Project and Primavera.|
|Availability of system practitioners||High||Low|
|Ease of use||Slightly harder||Slightly easier|
|Ease of training / Online training resources||Easier. Less costly. High availability of online training resources.||Harder. More costly. Low availability of online training resources.|
Comparison chart in image format. Can embed and provide credit to the original source by linking to it.
Conclusion – Asta Powerproject vs Primavera P6
With this detailed evaluation of each aspect of the comparison Asta Powerproject vs Primavera P6, we hope that we provide you with valuable resources and data that help you decide which solution best fit your requirements.
However, with the following points we will conclude by highlighting the most significant factors and differences between Asta Powerproject vs Primavera P6:
- Both solutions offer robust and powerful project portfolio management systems, both are by far the best in the market specifically for construction, engineering, planning, architecture, oil, and energy industries. Even though Powerproject offers more features in term of sophisticated options in scheduling, Primavera is used for decades by top companies in the market, and they are happy with it.
- Powerproject has two unique integrations, 4D BIM simulation and Bidcon BIM (Resource Cost Estimation App.) which could be a preference and in line with strategic objectives of many organizations.
- Powerproject has “Project Viewer” that allows project teams to view the schedule in dynamic way. On the other hand, in the absence of a viewer, companies that use Primavera P6 commonly share the project data with the team in alternative ways, for example: through PDFs, prints and screenshots and other. However, this challenge can be solved by adopting additional software product such as ScheduleReader, that offers the functionality of a “Project Viewer”.