If you are thinking of buying Primavera P6 Professional then please be aware of a software glitch in Version 15.2 that is causing a few headaches. Thankfully, you can still download two older versions of Primavera P6 Professional from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud: Versions 8.4 and 15.1 are currently still available. We recommend downloading one of these versions until we are able to confirm whether the next release of Primavera P6 (Version 16.1) fixes this problem. Version 16.1 is scheduled to be released by the end of March 2016. Regular readers of our blog are no doubt aware that Oracle now releases new versions of Primavera P6 twice a year, in the Spring and Fall. This new procedure started in 2015.
Version 15.2 was the first 64-bit release of Primavera P6. Now, when downloading Primavera P6 from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud, you can be forgiven for wondering why Oracle always asks if you want to download the 32-bit or the 64-bit version of the program. Prior to Version 15.2 it did not matter which version you chose because they were the same program. Keep in mind, however, that Oracle has hundreds of programs available for downloading so the 32-bit vs. 64-bit question is not confined to Primavera software.
According to Oracle, there are certain advantages to the new 64-bit version of Primavera P6:
- Build larger and more complex projects, with faster response times
- Work with multiple languages at the same time
- Higher memory limits supported for faster performance
- Fewer crashes due to memory issues
Sounds great! Unfortunately, the new 64-bit coding in V15.2 is making it impossible to add or modify variables in the header or footer of a layout. A variable is a data field that is filled out by Primavera P6. For example, the project name or the data date. So rather than typing the project name or data date in the header or footer we simply add a variable to do this instead. This way, if we open a different project the current data will be displayed without any manual revisions.
Anyone who has inserted a page number into a Microsoft Word document or Excel spreadsheet has been using what Primavera P6 calls a variable. An example of a Primavera P6 variable appears below. The variable “Layout Name” appears in brackets:
This is a confirmed defect. You can find a few additional details in Doc ID 2096207.1 if you have access to My Oracle Support. Oracle has confirmed that the defect will be addressed in a future release.
I like to display certain information in my page headers and footers so that people understand some of the basic parameters of the schedule. This data includes:
- Layout Name
- Filter List
- Print Date and Time
- Page Number and Total Pages
- Project Name
- Data Date
But since these are variables I have a problem. To be sure, I have some layouts created in older versions of Primavera P6 that already have these variables, so I am not completely out of luck. When upgrading Primavera P6 most of us keep our existing databases so anything stored there is still available. But for new Primavera P6 users who started with Version 15.2 they have not had a chance to create any layouts yet. Therefore, the only options are to use the variables already present in the standard layouts, or manually type this information. (If someone sends you a layout they created you can of course import this into Primavera P6).
So, fingers crossed! Let us hope that P6 Version 16.1 fixes this problem.