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All posts tagged Claim Digger

Flag of the NetherlandsAnyone who upgrades Primavera P6 Professional to Version 16.1 will most likely encounter the following problem: Visualizer and Schedule Comparison (the new name for Claim Digger) will not run. The problem is an existing P6 bootstrap file that gets corrupted during the installation of Version 16.1 and therefore displays the settings for the Dutch language incorrectly. Dutch was only added as a language in Primavera P6 Professional recently, which explains why this problem did not occur sooner. If nothing else this might prompt you to consider whether Dutch is the primary language of Holland or The Netherlands. I guessed wrong, but then my ability to speak a second language comes down to saying everything in English very loudly.

This is a known bug addressed by Oracle in Doc ID 2074835.1

The easy workaround is to repair the bootstrap file. First, go to Control Panel in Windows and type “folder” in the search box. Then click on “Show hidden files and folders” and choose “Show hidden files, folders and drives”. From there you are looking for the following file path:

Computer > OS(C:) > Users > [username] > AppData > Local > Oracle > Primavera P6 > P6 Professional

This assumes the program has been installed on the “C” drive, which is a pretty typical standalone scenario. You will also need administrative privileges to access the program files.

Locate the PrmBootStrapV2 file and open it with a text editor like Notepad. Scroll down until you see the languages listed. In older versions of Primavera P6 the language name is listed first, followed by the language ID. But in Version 16.1 the language ID is now listed first. During the update process most of the languages are fixed, but not Dutch. In any case, it is important to check all of the languages to make sure the language ID appears first, as seen below:

  • <internationalizationSettings currentLanguage=”en-us”>
    <Language LanguageID=”en-us” LanguageName=”English”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”de-de” LanguageName=”German”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”fr-fr” LanguageName=”French”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”ja-jp” LanguageName=”Japanese”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”ru-ru” LanguageName=”Russian”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”zh-cn” LanguageName=”Chinese Simplified”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”zh-tw” LanguageName=”Chinese Traditional”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”es-es” LanguageName=”Spanish”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”pt-br” LanguageName=”Brazilian Portuguese”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”nl-nl” LanguageName=”Dutch”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”it-it” LanguageName=”Italian”/>
    <Language LanguageID=”ko-KR” LanguageName=”Korean”/>

Make any corrections as necessary, and then save the file. You should then be able to log into Visualizer and Schedule Comparison. And if you feel like it, brush up on your Dutch!






Claim Digger Limitations

Categories: Claim Digger, P6 Calendars, P6 EPPM, P6 Professional, P6 Tricks
Comments Off on Claim Digger Limitations

Primavera SchedulingClaim Digger is a convenient tool inside Primavera P6 for comparing schedule files to determine what changes have been made. But there are limitations to what Claim Digger can tell us about a revised file. Experienced Primavera users will recall that Claim Digger used to be a third-party program used to analyze Primavera P3 files. When Claim Digger was incorporated into Primavera P6 several years ago the functionality changed in ways that were both good and bad. Being able to export to HTML format is nice, but having the durations (including float and lags) displayed in hours is inconvenient on schedules with durations that are shown in days.

There are third-party software programs that can do much more than Claim Digger. Still, if you think that Primavera P6 costs as much as having a baby then anything that is “free” will be the most desirable option. So most of us will have to get by with Claim Digger until money starts growing on trees.

Note: in Version 16.1 of Primavera P6 Claim Digger is now called Schedule Comparison and is accessed from the Visualizer program. You will find Scheduler Comparison in the same location (Tools) as Claim Digger but clicking on this button will launch the Visualizer program.

The biggest limitation in Claim Digger has to do with calendars. Here are two scenarios where Claim Diggers will let you down:

  1. Changes made to a calendar, such as revisions to the number of hours per day, days per week, holidays, etc. are not picked up by Claim Digger
  2. Changing the calendar on an activity from Global to Project (or vice versa) is not picked up if both calendars have the same exact name

Indeed, Claim Digger will tell us nothing about calendars other than whether the name of the calendar is different. To demonstrate this for myself I created a Project calendar called “Standard” that is a copy of a Global calendar with the same name. I assigned the Global calendar to all of the activities in a sample project. After creating a baseline (copy) of this project I switched the calendar on the activities in the current project to the Project calendar. Claim Digger did not report any changes to calendars.

I then changed the name of my Project calendar in the current project to “Standard Days” and re-ran Claim Digger. As I expected, Claim Digger reported that I had changed the calendar. Yet other than the name, it was still the same Project calendar. I hadn’t changed anything else. In other words, a false positive.

Owners often run Claim Digger (or ask for the results) so anything that suggests a change when in fact no change was made creates unnecessary confusion. Conversely, a sneaky scheduler could block out additional days in the calendar to coincide with an owner-caused delay in order to exaggerate the impact. An experienced scheduler should be able to figure out if there are any shenanigans going on, but the reality is that P6 is chock-full of hidden traps for the uninitiated.

While we are on the subject, I often refer to myself as a “Primavera P6 Scheduler” because there are in fact specific techniques to scheduling projects with Primavera P6. Case in point: Microsoft Project does not allow two relationships between the same two activities, while in Primavera P6 this is perfectly acceptable. A good scheduler with poor Primavera P6 skills can still make a lot of mistakes because of their unfamiliarity with the program. For the same reason, I tend to be very cautious in Microsoft Project because it is not my bread and butter.

I started using Primavera software in 1987 so in my mind the rules that I observe have almost always been specific to one particular program. Prior to 1987 the software I used was proprietary and followed basic Critical Path Method rules. But CPM does not teach you about Activity Codes, Resource Leveling, and so many other things that are now possible because of software any more than an accountant would automatically know how to create a macro in Microsoft Excel.

“Old-school” schedulers who refuse to stay current on scheduling software get no sympathy from me. I started with proprietary scheduling software, learned Primavera P3, followed by Primavera SureTrak, Primavera Primavera P6, Primavera Contractor, and Primavera P6 EPPM. Not to mention all of the other programs like Microsoft Office that I have had to learn over the years. I had to learn WordPress just to type this silly blog!


Spring is in the air, which means another release of Primavera P6 Professional Project Management (PPM) and Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM).

The list of changes to Primavera P6 Professional is short, but sweet. First, after years of begging, Oracle has finally introduced a feature that has long been part of Microsoft Project: the ability to show the relationship type and lag in the Activity Table. Yes! Previously, this information was only available in a tabular Report or by exporting to Microsoft Excel. Now we can finally show this level of detail in a graphical setting. These are new columns called Predecessor Details and Successor Details, as seen below:

Primavera Scheduling

Second, Claim Digger has been moved to Visualizer and is now called Schedule Comparison. I suspect this was done to avoid the problem of running Claim Digger with the SQLite database. This type of database does not support third-party applications like Claim Digger, which is an important tool for many Primavera users. Rather than wait for SQLite to change its spots, Oracle apparently decided to take a more proactive stance.

Quite a few enhancements have been added to Primavera P6 EPPM to improve performance and to bring it more into line with Primavera P6 Professional:

  • Advanced HTML5 Activity and EPS Views
  • Basic HTML5 Resource Assignment View
  • Additional copy project options
  • Daily Timescale in Team Usage View
  • Additional Global Search & Replace functionality
  • Streamlined installation and management of the P6 Pro application with the removal of JRE

One of the new copy project options is the ability to copy projects that are linked to other projects but not copy those (external) relationships. Previously, we could only choose to not copy external relationships when copying one or more activities. Now this option can be applied to the entire project.

HTML5 pages load faster than the Java-based applets that were originally used in Primavera P6 EPPM and do not require plugins. The HTML5-based pages are referred to as Basic View, but users have the option of viewing the Java-based pages in Classic View.

Relationship types and lags can also be shown in the Activity Table in Primavera P6 EPPM.

Additional information regarding these enhancements can be found here. In addition, Oracle has created a very nifty app called the Cumulative Feature Overview Tool. It is sort of like Claim Digger for analyzing different versions of Primavera P6. You input which version you are currently using and the tool will tell you what features have been added since then, and when the changes were introduced. Click here to access the Cumulative Feature Overview Tool.



Primavera P6 R8.4 Database Options

Categories: Claim Digger, P6 EPPM, P6 Professional, P6 Web, Primavera P6
Comments Off on Primavera P6 R8.4 Database Options

Coal miner at work with pick axIn a recent blog for Construction Science I discussed some of the new features of Release 8.4 for Primavera P6 Professional and EPPM. Today I would like to discuss the database options for a standalone installation of P6 Professional. Oracle 10g Express (Oracle XE) has been included with P6 for several years. Users could also choose from one of several versions of Microsoft’s SQL Server, but most opted for SQL Server 2005 Express Edition because it is a free program. Both of these options are still available. But Release 8.4 introduces another option, SQLite. The advantage of SQLite is that it does not have the size limitation of Oracle XE (4 GB) and is easier to manage than Oracle XE or Microsoft SQL. Backing up a database is now as easy as copying a file folder because SQLite is a serverless database engine. For users who have struggled with Oracle XE or Microsoft SQL Server, SQLite seems like a great option.

Ah, but there is a trade-off for simplicity! Oracle’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are not compatible with SQLite. This is something Oracle intends to fix in a future P6 release or patch. APIs are the building blocks of many software programs, and while it is not something most of us would ever realize, Oracle’s Claim Digger is an API. So Claim Digger is not accessible when using SQLite. For me, that is a deal-breaker. I use Claim Digger nearly every day to analyze files. In some situations my clients have more than one version of a baseline schedule or update on their server and they no longer remember why. If some of these files are in fact identical we can delete them without any concern. At the very least, Claim Digger will tell us what the differences are. Most owners also expect contractors to explain what changes were made during the update process, and the Claim Digger report usually suffices.

Claim Digger does have some limitations, which I will discuss in a future blog, and there are third-party programs that are more powerful. However, Claim Digger is included with P6 so it is a tool that all users have access to without spending more money. I will accept free help anytime!

Also, because SQLite is truly a single-user environment, there are several other restrictions:

  • There are no User or Security Profiles, as there can only be one user
  • All projects are opened in Shared mode; Read Only and Exclusive modes are disabled
  • Sending e-mail notifications of Project Issues is not supported
  • Advanced import options are disabled for projects in XML format
  • Check In and Check Out of projects are disabled
  • There are no options to save data for All Users or Another User (layouts, etc.)
  • Job Services is not supported; Jobs cannot be scheduled
  • Update Baseline and Risk Analysis are not supported