Microsoft is the unspeakable leader in project management tools development. One of the most powerful in this set of platforms is Project Online – a flexible cloud-based tool aimed to help project managers conduct Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and everyday work with their coworkers.
This solution provides powerful project management capabilities in tight collaboration with the team to plan, prioritize, and manage projects and project portfolio investments on any device, everywhere, and at every time.
The Project Online users are project, portfolio, resource managers, administrators, team leads, members, and viewers. Microsoft Project Online is not a cloud-based version of the Project Desktop application: this is an entirely separate service that provides complex PPM and project management tools on the web.
Depending on your subscription, it includes Project Web App and can also have Project Online Desktop Client, a subscription version of Project Professional.
Project Online supports the following most current versions of web browsers:
- Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge
- Third-party web browsers like Safari, Chrome, or Firefox
It can work on other browsers, but stability won’t be guaranteed.
Project Online features and pricing
There are two Project Online subscriptions available: Project Plans 3 and 5. These plans are oriented toward the project managers who need to create schedules, assign tasks, and fully control the project management system.
Also, users can choose the trial version, free for one month, to test this tool themselves.
Complete information about Project Online subscriptions is presented on the official Microsoft portal.
Team member functionality is available through Project Plan 1 or Project Online Essentials subscription plans.
- Project Plan 1 subscription gives team members a web interface to perform tasks and time updates to projects managed in the platform.
- Project Online Essentials is a team member add-on subscription for customers with Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5.
There are essential differences between subscription plans presented in the table below [updated on 13th of January 2023].
|Product||Project Plan 1||Project Plan 3||Project Plan 5|
|Project Online Essentials||+|
|Project for the web||+||+||+|
|Project Online desktop client||+||+|
|Capabilities:||x||x x||x x x|
|Grid view (ordered list of tasks)||✓||✓||✓|
|Timeline (Gantt) view||✓||✓||✓|
|Collaboration and communication (integration with MS Teams)||✓||✓||✓|
|Project planning and scheduling||✓||✓||✓|
|Reporting (pre-built reports)||✓||✓||✓|
|Project desktop app. One license covers up to five PCs per person.||X||✓||✓|
|Portfolio selection and optimization||X||X||✓|
|Enterprise resource planning and management||X||X||✓|
Team members with Project Online Essentials or Project Plan 1 subscriptions can perform the following Project Online functions:
- Use a web-based interface
- Update tasks, issues, and risks
- Submit timesheets
- Share documents and collaborate with Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business users.
Do you need Project Online?
The short answer is “yes”; Microsoft guaranteed that they will continue to provide essential performance and security improvements for Project Online and that there is no date to limit the functionality of Microsoft Project Online.
Although Microsoft plans to transfer all its users from Project Online to Project for the web, it will likely happen, so you can start your move as soon as it makes sense for your business.