This week I met the team from OranTech and saw a demo of their ProjectParty solution. ProjectParty connects Project Server 2007 and with Team Foundation Server 2005.  It synchronizes meta-data (fields, enumerations) and data (tasks, assignments, resources) between the two system. The solution supports

  • many to many Project Server to Team Foundation Server mapping
  • many to many Enterprise Project (Project Server) to Team Project (Team Foundation Server) mapping
  • many to many task/assignment to work item mapping
  • Enterprise custom field to Work Item Field mapping with support for transformation function
  • Resource mapping - with support for mapping non AD Project Server uses (like generic users) to named AD users in  TFS
  • workflow for reviewing incoming updates from TFS into Project Server
  • hierarchical work item structure. This is implemented via a custom TFS control.

In my opinion, the key scenarios enabled by this solution are:

  • Top down planning - high level planning can start in Project Server with the details being gradually fleshed out in both Project Server and Team Foundation Server. Typically most of the fine grained project details will be created and managed in Team Foundation Server.
  • Bottom up reporting - team members continue to work in VSTS, updating their tasks. Those updates are easily incorporated by the project manager into the enterprise project plan being maintained on the server. The PM can review the impact of the updates on the project plan prior to incorporating them into their project plan.
  • Planning with generic resources - PMs can plan the project using generic or team resources; the generic and team PS resources are mapped to named TFS AD users. The tasks assigned to the generic resources result in work items being assigned to the corresponding named TFS resources. The work items can be further broken down into more fine grained work items - establishing a work break down structure. The "wbs" support is implemented using the TFS links and a custom control.

I think ProjectParty is a great solution option, in addition to the CodePlex connector,  for customers who want to connect Project Server and Team Foundation Server now.