From the beginning, P12 has been about the platform. As customers rolled out Project 2002 and then 2003, we saw where we needed to improve the communication between Project Pro, Project Server, and SQL Server. We were able to see the real concurrency loads put on the system and saw where we could add much higher levels of responsiveness and reliability under high loads. We saw where we needed to evolve our reporting architecture so it was easier to pull briefing book style reports and take far fewer resources and time to refresh our OLAP cubes. We saw that we could radically lower the expertise needed to build solutions on Project Server by leveraging .Net and Windows SharePoint Services.

When we start the planning for a release, we try to identify some key scenarios that we want to nail. Here are a few scenarios that we have in mind for the new P12 platform:

- Project managers on the road with their laptops using Project Pro to work on their projects locally but be able to easily work across WANs against their Project Server.

- 1000s of employees filling out their timesheets in the last hour or so on a Friday afternoon.

- Account managers and "business" types being able to quickly generate project proposals and capture future resource demand ... all from a web browser but still providing the kind of data for execs to really see what their resource capacity and demand looks like.

- Folks from the PMO being able to connect to a rich reporting database using common reporting tools to easily create reports that provide visibility into what is really going on in the organization.

- Partners being able to easily work with customers to create "workflows" that tightly integrate projects with business processes.

I will talk some more this week about the key technologies that power these scenarios in P12. Our platform team has done some really cool work in this release. While we still have some work to do after P12 re platform abilities, P12 is a great start and a long-term foundation.