Project 12 expands the range of, reports supported on Project Server ... and greatly simplifies the process of building reports on Project Server. Let's start with Project Server 12's database architecture. Project Server 12 has four databases: Working/Draft, Published, Reporting, and Archive. Project Pro opens/saves (through the PSI) to the Working database. Projects in this database are only visible to the project manager. The project manager can "publish" a project which copies the project's data into the Published database. Project Web Access views are driven off the Published database. A Reporting Data Service (RDS) listens to events for published projects/resource edits/calendar changes/etc. and moves data from the Published db to the Reporting db. The Reporting db is a relatively flat, denormalized db that is report-friendly. The Cube Building Service (CBS) has been changed so it now builds the Project Server OLAP cubes incrementally from the Reporting db. This nets out to much faster, responsive cube builds. Finally, the Archive db is used to support fast backup and restore of projects.
Project Server 12 includes support for SQL Server Reporting Services. You can now reference a Reporting Server and drop Reporting Services webparts into PWA. With the Reporting db, it is easy to create briefing book reports and charts against Project Server data. The Reporting db also supports fast reads of lots of data ... this in turn makes is much easier for partners and customers to build custom reports that combine Project and 3rd party system data.
The Project Server OLAP cubes are significantly enhanced with cubes created for project, resource, task, and assignment data. Cubes now include data from both Project Server and WSS = issues and risks. This really expands the range of reports supported in the Portfolio Analyzer.
Pre- and post-events are fired by both the RDS and CBS.
So, Project 12 includes:
- graphical, interactive project reports in the Project Center
- banded reports (aka briefing books) and charts using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services
- pivot-table and chart reports using Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services.
- integration with reporting features coming from other Office servers.
And, yes, Project Server 12 will run on Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and 2005.
The net result is that P12 delivers way more reports out of the box and delivers a rich reporting toolbox for partners and customers to develop custom reports.