With Project Server 12, we really wanted to expand the range of our reporting functionality. A key strength of the Project EPM Solution is the ability to define key fields for projects, resources, tasks, or assignments and then enforce use of those fields in the Project desktop client. These fields are then used to create reports across projects and resources.
In Project 2002 and 2003, we made use of an enterprise version of the Global.MPT file to define the custom fields to be used in an organization. This inherited the limitations of the Project client wrt custom fields. So you ended up with only M text fields, N date fields, O outline code fields. Needless to say, every customer or partner event would include a request from folks to add more custom fields.
For Project 12, we redesigned enterprise custom fields as a server-side feature. You can now define enterprise custom fields using PWA or via the PSI. We support effectively unlimited enterprise custom fields for all of our field types. This support extends to the Project Pro client.
Per the prior post on server-side scheduling, updates to a project plan are now done on the SERVER. This includes recalcing the values of custom fields, including formula fields and graphical indicators.
So the enterprise global is now really only used for UI customization features like views, filters, etc. We think that the overall story for custom fields in P12 is a big win and will provide considerably more flexibility to customers.