Oracle | Primavera Risk: Pertmaster Import from Primavera P6 .xer File

The first step of a typical Oracle | Primavera Risk (Pertmaster) Monte Carlo analysis is to import the file.  This training session will outline how to import a project schedule into Pertmaster from a Primavera P6 backup (.xer) file.

Video Walkthrough an Import from an Oracle | Primavera P6 Backup File to Oracle | Primavera Risk (Pertmaster) (Duration: 8 min: 5 sec)

Import Process Overview

A significant difference between importing from a database connection and a .xer backup file is the available import mappings.  All information in a .xer Primavera P6 backup file will be imported.  Users cannot exclude activity codes, user-defined fields, and resources as they could in the Primavera P6 direct connection method.  Users have two places to import a Primavera P6 backup (.xer) file:

  • Import in from the Primavera Menu Option:  Follow the menu path File | Primavera | Open Primavera XER File… The open dialogue box will launch and the file type will automatically be set to “Primavera (*.xer)” in the bottom right corner.  The user will browse to the file and either double-click the file or select the file and hit the “open” button to proceed with the import.
  • Import from the Open Menu Option:  Follow the menu path File | Open (CTRL+O).  This option launches the same menu from above, however the user will see all files instead of only Primavera backup files.  Users can change the file type in the bottom right corner to filter out file types.

Import Mappings 

For audit purposes the values may have been loaded in Primavera P6.  Schedulers may have also chosen to load each activity with a manual minimum, most likely, and maximum value.  Occasionally users may have these situations, however it is most common for no risk information will be loaded in the Priimavera P6 schedule.  The templates in Pertmaster provide users with some powerful and time-saving features for risk loading.  If the fields are not brought in upon import, then they can be synchronized after the import by following the menu path File | Primavera | Edit Default Import Mappings…  After adding the desired fields, the project manager will click the “synchronize Primavera data” button and the fields will be available in Primavera Risk.

Import Options Pop-up:

  • When importing from an Primavera backup (.xer) file, users will be able to import multiple projects if there is more than one project saved in the .xer file.  The users will be able to select one specific project or all sub-projects when going through the import wizard.  If there are three projects or more, then users cannot loaded only two projects.  The option will allow for one specific project to be imported or all projects to be imported.
  • The planning unit is set in this screen based on the setting in Primavera P6.  Users can avoid entering the planning unit by selecting hours.  
  • The risk analyst can choose to set the work breakdown structure, or WBS, into Pertmaster.  Planners can sort the project by activity codes after import so it is usually advisable to check the WBS box. 
  • The project manager can setup different workspace templates and change the default template.  The general tab allows the users to map a previously setup workspace as the default.  The default workspace is generally sufficient for the average user so this may not be necessary.

Import Mappings Tasks Tab: 

  • If the three-point estimates have been entered in Primavera P6 user-defined fields, then the duration distribution can be mapped to Primavera Risk.  The Pertmaster product has templates that allow for quick and easy risk loading via templates so it is not necessary to load the uncertainty values in Primavera P6, however if the data exists it will be mapped in this section.
  • The uncertainty behavior can also be mapped in the duration correlation fields, however it is very rare that users will setup correlation groups Primavera P6, unless they were originally pushed back from Primavera Risk.
  • If the project manager is importing multiple projects in one import, then they can choose to prefix task ID with the project ID by checking the option.

 Import Mappings Probabilistic Tab:   

  • The probability of existence for a activity can be mapped to a user-defined field.  An activity that is less than 100% probable is a risk event because its existence is not certain.  Most users do not track the probability in Primavera P6 and will user the Pertmaster Risk Register instead. 
  • Probabilistic branching options can be setup in this section.  It is rare that users will have a probabilistic branch user-defined field in Primavera P6 unless the data originated in Pertmaster and was pushed back to the Primavera database.

Exporting a Project Plan from Primavera Risk to a Primavera P6 Backup File (.xer)

If the project planner would like to push data back to the Primavera P6 database, then they will need to import via a connection to the Primavera P6 database.  Users can export a Pertmaster plan as a Primavera backup (.xer) file.  The export option is listed under the path File | Primavera.  The file will be created directly from Pertmaster.  This is usually not a desirable option as it will completely rewrite the file based on Pertmaster’s CPM scheduling engine and options.  Although the file will be reasonably clean it is still not advisable in many situations due to small differences in the scheduling engines.