16 Replies Latest reply on Feb 15, 2011 2:03 AM by Luc Thoelen

    Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts

    Shelby Latney Newbie

      Has anyone used the new functionality "Project Mass Edits" for updating contract data? If so, can someone clarify how it works? For example, you select the project(s) to be updated and then you select the new field values. Does this functionality change the field value to the same field value for each contract workspace vs individually? My old values and new values would need to be the same for each contract workspace? Any clarification as to how this functionality works would be very helpful. The guide is a bit vague and I would like to be sure I understand before I start making changes to contract data. Thanks in advance.

       

       

        • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
          dreid Journeyman

          Shelby,

            Sorry I took a little while to respond, but I was hoping someone else would jump in, as you and I have chatted about this in the past, and I didn't want to "mother" the answer too much.

           

          slatney wrote:

           

          you select the project(s) to be updated and then you select the new field values. Does this functionality change the field value to the same field value for each contract workspace vs individually? My old values and new values would need to be the same for each contract workspace?

           

           

           

          The way it works depends on how you use it.  (That helps, right?   )  Let's say you have a simple field that is a YES/NO field (Boolean).  If you choose to mass edit 10 projects with that field to YES, it will go through, and modify that value to yes for all of them that say no currently, and then will add a line in the History Tab (As well as send you an Excel digest of the changes it made).

           

          Now, with vector (multi-select) fields, you have more options.  For example, you can mass edit project groups on the team tab.  Let's say I have a Project Group called "Dan Reid's Friends" that exists in a bunch of projects.  I select 10 projects (7 of which contain this project group), and decide to mass edit this project group.  I check the "Add" box, and choose to Add Shelby to that group.

           

          The system will go through and blindly add Shelby to that project everywhere it finds the project group named "Dan Reid's Friends."  It doesn't add Shelby to the three projects which don't have that group.

           

          Now, if you use the REPLACE option, then things work slightly differently.  Let's use a different (field) example.  The Region field is a vector.  THat means it can have a bunch of values.  So let's say I have three projects:

           

          Project 1:  Region = AL, AK, ME, CA

          Project 2:  Region = AL, AK, CA

          Project 3:  Region = CA

           

          I choose those three projects to Mass Edit, choose the Region field, and decide to REPLACE AK with HI (replace Alaska with Hawaii).

           

          After the Mass Edit runs, I wind up with:

           

          Project 1:  Region = AL, HI, ME, CA

          Project 2:  Region = AL, HI, CA

          Project 3:  Region = CA

           

          Now, if I selected those three projects again, and chose to DELETE AL, I'd wind up with:

           

          Project 1:  Region = HI, ME, CA

          Project 2:  Region = HI, CA

          Project 3:  Region = CA

           

          So, as you can see, the way it works depends heavily on your selections.  The basic rule of thumb is that if you are doing an "Add" it is always a blind Add.  If you are doing a replace, it will only replace things that match exactly.  And if you are doing a delete, it will only delete things that match exactly.

           

          Lastly, if you are curious about what the mass edit machine actually DID, you can go to the Admin and open up the log file (Excel format) for the Mass Edit you ran.  It will tell you exactly what fields were changed from what to what.  Pretty helpful!

           

          This was long and rambling, but I hope I actually answered your question.

           

          If not, yell at me, and I'll try again to be more specific.

           

          It would also help if you gave me an example of what you are trying to achieve?

           

          -Dan

            • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
              Debra Ryan Apprentice
              Just wanted to confirm that this fuctionality is only for CD customers and that it is not available for customers behind the firewall on 9R1?  Any idea when we will get it because it sound great!
                • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                  Shelby Latney Newbie
                  Debra, we use Ariba Contract Management Professional (On-Demand) so it is available for those customers as well.
                    • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                      dreid Journeyman

                      Shelby/Debra,

                        As you know (being User Conference Veterans!) Ariba ships features on a staggered schedule.  We do a few On Demand Releases (9s1, 9s2, 9s3, 9s4, 9s5) and then bundle those releases and features up and ship it as a CD release (9r1).  Then we repeat it.  10s1, 10s2, etc... Followed by the next major release of the CD (10r1 or something like that).  As this feature was released in 10s1, it will be automatically included in the next major release of the CD software.

                       

                      We haven't set a date for that yet, but the good news is that CD customers get to preview it before adopting it.  You have to wait a little longer for some features, but that is part of the tradeoff of being on a single instance solution.  Not to get into a debate or to try to say one way is better than the other, there are many advantages the CD has over On Demand as well.  Customization, for example.

                       

                      Hope that helps answer the question a bit.

                       

                      -Dan

                        • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                          Debra Ryan Apprentice
                          Thanks Dan!  This is what I thought but just wanted to confirm.  Thanks again!  (I had miss typed as well in my previous comment when I meant On Demand vs. CD but you picked that up nicely.)  Thanks again!  Just eager to get these new cool features.
                            • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                              Deneice Griffith Novice

                              Dan, We have just moved over to 9R1 SP 12 and I am looking for away to do a mass edit to add some groups to team tab of legacy contracts to be able to give access on without having to touch each one of the contract workspaces.  I was reading about the mass edit fuction as that is available in On Demand.  Do you know when this function will be available for CD customers?  In the mean time what options are there to add a new group to legacy contracts?

                                • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                                  Debra Ryan Apprentice

                                  I am definitely interested in this answer too as HP has the same need to update about 50K legacy contracts with new groups and also to update the access control on the legacy contract workspace.

                                    • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                                      Craig Fischer Journeyman

                                      Deneice & Debra,

                                           My company is using OnDemand 10s2 for both sourcing and contracts and the Mass Edit capability for projects only allows you to update existing Groups with members in the Team tab.  It will not allow you to add a new Team (ex. Audit Team to all Contracts).   To confirm my knowledge, I wrote a SR in OnConnect back on 07/26/10 and had S. Gottschalk from Ariba confirm that Mass Update will not allow you to add a Group to the Team tab; it will only allow you to add members to an existing Group.  You can add the Team to your template so any new projects will have it.  All exisiting projects will have to be update individually.

                                       

                                           We're in the same boat at my company as we would like to add a group call Audit to all contracts so when we conduct audits, we can add folks to the Group which will allow them to view the History tab in addition to the other tabs.

                                       

                                           Sounds like it is time to write up an enhancement request for Ariba to look at around this subject (and maybe some other ideas on mass updates).

                                       

                                      Thanks,

                                      Craig

                                    • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                                      dreid Journeyman

                                      Deneice,

                                       

                                      Let me answer your questions in order:

                                       

                                      •   We have just moved over to 9R1 SP 12 and I am looking for away to do a mass edit to add some groups to team tab of legacy contracts to be able to give access on without having to touch each one of the contract workspaces.

                                       

                                      The Mass Edit in On Demand is just that... Mass Edit.  It is not Mass CREATE.  So you cannot actually use it to Add new Project Groups.  You can use it to EDIT existing Project Groups.

                                       

                                      • I was reading about the mass edit fuction as that is available in On Demand.  Do you know when this function will be available for CD customers?

                                       

                                      Mass Edit will come in the Next Major Release of the CD.  Right now, that isn't yet scheduled, as many customers are still in the process of upgrading to 9r1.

                                       

                                      • In the mean time what options are there to add a new group to legacy contracts?

                                      Right now, the only way is manual (aside from some sort of complicated, Consultant based coding type of thing).

                                        • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                                          Deneice Griffith Novice

                                          Thank you your response.

                                           

                                          The issue we are running into is we have a several thousand contracts that require team member updates and modifications.  So this would be a very time consuming task. Are there any plans in the future to enhance contracts workspace to allow mass add.  Are there any other options available to be able to give acces to contract workspaces without being part of the team?

                                           

                                          We have added the new groups to the template so going forward we will not have this issue.

                                            • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                                              dreid Journeyman

                                              Deneice,

                                                Well, Mass Edit is an interesting feature in that there are no shortage of ways we could extend it.  There have been suggestions of morphing it into some sort of Mass Create tool (add X task to these projects, or add Y group to those contracts, etc), as well as to extend it to other objects (Reqs, Invoices, Events, etc).  All of those are being considered, but none of those are, if I am honest, at the top of the list.  This is all to say that if this (or any other feature) is important to you, make sure you file an ER, so your desire is recorded.

                                               

                                              Now, as for your second question, you can make any project you want accessible to the whole world (not just the team) using Access Controls.  Right now, you must have Access Control (which, in 10s2 IS mass editable) set to "Private to Team".  Change that to empty (if you want the whole world to see) or set that access control to something else that makes sense.

                                               

                                              In CD (unlike On Demand) you can also create custom Access Controls.  So you could create a new permission, tie it to a new Access Control, and then set that on projects you want others (who match that permission) to see.  Adding that permission to lots of folks is easy, because you can just associate that permission with a Role, then associate that role to any global groups you wish.

                                               

                                              -Dan

                                                • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                                                  Luc Thoelen Novice

                                                  Hi,

                                                   

                                                  Just to let you know that Mass Edit has been possible since way before 4r4 and it still is possible via

                                                   

                                                    Import Legacy Contracts.

                                                   

                                                  By correctly configuring the ImportProjectsParameters.csv file, pretty much any contract field can be bulk changed.

                                                   

                                                  By using the Contractteams.csv file you can add projects groups and members.

                                                   

                                                  Removing Project Groups or members however, is not possible.

                                                   

                                                  We have been doing this since 2005 and although it is not documented or supported, we have used this to update hundreds of thousands fields in workspaces already.

                                                   

                                                  Luc

                                                    • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                                                      Sharon Horton, PMP Master

                                                      Luc,

                                                       

                                                      I would like to provide a little caution here.  Speaking for upstream On-Demand, the legacy contract import does not support any mass update features, including adding teams and/or documents.  It is a Create Workspace only function.  I believe you will get errors stating that your workspace is already created if you were to try to do this (not recommended that you do this on purpose!).  One of the reasons we created Mass Edit as a 10s1 feature is so that these changes could be made in an orderly fashion.

                                                        • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                                                          Luc Thoelen Novice

                                                          Hi Sharon,

                                                           

                                                          I am aware why the functionality was designed. However ,when running the import, the log files indeed say that the workspace already exists, but it also say mentions that it will update the fields with the data from the load files. (which is what we are trying to do)

                                                           

                                                          I did mention that it is unsupported/not documented, but it does the trick for us...

                                                           

                                                          Luc

                                                            • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                                                              dreid Journeyman

                                                              Sharon is dead on.  The Legacy Load is just that... a Legacy Load.  It was never intended, tested, or supported as a Mass Edit.  Why?  Well, because it will corrupt data when used that way just as often as it will "edit" it correctly.  Allow me to explain.

                                                               

                                                              Firstly, it is true that in some special cases, you might be able to get away with what Luc says.  But the dangers are great, and the penalties for failure (or even a small spelling error) are huge.  The way the Bulk Load Works is that it first establishes a contract to work on, and then makes a second pass to fill in the optional header fields, then another pass to get the documents, then another for the team.  So if you have a bulk load with  a single contract with a document and some team members, it will first create the contract, then fill in the header data (for example, whatever flex fields you have, etc), then add the documents, then do the team.  Fine, right?  Yep.

                                                               

                                                              Now, Bulk Loads shouldn't be run twice (or used as a mass edit), because the way the code works, there is no guarantee that you will always "hit" on the same contract you think you are trying to edit.  Yes, I get that ContractID is a good lookup key, but it is possible, if the other "key" header fields aren't the same, for the software to not treat the contract as the same one as before, and it will just merrily make a new one for you.  Or, even worse, it will wipe the data you have in there already with incorrect stuff.

                                                               

                                                              Anyone who knows me knows I like analogies.  So I'll give one here.  Using this Legacy Load as a mock Mass Edit is like towing a large heavy boat with a Ford Explorer.  The boat is clearly too heavy, and not meant to be towed by such a small truck.  But there are people who do it.  And sometimes they get away with it.  But the penalty for doing such a thing is often drastic (most accidents you see with trailers are caused by someone towing something way beyond their vehicle's capacity), and your insurance won't cover it.  So, just like towing... if you only have to tow a little way, and you can afford a new transmission in the truck if you blow it up, then go for it.  But understand what you are getting into, and don't be surprised if your warranty doesn't cover it, and Ariba Tech support cannot help you fix your broken data.

                                                               

                                                              -Dan

                                                                • Re: Using Project Mass Edit for Contracts
                                                                  Luc Thoelen Novice

                                                                  Dan,

                                                                   

                                                                  Thank you for your feedback.

                                                                   

                                                                  To stay in your Ford Explorer analogy, we are in a situation where the only alternative to the Ford Explorer (No idea what this is, we don't have them in Europe), is to push the boat manually to the harbour.

                                                                  However this requires so many people, resulting in a cost of 17 Ford explorers, then you will risk the gearbox of that explorer or maybe even the engine.

                                                                   

                                                                  I must admit that we have investigated our "Ford Explorer" to such an extent, that we have a pretty good idea that it will get our boat where we want it.

                                                                   

                                                                  Luc