Mapping Project System Objects to Microsoft Project Objects


Microsoft Project and the Project System do not contain the same objects. In the Project System, for example, there are two structures for planning projects, work breakdown structures and networks. In Microsoft Project there is only one structure. It does not recognize work breakdown structures as independent objects. Summary Tasks are used in Microsoft Project to give projects a hierarchical structure. Similarly there is no such object as a network in Microsoft Project. As a result of these differences, it is necessary to map project objects from one program to the other.


Project Definition

There is no object in Microsoft Project that corresponds to the project definition in the Project System. It is used to identify the project in OpenPS4MSP, in particular on the Project Configuration Parameters screen of the OpenPS4MSP Wizard. Consequently the project definition does not appear in the Gantt chart or on any other Microsoft Project screen.

The project information in Microsoft Project that you enter when you create a project is the nearest equivalent to a project definition.

You cannot transfer a project definition only. Microsoft Project requires a project hierarchy as well as the project definition. A project has to contain at least one WBS element, that is, at least one task in Microsoft Project.

WBS Element

Microsoft Project does not have WBS elements. When you download WBS elements, they are mapped as summary tasks in Microsoft Project. If a WBS element does not have any subordinate objects, for example, activities or subordinate WBS elements, it becomes a task in Microsoft Project. (A summary task must have subordinate tasks). However OpenPS4MSP enters the object type in the Text16 field in the task or summary task. Here it defines the object as a WBS element (object name: WBS_element).

You can display a field in MSP by selecting a column in the Gantt chart and choosing Insert Column in the context menu. The Column Definition dialog box appears. Here you select the field that you want to insert. You can enter another title for the column (if you do not, the field name is used), and change the justification and width of the column. Choose OK. The new column is inserted to the left of the selected column.

As a summary task in Microsoft Project, a WBS element only summarizes its subordinate tasks. It cannot have dates of its own. The dates that appear on the summary task bar are the overall dates of the subordinate tasks. This means that the start date of the summary task is the earliest start date of the subordinate tasks and the finish date is the latest finish date.


When downloading WBS elements, Microsoft Project does not distinguish between work breakdown structures and networks. There is no such object as a network in Microsoft Project. Consequently the network header does not appear in Microsoft Project. The network number is used to identify individual network activities.

When downloading networks, the network description can be seen in the description column, and the identification is on the ID tab page. The network header is mapped to summary tasks.


Activities are mapped directly as tasks in Microsoft Project. Microsoft Project itself does not differentiate between different types of activity, however, the control key for a task/activity appears on the OpenPS4MSP sheet. You can specify the control keys in the settings. OpenPS4MSP also uses different colored shapes at the start and finish of the task bar in the graphic area to distinguish between activity types.

Plant and Work Center

Microsoft Project does not use these two objects in the same way as in the SAP system. However it does have resources for a project, which can be planned. At present it is not possible to transfer details from capacity planning between the two programs. The plant is transferred to the Text20 field and the work center to the Text21 field in the task. These two values are combined to depict the resource. Work center Assembly in plant 1000 would become resource 1000/Assembly in Microsoft Project.

Work (Planned and Actual)

Work is transferred from PS to Microsoft Project. However there is a fixed relationship between work and duration in Microsoft Project (see Scheduling in Microsoft Project and the Project System).

Activity Element

Microsoft Project does not have any objects that are hierarchically subordinate to tasks. You can only represent activity elements in Microsoft Project as different resources for a task. If the activity element has a personnel number associated with it, the personnel information is downloaded from mySAP Human Resources (mySAP HR) and populated in Microsoft Project. If the activity element does not have a personnel resource associated with it, but has a plant and work center then the plant/work center are created as a resource for the task. Only activity elements that have a different work center to the superior activity are transferred to Microsoft Project. They do not appear in the Gantt chart. There is no way of differentiating between the different activity element types. OpenPS4MSP transfers the work from individual activity elements to the corresponding resources.


Since relationships are common to both the Project System and Microsoft Project, there are no difficulties mapping them. The four types of relationship: Finish-Start (FS), Start-Start (SS), Finish-Finish (FF), and Start-Finish (SF) are used in both programs. You can also transfer time intervals. In Microsoft Project these intervals are only expressed in absolute units, that is days or weeks and so on.

In PS it is possible to have more than one relationship between two activities, as long as the relationships are of a different type. This is not possible in Microsoft Project. Therefore only one relationship is transferred.

You can use the Predecessors and Successors fields in Microsoft Project to display the task to which a task is linked. If the relationship is not an FS relationship (default value), the relationship type is displayed. Any time interval between the two tasks is also displayed. Here the tasks are referred to by their ID, which is the line number in the project.

In Microsoft Project a task that must start or finish before another task can begin is called a predecessor task. A task that depends on the start or finish of a preceding task is called a successor task.


OpenPS4MSP supports both WBS element milestones and activity milestones. They are both represented as milestone tasks in Microsoft Project

WBS Element Milestone

This is shown as a task with a duration of zero days for which the Mark task as milestone indicator is set. It appears in the Gantt chart as a black rhombus (in the standard settings). It is distinguished from an activity milestone by the entry in the Text17 field - WBS Element. WBS element milestones appear in the Gantt chart immediately under the summary task that corresponds to the WBS element.

Activity Milestone

This is shown as a task with a duration of 0 days for which the Mark task as milestone indicator is set. It appears in the Gantt chart as a black rhombus (in the standard settings). It is distinguished from a WBS element milestone by the entry in the Text17 field - NetworkActivity. Activity milestones appear in the Gantt chart immediately under the task that corresponds to the activity. In OpenPS4MSP 2.00.00 the actual date for an activity milestone is downloaded from the SAP system and populated in Microsoft Project.

Object That Are Not Mapped from PS to Microsoft Project

Currently, the following objects in PS are not mapped to Microsoft Project:

·        PS texts

·        Documents

·        Material components

See also:

For detailed information about how fields in PS are mapped to fields in Microsoft Project, see Detailed Mapping of Fields.