Microsoft PPM Supports All Roles in Enterprise-Wide Project and Portfolio Management

What Is Microsoft PPM?

Microsoft calls its enterprise-wide solution for project and portfolio management Microsoft PPM. In contrast to the single-user tool on the desktop (Microsoft Project Standard), Microsoft PPM is based on a central server. This server works together with the Microsoft Project Professional Client and with the Project Web App.

Microsoft PPM supports all roles and their collaboration in enterprise-wide project and portfolio management. The program provides:

  • Centralized data storage
  • Centralized resource management
  • Role-specific use
  • Individual expandability

As a platform, Microsoft PPM can be flexibly adapted to the needs of users and business processes. A worldwide network of Microsoft partners is available for this purpose.

Which Variants of Microsoft PPM Are Available?

Microsoft PPM is available as Project Server (on-premises) or as Project Online (in the cloud). Both are fully integrated into SharePoint.

The two versions, local and cloud, are proven and powerful solutions. They cover all important areas and processes of project management:

  • Scheduling
  • Resource management
  • Cost management
  • Portfolio management
  • Workflows
  • Reports

Here you can find more details about components of the Microsoft PPM variants: correct names, possibilities, technical requirements and prices of the online components.

Microsoft Project Variants – An Overview

Microsoft Project Standard vs. Microsoft Project Professional vs.Project Online Desktop Client? Or Microsoft Project Server vs. Project Online? What is the difference? There is often uncertainty as to whether there are differences and what these might be.

For the individual variants, you will find the correct names, the different possibilities of the tools, the necessary prerequisites as well as the prices below.

1. Microsoft Project Client – For Project Managers

The Microsoft Project Client is the world-renowned and powerful planning tool. It offers the project manager the necessary functions for effective planning and control of schedules, resources and costs. The graphical presentation of project data for reports is also part of this local tool.

The Project Client runs on the local desktop and is available in the following versions:

  • Microsoft Project Standard
  • Microsoft Project Professional
  • Project Online Desktop Client

MS Project Standard 2021

Microsoft Project Standard is a standalone tool. It is not meant for use across departments or projects. It does not allow connection to Microsoft Project Server / Project Online.

MS Project Professional 2021

Microsoft Project Professional can be used as a standalone tool, or it can be connected to a server. It also has additional functions. This version is the basis for working in a multi-project environment with an on-premises Project Server and Project Online. In the classic installation process, your IT administration uses local installation packages.

Microsoft Project Online Professional

Microsoft Project Online Professional is the cloud version of Microsoft Project Professional. It can be used as a standalone tool but also in connection with Project Server “on-premises” or Project Online. There is no classic installation. Instead, it is obtained and updated from the Microsoft Cloud. This is important, as new functions are made available in Project Online on a regular basis. Those functions can only be used with this version of the software.

Prices in the Microsoft Online Store: €28,10 / $30,00 month / user
Tip: 30-day free trial version: order online here


  • MS Project Standard, MS Project Professional – classic permanent license
  • Project Online Desktop Client – monthly rental license. The software is distributed “from the cloud” and installed locally. Continuous updates take place online.

System Requirements

  • Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012

For Project Online Desktop Client

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or higher
  • Mozilla Firefox 10.x or higher
  • Apple Safari 5 or higher
  • Google Chrome 17.x or higher

Further requirements for Microsoft 365

Advantages Of Project Server / Online

Why you should use Project Server & not Project Client as a standalone tool.

  • Components at a glance
  • Possibilities for companies in detail
  • Reasons and arguments for your boss

Why Microsoft Project Server?

2. Microsoft Project Server – The On-Premises Solution

The Central Platform Solution on Your Server

Microsoft Project Server is a flexible platform for multi-project and portfolio management. As a central solution, Project Server provides you with well-tried capabilities for planning, reporting, and project team collaboration. In addition, it supports resource management. It enables the central and uniform storage of your company’s project and resource data.

Microsoft Project Server is a service within Microsoft SharePoint. Along with Microsoft SQL Server, the latter is installed and operated on premises as part of your infrastructure. This enables the integration in Microsoft SharePoint Server. Thus, you can use functions for file management and collaboration for increased team efficiency within this solution.

Read more about: Why Microsoft Project Server?


  • One-time license or subscription
  • Expandable with apps, products and customizations

System Requirements

Microsoft Project Server / SharePoint

  • Hardware: Standard version is a two-server scenario
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter Edition (64-bit)
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 with SP1 (64-bit)
  • SQL Server 2012 (64-bit)

3. Project Online – The Cloud Solution

Project Server in the Cloud

As a component of Office 365, Project Online is a service provided by Microsoft in the cloud. The range of functions corresponds to Microsoft Project Server. However, Project Online is continuously extended with new functions.

You can subscribe to Project Online as required. You will not need your own server infrastructure at your company. The users connect their desktop application directly to the service running in the cloud. Or they access the Project Web App directly from their browser.

Maintenance, updates, backups and all other maintainance tasks for Project Online are carried out by Microsoft and are included in the license fee.

MS Project Cloud License Prices

(Note: Non-binding information. Prices may vary for Enterprise Agreements.)

Project Plan 5
(previously Project Online Premium)

EUR 51,50 / USD 55,00 / GBP 45,20 month / user (Microsoft source)
Tip: Order a low-priced Project Online Partner-Led Trial Version

Project Plan 3
(previously Project Online Professional)

EUR 28,10 / USD 30,00 / GBP 24,70 month / user (Microsoft source)
Tip: 30-day free trial version: order online here

Project Plan 1
(previously Project Online Essentials)

EUR 9,40 / USD 10,00 / GBP 8,20 month / user (Microsoft source)


Project managers who work on projects as well as technical administrators usually need a license for

  • Project Online and
  • A license for Project Online Desktop Client (streaming version with subscription license) or
  • Project Professional (desktop version with permanent license).

System Requirements

  • No hardware requirements: Complete infrastructure, maintenance, backups, etc. in Microsoft data centers

Project Web App / SharePoint Online

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or higher
  • Mozilla Firefox 10.x or higher
  • Apple Safari 5 or higher
  • Google Chrome 17.x or higher

The following are compatible clients:

  • Microsoft Project Professional
  • Project Online Desktop Client

4. Microsoft Project Web App

Browser-Based Project Access for All Participants

The browser-based Microsoft Project Web App is available both in Microsoft Project Server and in Project Online. With all established browsers, its users have role-specific access to central data, resources and functions.

It allows project managers to plan projects. However, the desktop version offers a notably higher range of functions.

System Requirements

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or higher
  • Mozilla Firefox 10.x or higher
  • Apple Safari 5 or higher
  • Google Chrome 17.x or higher

The following are compatible clients:

  • Microsoft Project Professional
  • Project Online Desktop Client

Quick and at a Fixed Price – TPG QuickStart Solution

Are you looking for a quick and secure way to your individual PPM solution based on Microsoft Project Server, Project Online or Planisware Orchestra? Then TPG QuickStart is the right packaged approach for you: available within just a few weeks – at a fixed price and with interesting extras.

Learn more about TPG QuickStart

How Does Microsoft PPM Benefit You?

Drivers    Benefits
Visibility and Accountability Microsoft Project Server or Project Online centralizes project and resource scheduling, tasks and reporting permitting real-time business reporting on the status of project activity and business results.
Strategy Execution and Alignment Microsoft Project Server or Project Online offers extensive Portfolio Analysis features ensuring project activity and resource investments support strategic business goals and objectives. Define business drivers, budgets and upcoming projects, and Project Server or Project Online will select projects that fit within your organizational goals.
Portfolio Simulations Use TPG PortfolioManager to extend the portfolio management capabilities by running graphical resource utilization simulations of new and existing projects.
Resource Planning and Management Microsoft Project Server or Project Online optimizes resource planning by tracking the availability, skills and roles required to complete a project. Define specific named resources, generic resources, resource availability and rates to ensure capacity needs are accurately projected.
Project Team Productivity Microsoft Project Server or Project Online ensures projects are delivered on time and within budget by leveraging user-friendly project scheduling, resource planning, and cost planning. Professional reporting and dashboards provide up-to-date project information for executives and managers.

Total Cost of Ownership

 Competitively priced licenses and implementation services provide a compelling TCO. Microsoft Project Server or Project Online implementation is available on-premises, hosted, and in the cloud. All these systems can be customized to meet your organizational budget, timeline and requirements.

Build Your PPM Solution with the Microsoft PPM Experts

Being one of the few worldwide Microsoft PPM service providers, TPG The Project Group offers on-premises and cloud-based project management solutions based on Microsoft PPM. These include:

  • Consulting services to suit the current maturity level of your project management
  • Implementation of PPM solutions, if necessary with helpful expansions   
  • Training and coaching
  • Support for day-to-day operations