Project Insight data is managed in a complex SQL Server database structure which cannot be identically replicated outside of the Project Insight application. However, you will find that the data you need to reference following the completion of a project is retrievable within a set of previously saved reports. If you choose to export Project Insight data following the completion of a project, it is important to define the data which is most important and export it in such a way that it can be read with client-based applications.
One common method of exporting project schedule data is to export it to MS Project and save it locally. This will copy the high-level schedule data which maps well between the two applications. It will not capture much of the supporting data which is proprietary to Project Insight such as time entries, comments, issues, approval requests and file uploads to name a few.
The following steps should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure you are saving the data you need during your data export process:
- Export closed projects to an MS Project or MS Project XML format. Compare the results between the two applications to make sure the scheduling data has translated as expected for long-term local reference
- Practice running reports to retrieve the data you would normally retrieve from a closed project and save those reports. Make it part of the archival routine to run those saved reports and export all of the data into spreadsheets for future reference. Obvious reports might be for time and expense entry, but don't forget to run reports for other information you may find yourself retrieving on a regular basis such as system and user comments
- Download all files which have been uploaded into the project and store the files locally within a folder structure similar to the folder structure within which they are organized in Project Insight
While the above steps will not replicate the complete Project Insight data schema, careful planning and review of the export process can provide for an easy method to retrieve important data long after you have removed it from Project Insight.