I was recently asked by a Project Online customer about pros & cons of having Single or Multiple Project Online PWA instances for different departments within the same organisation. Following are my thoughts on this topic:
- Single instance is easy to manage from a configuration & administration perspective, especially if most of the configuration elements (custom fields, pages, reports) are similar across all departments.
- Reports that display data across multiple instances are a bit harder to develop.
- Security can be configured down to per user/per project basis in either mode. It is easier to do so in separate instances but this benefit alone doesn’t justify the operational overhead of multiple instances.
- If the configuration of various departments is significantly different, it makes sense to have multiple instances for cleaner management.
- There is no consolidated screen, where a user can be assigned to multiple instances in a given role (say, Portfolio Manager). So a user would need to be added separately to each instance by the administrator.
- Some organisations like to use a separate instance to use Portfolio Analysis module. In that instance they keep playing around with Projects resourcing and cost requirements (i.e. What-If Analysis), without impacting the inflight project schedules.
- It is a common practice to have a separate development and/or test instance.