If you have a timeline imported from Microsoft Project, you can update it effortlessly when the Project data changes using Office Timeline Online’s Refresh data feature. This guide will show you how it works.
You’ll read about:
Read the whole guide or use the links above to jump to the section you’re interested in. At the end of the guide, you’ll also find a useful Notes & Tips section you might want to check out.
A) Upload your Project data
Open the timeline imported from Project that you wish to update and click the Refresh data button you’ll see in the top-right corner of the screen.
The Sync wizard will pop up, prompting you to upload the Project file you wish to fetch your updates from. As a quick reminder, right below the Browse button, you’ll also see the last file you used for importing into (or refreshing) your timeline.
Upload the desired file, and you’ll automatically be directed to the next step, “Select rows”.
B) Use filters to view what's relevant to you
In the “Select Rows” window, you will see a list of all data that differs in Project compared to your current timeline, as well as a Status for each item, so you can get a clear overview of the updates.
If you’d like to customize what you see in the data list, there are 2 ways you can filter your view:
You can use the Status filters to show or hide from view all items with a specific status. To do so, click the down arrow on the “Status” column header and check or uncheck whatever you wish from the dropdown menu.
You can also create custom filters to refine your view even further. To do so, click on the Filter button located on the top-right of the data list, and then add your desired conditions in the window that pops up.
Note that both types of filters (Status and Custom) will affect only your current view – they’ll have no impact on the final timeline. Only the rows you select (or deselect) from the data list will actually impact the visual.
C) Selecting the items to refresh and what happens to them depending on status
After you’ve set up your filters to see exactly what you need in the refresh data list, you can easily select the updates to apply to your timeline by ticking the checkboxes in the leftmost column.
To move even faster, you can use the checkboxes above the data list to select or deselect whole groups of items based on their status.
But speaking of statuses, let’s see what each of them means and what happens to it when syncing:
Overview of statuses
One or more of an item’s values (title, start date, end date etc.) differ in Project compared to your current timeline. We’ll show you both the timeline version and the Project version of said item (task/milestone), with the differences highlighted, so you can easily decide which version to keep.
- Select a Changed item to bring its Project version into your timeline when refreshing.
- Deselect it to keep the values you currently have on your visual.
The task/milestone exists on your current timeline but was deleted from the Project file.
- Select a Deleted item to remove it from your timeline.
- Deselect it to ignore the deletion and keep the task/milestone on your timeline.
The item didn’t exist in Project the last time you imported the .mpp file.
- Select a New task or milestone to add it to your timeline.
- Deselect it to ignore it when refreshing.
The item is already on your timeline and hasn’t suffered any changes since you last imported it.
- Select an Imported item to keep it on the timeline.
- Deselect it to remove it.
The item existed in the Project file the last time you imported it, but you didn’t bring it into the timeline.
- Select a Not Imported item to add it to the timeline.
- Deselect it to ignore when syncing.
The item is not importable (e.g. the title or start & end dates may be missing). To “fix” invalid items, go back to you Project file and double-check the task names and dates.
Once you’re done choosing the items to synchronize, click the green Refresh data button in the bottom right corner of the screen, and that’s it - your timeline will instantly be updated.
Notes & tips
- You can use the Data refresh settings menu in the upper-right corner to choose whether you want to import 1-day tasks as milestones or choose to ignore title changes when updating your timeline.
- To avoid confusion and possible data conflicts, only the timeline owner has the right to use the Refresh data functionality on a shared timeline. While a data refresh is in progress, collaborators that may have the timeline open will be notified about it and asked to wait until it is over.
- Refreshing data goes one way only. It will update your online timeline to match the changes in your MS Project file. Office Timeline Online will not impact or change your original .mpp file in any way.