Lightning Fast Project Reporting with BrightWork
With the latest release of BrightWork on SharePoint 2013, we introduced a great new feature called the Project Cache – delivering lightning fast cross-project reporting to organizations with lots of BrightWork sites.
If you’re familiar with BrightWork, you will probably know that BrightWork includes the ability to report across multiple sites and lists and display the results in a single report. This is especially useful for program managers and senior executives, who want (need!) to be able to see how all the projects in the organization are performing in a single snapshot.
Unfortunately, there is a direct relationship between the number of sites and lists being reported on and the amount if time it takes a report to load. The Project Summaries report above is from the very simple 4 site project-office with a Projects Tracker structure shown in the diagram below – this report would actually load very quickly; however, many of our customers are trying to report on over 100 projects. A Project Summaries report has to open every single one of the project sites and each Project Statement, Project Metrics and Projects Tracker lists consecutively. When you have those 100 or more projects we just mentioned, the report can take a few minutes to fully load. Even when you understand that there is a perfectly good reason for this, the few minutes wait can be very frustrating.
The Project Cache remedies this problem with a man in the middle solution (see next diagram). Essentially, all changes in the various Project Statement, Project Metrics and Projects Tracker lists are written to a site-level Project Cache list (hidden). The site level Project Cache lists in turn writes their changes to the site collection-level Project Cache list (also hidden). Now, all the Project Summaries report has to do is query one list!
One small note – currently, the Project Cache only works with the Project Statement, Project Metrics, and Projects Tracker lists – it does yet not work with other lists like Project Tasks and Project Issues.