Microsoft Project Server 2010 has many new features, abilities, and enhancements that make it a great product. However, one modification to the 2010 version could go unnoticed: ActiveX controls are no longer part of Project Server. What’s ActiveX? It’s a function or control that adds functionality to Project. In the case of Project Server 2007, there are a number of places it’s used; but the most noticeable is that it allows you to see the information within Project Center and Resource Center.

I can’t count the number of times I would have a user contact me to say he or she was getting an error message like this one:

Microsoft Project 2010 Feature Rally: No More ActiveX!

The catch Well, if the person isn’t an administrator or lacks sufficient permissions on their machine, he or she can’t download the ActiveX control. And there are other settings that have to be configured in Internet Explorer as well. If the client machines have been “locked down” by a central IT group, then they have to administer the installation of these controls. It isn’t always easy to get the controls pushed out from the central IT administration folks!

Then, when some system update occurs — whether for Project or some other application — the tweaked ActiveX controls have to be downloaded or pushed out again. At one client site this is a constant problem; there are always a handful of users who can’t access Project Server due to the hardware and software update cycles. And I know for a fact that this has slowed the adoption of the tool overall.

With all of the improvements and new components of Project Server 2010 I hope this now defunct “feature” becomes one of those topics of conversation that administrators tell each other about when they’re discussing the “old days” and how much better it is now!