Extending Microsoft Project for the web with Power Platform Cloud Solutions

Please find highlights from Erik Van Hurck’s course – Project for the web: How It Works and What You Can Do With It – being provided by MPUG for the convenience of our members. You may wish to use this transcript for the purposes of self-paced learning, searching for specific information, and/or performing a quick review of webinar content. There may be exclusions, such as those steps included in product demonstrations, or there may be addition to expand on concepts. You may watch the on-demand recording of this webinar at your convenience.

Microsoft Project for the web is a browser-based scheduling engine designed with a modern mindset from Microsoft, which includes connections with other applications and third-party tools. In this MPUG webinar, Erik van Hurck, a senior PPM consultant for Projectum, presented the final session of a three-part series on how to extend the options that Project for the web has and take advantage of the power platform cloud solutions for project and portfolio management.

The first session was an overview of Project for the Web and its intended audience. The second session was an interactive discussion about key features that Project for the web needs to have to be enterprise-ready. In the third and final session, Erik focused on how to use Project for the web in a broader enterprise context and presented an example of Projectum’s PowerPPM solution with a Project for the web environment.

Extending Microsoft Project for the web Features Using Microsoft Teams

One of the advantages of Project for the web is that it can be used in a Microsoft 365 group, which provides various options for chat, including Microsoft Teams. By using Project for the web within Microsoft Teams, it is possible to create a Microsoft 365 group for the entire team to work on projects, with everyone within that team automatically being available as a part of the project.

To begin using Project for the web within Microsoft Teams, the user can open a new tab and search for the app or tab to use. They can then create a new project or use an existing one. The benefit of using this integration is that team members are already available as assignees within the project.

Integration Using Project for the web Within Microsoft Teams
Integration Using Project for the web Within Microsoft Teams

In creating a team within Project for the web, there are two features that we can use to attach files. On the right-hand side, we have options to add documents from our computer, add files that are already in the team, or add a link. However, if we don’t have a Microsoft group, we won’t have access to the back-end configuration, such as SharePoint or Microsoft Teams environment. In this case, the only option available is to add a link. But since we have Microsoft Teams, we can easily add files from our computer and store them within the team files. These two options will keep the files within the team’s file storage.

features that we can use to attach files
Add Attachment from Team Files

Another option that is available is the chat feature in the top right corner. If we open up the chat tab, it will correspond with the activity of the selected task. Each task has its own chat option. If we select chat for task two, we can see what task we’re referring to and start communicating. We can search for a specific person and send them a message. When they see the message, it will pop up in their posts and they’ll get a personal notification that there’s a chat going on. They can click on the link to open up the task directly and correspond based on the actual requests made.

chat feature in the top right corner
Chat Feature in the Top Right Corner

Power Platform Environment to Extend Microsoft Project for the web Features

By utilizing some of the extra applications available in the Power Platform environment, we can substantially enhance the capabilities of Project for the web. We have access to a comprehensive Power Platform environment that can be used to improve our Project for the web, as it is integrated with Dataverse, the backend storage system for all project data. Initially, Power Platform was comprised of only Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate, but it has since grown to include a variety of other applications with visually appealing icons that undergo periodic updates.

Power Platform App Icons
Power Platform App Icons

The Dataverse

The first application is the dataverse, which is the data backend. The second is Power Apps, which allows us to communicate and act on data. The third is Power Automate, formerly known as Flow, which automates processes within the data stored in our Project for the web. And finally, the fourth is Power BI, which helps with data visualization and content creation.

Thanks to its dataverse backend, Microsoft Project for the web is highly extensible, which provides easily accessible tables that can be easily altered. This backend is natively integrated with the rest of the Power Platform, making all the icons and applications available for interacting with content. This includes tables and cloud flows, which is essentially Power Automate. Custom assemblies and code can be built, even though Power Platform and Power Apps are marketed as low code or no code solutions, as model-driven Power Apps can also include code.

Model-Driven Power Apps

There are many benefits to using Power Platform solutions for Project for the web. With the dataverse backend, we have easy access to all our project data and the ability to make alterations quickly. We can leverage Power Apps for communication and actions on the data, while Power Automate automates processes within the data. And of course, we have Power BI for data visualization. Additionally, there are several Model-Driven apps available to enhance Project for the web even further. Some of these include:

  • Project Accelerator: Microsoft’s own free version of a model-driven Power App that offers additional functionality and communication capabilities for Project for the web. It includes features like an ideation phase for project requests, among others.
  • Power PPM: A solution that can be used to enhance Project for the web’s project and portfolio management capabilities. We’ll see a demonstration of this solution shortly.
  • Other Third-Party Vendors: There are many third-party vendors that offer solutions to enhance Project for the web beyond what Microsoft provides. While Project is a top-of-the-line solution, it’s not the only option available.

Using Power Automate to Extend Microsoft Project for the web Features

Power Automate is a powerful tool that allows users to automate easy and repetitive tasks. If there are any scenarios that are repetitive in nature, creating a Power Automate flow can be a solution. It interacts with a wide range of connectors, including Microsoft applications and other organizational applications.

Screenshot of Power Automates interface
Power Automates interface

A simple flow is shown on the right side of the screen where a record is created or modified. If a request is equal to a number, which is a lookup table value, and the request is approved while the project status is not equal to true, then a new record in Project is created. The information available in the ideas is used to create a project, and the project request is updated to indicate that the request is now aligned with the project. This process can be automated easily with Power Automate.

Power Automate is interactive and interacts with the data-verse backend, which means that anything done within Project for the web can be used with Power Automate as well. With this powerful tool, users can streamline their workflow, save time and effort, and make their work more efficient.

Extending Microsoft Project for the Web with Power BI

Power BI, Microsoft’s visualization tool, is available for use in extending Microsoft Project. A Power BI template is available for use, with a minor change that allows us to look directly at the SQL backend known as the Power Hub. One major advantage of using the Power Hub is the ability to store and analyze historical data. By taking snapshots of the data at various points in time, we can perform trend analysis and see how our projects have evolved over time. This is particularly useful for baselining, which is not natively possible within Project for the web. As long as the data was available at the time and stored in the Power Hub or a similar application, we can retrieve it and analyze it to gain insights into project performance.


In conclusion, Power Platform is a powerful suite of tools that can help organizations streamline their workflows, automate processes, and create custom solutions to meet their specific needs. With its low-code approach, Power Platform allows non-technical users to create apps and workflows, reducing the dependency on IT departments and increasing the speed of delivery.

One of the key components of Power Platform is Project for the web, a project management solution that enables organizations to manage their projects and tasks within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. By leveraging the capabilities of Project for the web with Power Platform, organizations can create custom workflows, automate project tasks, and gain real-time insights into their projects’ status and progress.

In the next part of the article, we will explore how organizations can use Power Platform with Project for the web to create custom solutions that meet their specific project management needs. We will discuss some of the key features of Project for the web, such as task management, resource management, and time tracking, and how these can be integrated with Power Platform to automate workflows and increase productivity. We will also examine some real-world examples of how organizations are using Power Platform and Project for the web to drive digital transformation and achieve their business goals.

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Written by Erik van Hurck

Erik van Hurck is a Senior PPM consultant for Projectum, a western European Microsoft Partner with offices in Denmark and The Netherlands. On top of that Erik is a Microsoft MVP. As such, Erik assists enterprise customers to adopt the new Power Platform cloud solutions for Project and Portfolio Management. Erik has a personal blog (www.theprojectcornerblog.com) and is also a writer for the Microsoft Project User Group (MPUG.com).

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