This article is a brief overview of the PROJECT in a box (PIAB) application for System Administrators and implementers, assuming a basic understanding of Microsoft technologies. It answers the common questions that are asked by IT staff when planning their install.
PIAB is a team system for creating, editing and reporting on project documentation. Projects are created from templates that hold the project structure and the files needed to run the project. The project files are typically Microsoft Office files (e.g. Word files, spreadsheets etc.) but can be any type of file. The project is navigated using point-and-click process diagrams. All these features can be tailored to suit your organisation using the tools provided.
PIAB contains these main elements:
Where are the project files held?
PIAB allows users to check out, edit & check in project files. These are stored in a single NFTS folder or network share, rather than as BLOBs in the database.
What is in the SQL Database?
The 'piab' SQL Server database holds the structure of the projects, and some descriptive information about projects, the user security/access model and audit trail logs.
Can I install PIAB on separate SQL Server, IIS and file store nodes?
Yes, please see KB2310020 Server Setup Patterns
What is the web browser application?
The 'Enterprise Hub' web browser application contains a subset of the full client functionality for everyday team use.
What is the full client?
The full client has additional administration and reporting features, and has smoother interaction with the user's desktop e.g. integration with Microsoft Office and Outlook.
How to deploy the client?
The PIAB client can be deployed using a conventional setup.exe program, or your own distribution software, and also from a “click and run” style download from a page in the 'Enterprise Hub'. Because it is a files-only, .NET based client, it is lightweight to deploy.
Does it need a reporting engine?
No, PIAB uses standards-based reporting (XML, XSL, HTML) and doesn't need separate reporting software to be installed.
How to back it up?
You can use your standard tools to backup the project files and the SQL database.
How is it licenced?
The product is licenced on the server for a number of users of various types. The licence consists of a unique Customer ID (a 7-digit number) and a licence key (a Hex string). The licence is locked to the server. You have the option of licencing over the Internet when you install, or later via an application on the server or via our website.
Can I get a temporary licence for testing?
Yes, please login to your customer page on our website to get it. It is a time-limited licence that will work on any server. If you need more time, let us know and we will send you a new one.
When planning your installation you may find these helpful:
|KB2800160 Architecture Diagram||Architecture Diagram|
|KB2800220 Server Setup Patterns||Options for deploying the server elements.|
|KB3010210 Server Install Quick Checklist||A checklist of pre and post-install questions.|
|KB3010215 Client-Server Test Plan 3.0|
|KB3010216 Client Install Test Plan 3.0|
|KB2410110 Using Active Directory Authentication|
KB2310065 Using LDAP to Create PIAB Users
|How to implement single sign-on if you are using PIAB in an AD environemnt.|
|KB2410032 Client Deployment||Options for deploying the Windows client.|
|KB2800040 Customising the Look and Feel||How to modify the application to fit in with your organisation's image.|
|KB2310030 Backup||Which parts to include in your backup scheme.|