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Microsoft Project Online Overview: Pros & Cons

Reading Time: 4 mins
Anna Shalomova

PPM Consultant

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Project and portfolio management involves prioritizing and managing tasks efficiently to achieve organizational goals. Microsoft Project Online allows organizations to use robust PPM capabilities within Office 365 cloud infrastructure.  

This Microsoft Project Online review presents the pros and cons of its usage as well as some solutions to enhance your PPM processes.

What is Microsoft Project Online?

Microsoft Project Online is a cloud-based offering that helps with project and portfolio management. This flexible online solution developed by the Microsoft Sharepoint platform requires a Microsoft Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 subscription.  

Microsoft project management software combines three platforms: Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and Project Online PWA. Its service is spread out and organized to provide maximal utility in project and portfolio management. Within its three-tiered subscription model, each tier unlocks specific features. 

Discover Things to Consider When Migrating to Microsoft Project Online

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What is Microsoft Project used for?

Microsoft Project Online is part of the Microsoft Office 365 project management software module. It is designed to streamline project management by making built-in connections to Microsoft Office and Teams.  

The target audience includes: 

  • Project and portfolio managers. 
  • Resource managers. 
  • Anyone who wants to lead a project using comprehensive software that provides all the basic and advanced features. 

Moreover, it has a different plan or add-on for regular team members.  

Microsoft Project Online vs Project Server

Microsoft Project Server

Let’s overview the core Microsoft Project Server characteristics: 

  • It’s an adaptable platform for managing multiple projects and portfolios. 
  • Centralized solution offering planning, reporting, and collaboration capabilities. 
  • Facilitates resource management and centralized data storage. 
  • Requires on-premises installation and administration alongside Microsoft SQL Server. 
  • Integrates with Microsoft SharePoint Server for enhanced file management and collaboration. 
  • Ideal for organizations with existing on-premises infrastructure. 

Microsoft Project Online

Here are Microsoft Project Online essentials 

  • It’s a cloud-based utility included in Microsoft 365 Suite. 
  • Offers similar functionality to Project Server and additional capabilities, such as project time tracking. 
  • Eliminates the need for on-premises server infrastructure. 
  • Users can connect to the cloud service directly from desktop applications or web browsers. 
  • Suitable for companies seeking a flexible, cloud-based project management solution. 

In summary, both solutions provide similar functionality. While Microsoft Project Server can be a good choice for organizations with existing on-premises infrastructure, Project Online is more suitable for organizations looking for a cloud-based solution. Consider your specific business needs and infrastructure when evaluating the pros and cons of each option. 

Microsoft Project features

Mircosoft Project Online’s extensive features include the following: 

  • Collaboration between internal and external team members 
  • Access anywhere using a web browser 
  • Build customizable reports easily using GANTT charts and critical paths 
  • “Timesheets” that organize and assign tasks to employees in a timeline 
  • Real-time monitoring and updates of charts and financials 
  • Optimizable resource allocation over multiple projects 

Microsoft Project Online pros

Here are some of the advantages MS Project Online offers: 

  • One of the most globally recognized and used project and portfolio management software. 
  • A holistic approach to project planning, management, and publishing. 
  • Unlimited unique portfolio dashboards. 
  • Task and resource management through cross-project critical paths. Allocation of resources is made easier through a user-friendly interface. 
  • Advanced PPM functionalities for planning strategic programs and projects. 
  • Native integration with Office 365 tools.

Increasing Project Online Performance

Getting started with Microsoft Project Online management is a complex task. In addition, its configuration takes a lot of time and requires additional technical assistance. So, now let’s review some solutions that can help with Project Online deployment and simplify its usage. 

FluentBooks for Project Online Overview

FluentPro FluentBooks is the perfect solution to all the problems arising from migration to Project Online. It does the heavy lifting by automating the migration process and transferring projects from Project Server to Project Online in a professional, timely, and high-quality manner.   

Learn more about FluentPro FluentBooks for Project Online and how it automates migration 

FluentBooks helps manage Project Online Microsoft, automating the hassle of migrating projects for every PWA administrator. Moreover, project-related consulting and implementation services are provided to make the process easier for you.  

To start with FluentBooks, you must create a migration plan, select what data needs to be moved, and migrate to Project Online. The solution allows the following options: 

  • Project Server 2010/2013/2016/2019/2021 to Project Online 
  • Project Online to Project Server 2010/2013/2016/2019/2021 
  • Upgrade Project Server version 
  • Project Online PWA to a New Tenant 

Key features

FluentBooks offers various useful features, such as: 

  • Specific features for administrative and migration purposes 
  • Support for command line interference for partial migration 
  • Support for bulk edits of Sharepoint sites, custom fields, and lookup tables resources as a part of its administrative features 
  • Comparison and documentation Project Server/ Project Online data 
  • Export and import from MS Excel 
  • Ability to publish and download projects for backup purposes 


Here is a quick rundown of FluentBooks benefits: 

  • Automates repetitive tasks to save time during the migration to Microsoft Project Online 
  • Automates manual configuration management for portfolios, thereby reducing errors 
  • Eliminates the omission risk while migrating data, making the whole process smooth and error-free 
  • Reduces cost by decreasing the need for additional IT technicians 
  • Migration between any edition of Project Online and Project Server 

Final words

Microsoft Project Online is a powerful project, resource, and portfolio management tool. However, additional add-ons and plug-ins are required to realize its full capabilities. It can prove very expensive after adding the subscription and licensing fees.  

The administrative, migration, and configuration management processes can be very frustrating since it is repetitive and manual. FluentPro FluentBooks is an excellent solution for these issues.  

Targeted toward PWA administrators, FluentBooks aids the Microsoft project planning software and mitigates many of the challenges that come with it. It supports various advanced administrative cases and makes automated migration and configuration-related tasks.  

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