Installing Open Workbench

The Open Workbench website ( may have been decommissioned, but because Open Workbench was (at least nominally) “open source” the software remains available for installation from various locations on the Internet. Also, itdesign have picked up the Open Workbench project and several versions are available on the itdesign site. itdesign have the latest and (in my opinion) the most easily-accessible installation.

This post includes guides and instructional videos on locating and  installing Open Workbench 1.1.6 and Open Workbench 2.0. It is important to note that although Open Workbench 2.0 menus and toolbars have been modernised, they are functionally very similar.  Open Workbench 2.0 contains some enhancements such as:

  • AutoSchedule for selected tasks (Open Workbench 1.1.6 will only AutoSchedule the entire project)
  • Graphical indenting
  • Manual and automated scheduling for selected tasks.

itdesign also provides services including development (on request) of new features for Open Workbench, training for users and consulting services related to the CA Clarity PPM system.

Open Workbench requires the Java runtime to operate, so before installing Open Workbench you will need to install Java, available from

Once you have installed Java, follow the instructions in this Quick Reference Guide to install Open Workbench 1.1.6, or this Quick Reference Guide to install Open Workbench 2.0.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Installing Open Workbench

  1. Pingback: Working With Views | Open Workbench Warrior

  2. bbraho says:

    I’ve been trying to install Open Workbench 2.0.
    (Installing as Administrator on Windows 7 x64)
    While it appears to install fine, it crashes immediately when run. (npWBench.exe ntdll.dll error)
    The prior version 1.1.6? seems to work fine.

    I’m attempting to be a new user, and don’t know where to look for help except here.
    Should a new user even consider OpenWorkbench? I need a schedule program for auto-resource leveling.
    Thanks for any help.

    • Hi, bbraho, and welcome! You made 3 main points, which I’ll try to address in turn.

      (1) ntdll.dll error appears to be fairly common (and not just with OWB). Links to articles (here and here) recommend reinstalling the offending program.
      (2) new users don’t have may places to go for help, which is why I started this blog. I have a fair amount of information and had nowhere to share it since CA killed open
      (3) new users have few choices outside of MS Project. OWB has been unloved for quite a while, but I’m encouraged by the work IT Design are doing. And OWB is definitely the best option if your constraint is the resource pool.

      Please let me know how to get o repairing the dll error. In the meantime I’ll ask around and see if others have had the same problem.

    • Phillip says:

      Hello bbraho,
      I found this link with information that may be of use:

      The summary is: install JRE v6 32 bit version, then run Open Workbench 2.0 in Windows 98/Me Compatibility mode.

  3. Phillip says:

    I’ve had a similar problem running Open Workbench 2.0 on Windows 7 (32-bit). It installs without error, but when I try to run the program, npWBench.exe crashes even before the splash screen starts, with a Windows error message that the program has crashed. If I open the details of the crash (that Windows volunteers to send to Microsoft for analysis), I didn’t see mention of ntdll.dll, but it’s possible I missed it.

    Open Workbench 1.1.6 installs and runs fine.

    For troubleshooting I uninstalled the program and rebooting between each attempt:
    – Install version 2.0 with and without the version of JRE included with the program.
    – Install version 2.0 using Revo Uninstaller to make sure I can remove all traces of previous installs, with and without the version of JRE included with the program.
    – Redownload version 2.0 and try reinstalling.
    – Install version 2.01.
    – Run the install version 2.0 as administrator with and without JRE included with the program.
    Now when I attempt to start the program, npWBench.exe appears for about 30 seconds in the Process List (not the Task List) of Windows, then disappears without any crash message.
    – Download and install the lastest version of Java from Oracle (JRE 7 Update 30), then try installing with and without the version of JRE included with the program.

    Hopefully someone has encountered this issue and has a solution. I searched online, but this thread is the only one I’ve found.

    Thank you for your help.

  4. Jens says:


    Did you have a chance to try the 2.1.0 beta? I would be interested in the changes itd made, but unfortunately they do not publish a change log.

    Thank you for your valuable explanations on OWB, I still find this tool much superior to MS Project.

    All the best – Jens

    • Hi Jens

      Yes, I agree with you about OWB’s functional superiority to MS Project (although I have to confess, I think MSP 2010 is a huge improvement over earlier version).

      I haven’t had a chance to try OWB 2.1.0 yet – I’m up to my armpits on a Clarity v13 implementation and don’t have much ‘me’ time (which is why I’m so grateful to Martti for replying to the vast majority of posts on this site). I’l be giving it a go as soon as I can.

  5. Martti K. says:

    There is OWB release notes available on CA support
    My recollection is that there was not that much difference in 2.1 beta to 2.0 that it would strike your eye.
    itDesign is offering OWB courses
    The Introduction is free. That gives you a good view of the new Ui.

  6. lina says:

    Why was workbench decomissioned?

    • Martti K says:

      You should ask that CA.
      Just wondering why it has taken so long to get the notification of your post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s