The Ribbon In Open Workbench 2.0

This post results from a request by our friend Tammi, who asked for some screenshots of the new Ribbon in Open Workbench 2.0.

The main User Interface change from Open Workbench 1.1.6 to Open Workbench 2.0 has been the replacement of the traditional Menu/Toolbar combination with the newer ‘Ribbon’. Most who use Open Workbench won’t yet have seen or used version 2.0, because (a) CA decommissioned the openworkbench.org website before IT Design produced version 2.0, and (b) CA Clarity version 12.x ships with Open Workbench version 1.1.x.

The new Ribbon has two tabs: Tasks and Project. The Tasks Ribbon looks like this:

The Project Ribbon looks like this:

The new style takes a bit of getting used to, and I admit I’m not convinced yet, but IT Design have done a nice job of converting the menu structure across to the Ribbon. This document provides an item-by-item comparison of the Ribbon vs the Menu/Toolbars.

There are some features which are new in Open Workbench 2.0, indicated in the table above by not having a corresponding Open Workbench 1.1.6 Menu item. The new features include:

  • Phase, Milestone, Task attributes found in the Edit section of the Tasks Ribbon. The purpose of these is to make it easier to change the Task Type. Clicking any of these buttons will turn the currently selected row (or rows) into that Task Type. It’s an easy way of creating the project plan hierarchy.Update: It looks like there are some teething problems with this functionality. I added a Task to my plan, then clicked on the Phase button, but it moved the Task to WBSLevel3. I’ve raised this issue with IT Design. I’ve now heard back from the good people at IT Design, who advise:

    Clicking on the Phase button will turn the currently selected line into a phase task at the deepest level that it can be added into, again, so as to minimize impact on surrounding lines (try the indent/outdent on the newly created phase to adjust its indentation). Since by default, only the first two levels are labelled, any deeper levels get a placeholder designation of “WBSLevelX”, with X being a number up to 16. You can change the name of the levels in the options dialog for Open Workbench and give names to each of the levels if you want.
    In summary, yes, that is expected behaviour and can be changed by setting up OWB to name WBSLevelX correctly.

    Looks like this is a terminology thing, in that while the button says “Phase” what it really means is “Summary”. In that context, this feature also works as described above.

  • Indent and Outdent buttons found in the Edit section of the Tasks Ribbon. Clicking on these will either indent or outdent the currently selected row by one. For example if the current row has a Task Type of ‘Task’ and you click the ‘Outdent’ button, the row will become an Activity.Update: this functionality does not currently work. CA Technologies have raised a ticket to have it fixed. I’ve emailed IT Design to seek clarification. I’ve now heard back from the good people at IT Design, who advise:

    The indent/outdent feature does indeed work, but probably not in the way you would expect at first. You can only indent/outdent summary tasks, i.e. phases, NOT tasks or milestones. For the indent to work, there must be an available level above, as new levels will not be created automatically. For the outdent, the phase must not be on the top level.
    We implemented this behaviour in this way so as to minimize the impact of an indent/outdent operation on lines that are not currently selected. E.g. in Microsoft Project, you can easily screw up your project by repeatedly indenting the same line.

    The functionality makes more sense in the context of this explanation. And I agree, it is really easy to screw up your MS Project plan using their indent-outdent feature!

  • Redo, found in the Edit section of the Tasks Ribbon, will reverse the most recent Undo action. If you delete some information in error, Redo will put it back.
  • Quicksearch found in the Search section of the Tasks Ribbon allows the user to type in a search term, and the View will auto-filter based on that term.

There are also some functions available in Open Workbench 1.1.6 which are not available in Open Workbench 2.0. Those features include:

  • the Methodology Guidelines functionality has been completely removed. This is a bit sad, since it was the only way for the PM to create a Hyperlink to (for example) a document stored elsewhere.
  • the File -> Send function has disappeared. This function enabled a user to email a copy of the plan to someone else from within the application.
  • Edit -> Copy Content has disappeared. This function enabled a user to copy the content of a cell to another cell. This can still be accomplished by selecting the contents of the cell and using the regular copy function.
  • the Favorites features, previously in the View Menu, have disappeared. This function displayed the favouite Views, Filters or Sorts.
  • the Edit View button / menu option has disappeared. The ability to Edit Views has been retained. The easiest way to do this is to use the f3 keyboard key, or right-click on the View you wish to edit and select Edit. For more information, see my article in Working With Views
  • the options to tile or cascade windows no longer exists, however the Tabs have been moved from the bottom of the page to the top.
  • the Help pull-down Menu has disappeared. The Help file has been re-written (although there are still gaps), and is accessible by clicking the Question Mark button found at the far-right of the Ribbon.

This concludes our introduction to the Ribbon. I hope you found it useful, and look forward to any questions or suggestions you have.

My thanks to the good people at IT Design who came back to me so quickly in response to my queries.

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8 Responses to The Ribbon In Open Workbench 2.0

  1. Tammi says:

    This is absolutely fantastic! You did a great job documenting the differences. Thank you so much. This site is quite helpful. I am thinking of some other suggestions that would be helpful to users. I was sitting here training a user on how the allocate from estimates works with OWB. I am not sure if would would like to give some tips in tricks in regards to how Clarity and OWB work together. Loading patterns is also a great topic.

    • Thanks, Tammi. I’m preparing a series on Managing Resources which I hope to have up in the next week or so, and it will definitely include a look at Loading Patterns.
      As for Clarity and OWB playing nice together, I’d love to … and definitely will if I find the time. Sadly, the site doesn’t pay my mortgage 😦 so I need to also find paying work!

      Thanks for your suggestions so far, and please keep them coming.

  2. Martti K. says:

    How would you get to edit Views, Filters and Sorts now that it is no longer in the Ribbon menu?

    • Hi Martti. I’ve covered this one in my post on Working With Views. I should have put a link to that post in this one but forgot. Post is now updated. Thanks for reminding me!

      • Martti K. says:

        My Favorite solution until the bug is fixed would be to use the keyboard short cut.
        They are not in the help or the manual, but they were listed in the manuals of Niku 6
        It might help someone to list them again, because they are not all Windows standard.

        Ctrl+F6 Display the next view window
        F1 Display online Help for a dialog box, a menu command or subcommand
        F2 Edit the contents of a cell in a view
        F3 Edit the current view
        F4 Find next
        F5 Refresh
        F7 Check spelling (Does not work in 2.0)
        F8 Modify project, task, or resource properties

  3. Pete Foley says:

    The Indent/Outdent function does not work in the current version. CA Support has created a ticket for this.

    • Thanks for pointing this out, Pete. I’ve also noticed that when I add a Task to my plan and hit the “Phase” button, the Task gets set to WBSLevel3.

      I’ve emailed IT Design to seek clarification of both these issues.

  4. Folks, I’ve now heard back from IT Design in response to my queries about the Indent/Outdent and Phase features, and updated the post accordingly. The features make sense and (at least based on my testing) do operate as described in the post above.

    The Help file is also confusing, because it refers to a “Phase Task”. If it were me, I’d change the terminology to “Summary Task”.

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