Creating, Reading and Saving Projects

Aspose.Tasks for .NET lets you work with Microsoft Project (MPP/XML) files without having Microsoft Project installed, or using Microsoft Office Automation. A powerful and flexible API, Aspose.Tasks saves you time and effort by giving you the tools you need to write efficient code for manipulating project files.

Aspose.Tasks can open existing files, but it can also create new files. This article explains how to create a new and empty project file from the stream using the Project class. as well as open existing files.

Creating an Empty Project File

The Project class is the main class in Aspose.Tasks used to set and get properties associated with a project, as well as behavior. The Save method offered by this class makes it possible to render the Project to various output formats such as XML, MPP, PDF, HTML, etc. with a single API call. This method accepts a file stream or file name, and one of the values provided by the SaveFileFormat enumeration type.

The following lines of code create a simple project file in XML format.

Create an Empty Project And Saving as XML File

1Project project = new Project();
2project.Save("EmptyProjectSaveXML_out.xml", SaveFileFormat.XML);

The resulting XML project file can be opened in Microsoft Project using the following steps:

  1. On the File menu, select Open.
  2. Select the XML format (*.xml) option from the file types and browse to the output XML file.
  3. On the Project menu, select Project Information

Create an Empty Project and Save to Stream

1// Create a project instance
2Project newProject = new Project();
4// Create a file stream
5using (FileStream stream = new FileStream("EmptyProjectSaveStream_out.xml", FileMode.Create, FileAccess.Write))
7    // Write the stream into XML format
8    newProject.Save(stream, SaveFileFormat.XML);

Create an Empty Project and Save to MPP

1// there is no more need to load MPP template to save it into MPP
2// add tasks, resources, etc.
3Project project = new Project();
5// !The project will be saved into MPP by using internal MPP template.
6project.Save("New Project.mpp", SaveFileFormat.MPP);

Reading a Project File

Aspose.Tasks for .NET lets you read existing project in different formats: XML, MPP, MPT, MPX, XER, Primavera P6 XML, etc and save these back in MPP or another format after updating. The following snippets show how a project file can be read using the Project class’s constructor.

Reading Project Files as a Template

1// Read existing project template file
2Project project = new Project("New Project.mpp");

Reading Project File from Stream

1// Read the project xml into file stream
2using (FileStream stream = new FileStream("ReadProjectFileFromStream.xml", FileMode.Open))
4    // Create project using file stream
5    Project project = new Project(stream);

Importing Project Data From Microsoft Project Server Database

We plan to retire the importing of project data from Microsoft Project Server Database in a future release. Instead you can use import \ export of project data using Microsoft Project Server’s PWA API.

See documentation for ProjectServerManager class for more details.

 1// Create connection string
 2SqlConnectionStringBuilder sqlConnectionString = new SqlConnectionStringBuilder();
 3sqlConnectionString.DataSource = ",1433";
 4sqlConnectionString.Encrypt = true;
 5sqlConnectionString.TrustServerCertificate = true;
 6sqlConnectionString.InitialCatalog = "ProjectServer_Published";
 7sqlConnectionString.NetworkLibrary = "DBMSSOCN";
 8sqlConnectionString.UserID = "sa";
 9sqlConnectionString.Password = "*****";
11// Use Aspose.Tasks.Connectivity namespace
12MspDbSettings settings = new MspDbSettings(sqlConnectionString.ConnectionString, new Guid("E6426C44-D6CB-4B9C-AF16-48910ACE0F54"));
13Project project = new Project(settings);

Import Project Data from MPD (Microsoft Project Database) File

1DbSettings settings = new MpdSettings("Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0; Data Source=" + "MpdFileToRead.mpd", 1);
2Project project = new Project(settings);

Ignoring invalid characters during loading Project

Some files may have invalid characters in the custom fields. Microsoft Project does not allow invalid character so the files have been created or manipulated with automation or some other tools. If these be loaded using the API, they may lead to an exception. In order to ignore such invalid characters, the overloaded constructor of Project class can be used with the delegate method ParseErrorCallBack.

 1static void Run()
 3    // Open modified xml stream
 4    using (MemoryStream stream = new MemoryStream(Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(GetModifiedXml())))
 5    {
 6        Project project = new Project(stream, new ParseErrorCallback(CustomDurationHandler));
 7    }
10static string GetModifiedXml()
12    // Open valid xml file and modify it
13    using (TextReader reader = new StreamReader("IgnoreInvalidCharacters.xml"))
14    {
15        string xml = reader.ReadToEnd();
16        Regex regex = new Regex("PT(\\d+)H(\\d+)M(\\d+)S");
17        return regex.Replace(xml, "**$1Hrs$2Mins$3Secs**");
18    }
21static object CustomDurationHandler(object sender, ParseErrorArgs args)
23    Regex regex = new Regex("[*]{2}(\\d+)Hrs(\\d+)Mins(\\d+)Secs[*]{2}");
24    if (args.FieldType == typeof(TimeSpan))
25    {
26        Debug.Print("Object field : {0}, Invalid value : {1}", args.FieldName, args.InvalidValue);
27        string duration = regex.Replace(args.InvalidValue, "PT$1H$2M$3S");
28        TimeSpan newValue = Duration.ParseTimeSpan(duration);
29        Debug.Print("New value : {0}", newValue);
30        return newValue;
31    }
32    // Here we handle only TimeSpan instances, so rethrow original exception with other types
33    throw args.Exception;

Working With Encodings

Aspose.Tasks for .NET provides support for the encoding of MPX files. The following code example shows the encoding settings.

1// Specify Encodings
2using (StreamReader streamReader = new StreamReader("Project.mpx", System.Text.Encoding.GetEncoding("ISO-8859-1")))
4    Project project = new Project(streamReader.BaseStream);
Subscribe to Aspose Product Updates

Get monthly newsletters & offers directly delivered to your mailbox.