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How to import/link projects from Azure DevOps to PPM Express

This article describes the steps of the project import and project linking from Azure DevOps as well as resources import. We will review how to link the PPM Express project to the Azure DevOps project or specific team, work item type (default or custom), iteration, or/and area.

In this scenario, we consider that you are importing or linking projects from Azure DevOps to PPM Express for the first time.


Linking PPM Express project to Azure DevOps

It is possible to link your PPM Express project to the whole Azure DevOps project or to a specific team, work item type (default or custom), iteration, or/and area.

Please note: If you would like to link PPM Express project to a specific Azure DevOps team (work item type (default or custom), iteration or/and area), the required team (work item type (default or custom), iteration, or/and area) should be selected during project linking. If you selected to link PPM Express project to the whole Azure DevOps project and clicked the 'Link Project Button', it will not be possible to link this PPM Express project to a specific team (work item type (default or custom), iteration, or/and area) later. Specific Azure DevOps team (work item type (default or custom), iteration, or/and area) should be selected while linking the project.

Please note: Several PPM Express projects cannot be connected to the same Azure DevOps team.

1. Open the PPM Express project that you would like to link to the Azure DevOps project and press the Link Project button.

2. On the 'Link to Project' tab select the Azure DevOps option.

3. Open the Connection drop-down and select the 'Add new connection' option.

4. As you select the 'Add new connection' option, the 'Create connection' window will be opened. Please refer to the 'How to add Azure DevOps connection to PPM Express' article to add a connection.

5. When the connection is added, in the Select project section, select the project from Azure DevOps that you would like to link to PPM Express.

6. If you would like to link the PPM Express project to Azure DevOps specific team, epic, iteration, or/and area click the 'Additional filter' button. 

7. Select the required team, work item type (default or custom), iteration or/and area and click the 'Link project part' button. 

Project linking will start immediately. 

Please refer to the 'How data is synchronized from Azure DevOps' article for the information on the data synchronization logic. 


Importing Projects from Azure DevOps

Please note: The scenario described in this article allows importing the whole Azure DevOps project to PPM Express. It is also possible to import a specific work item type (default or custom) from Azure DevOps as a PPM Express project (except for bug or task work items). 

To start importing data from Azure DevOps to PPM Express, perform the following steps: 

1. On the Portfolios, Programs, Projects, or Resources page select to open Actions drop-down and choose the Import Projects option. 

2. Select Azure DevOps from the available list of the source systems. 

3. In the Connection section select Add new connection option. If requested, grant PPM Express the permissions required.

In the Create connection window, you will need to add an Azure DevOps connection. Please refer to the 'How to add Azure DevOps connection to PPM Express' for more details.

4. When the connection is added, the Import page will be opened.

5. On the Import project page, choose the projects from Azure DevOps (VSTS) you want to import into PPM Express by marking the corresponding check-boxes in the list.  

It is possible to import Azure DevOps work item type (default or custom) as a PPM Express project or as a program by selecting the required option in the 'Import as' section. 

Please note: In case when Azure DevOps project/ work item is imported as a PPM Express project, the following PPM Express project sections will be populated with data synchronized from Azure DevOps (Summary/ Project Progress, Iterations, Team, Schedule).

Connection on Program level is for quick navigation to Azure DevOps project/ work item. No data is synchronized from Azure DevOps to PPM Express Program.

The 'Expand' section allows to add Azure DevOps items to the list and import them as projects or programs. 

The work items of the selected project will be loaded to the Import screen. When the items are loaded, you can select the required work item(s) and it will be imported as a project/program to PPM Express together with other projects selected. 

Also, the hierarchy of work items will be preserved according to Azure DevOps while importing them to PPM Express.

In PPM Express, Projects are grouped into Programs as an extra level of the hierarchy, and this structure can be transferred from Azure DevOps to PPM Express.

For example, you need to import Azure DevOps Epic as Program, and Features under the Epic as Projects to PPM Express.

To do so, select Import as Program for the Epic, and import its Features as Projects. The Program linked to Epic and Projects linked to Features will be created in PPM Express.

The Projects will be added to the Program.

In case a child Azure DevOps item is imported as Program, and its parent as Project, no connection between Program and Project will be created in PPM Express.

Projects will be added to Program in PPM Express only in case the hierarchy is kept for Azure DevOps items.

This applies to the items even if the parent item was imported as Program earlier and is already added to PPM Express. Its child items imported as Projects will get into this Program.

This rule applies only to the items displayed on the import page (if some of them were not selected or hidden using the filters, they will not be counted in the hierarchy).

The items on the import page can be filtered out for easier navigation using the filters in the top right corner. 

6. When the required projects or/and work items are selected, click on the Import button. 

Depending on the amount of data to process, this operation may need some time. You can see the import progress. 

As soon as the project import is complete, you will see the Linked as program/project status for the linked projects. 

To exit the Import Projects screen, just click the Cancel button on the Import screen. 

First, you will get to the step where you can add another Connection if required. After the first import operation is complete, you can select another account to import your Projects from. 

If you do not need to import more Projects to PPM Express, click on the left part of the page outside the Import Project screen once again. 

Your imported projects will appear on the Projects page in PPM Express. 


Importing Resources from Azure DevOps

In a very similar way, you can import your Resources from Azure DevOps to PPM Express. 

Please note: Some of the resources in the list may have Already linked status. These resources were assigned to the projects you have already imported and thus added to PPM Express automatically.

On the Portfolios, Programs, Projects, or Resources page select to open Actions drop-down and choose the Import Resources option.  

As the connection was already added while importing Projects, you can select the existing connection to import your Resources from. Click the New->Select Resources button. 

Mark the corresponding resources in the list and click on the Import button.

As the import process is completed, you will see Already linked status next to the Resources selected for import. 

To exit the Import Resources screen, just double-click on the left part of the page outside the Import Resources screen.


To manage your project, use the control panel in the upper right part of the project details page: 

  • Force sync project. This button allows manually synchronizing your project with the linked item at the source system. If it's grayed out, it means that sync is currently in progress.
  • Linked project. Open the linked project in Azure DevOps 
  • Link Project. Opens Configure connections menu for the current project allowing changing the linked item at the source system or unlinking the project completely. 

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