Overview of PPM Mobility Access

This topic provides an overview of the Project and Portfolio Management Center Mobility Access (Mobility Access).

Introduce Mobility Access

PPM Mobility Access is a smart add-on that enables PPM users to process approval workflow steps from desktop email or any PDA device. Users who are working outside of an office or without VPN access can act on approval workflow steps without logging on to PPM.

Users receive email alerts that inform them that a workflow approval step is pending and requires their action. The user can act on the workflow step using the buttons available in the email. The user can also create a note to append to the PPM entity (request or package) being processed.

The following is an example of a Mobility Access email alert displayed in a PPM user's PDA device.

The Mobility Access background service running on the PPM Server periodically connects to the email account (at the frequency you configure for the service) and reads user response emails. The service verifies that the email response is from the email address to which the notification was sent, and that the email address is for a valid PPM center user.

Finally, the Mobility Access service parses the response email and applies the selected action to the workflow step (if the user is authorized to act on the step). You can also configure the system to send feedback email to notify the user of the success or failure of the selected action.

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Mobility Access best practices

We recommend the following best practices for the use of the Mobility Access:

  • Use Mobility Access Service for only a small subset of important workflow decision steps, for example, steps that require executive approval by email only. For typical day-to-day workflow actions, use the PPM standard interface.

  • The overall performance of the Mobility Access Service depends on the performance of the email server and the network bandwidth between the email server and the PPM Server. For best performance, place the PPM Server and email server on the same local area network (LAN). The Mobility Access service can process about 1,000 emails per hour in a medium-scale deployment that is set up according to PPM recommendations based on test conditions.

  • Before you deploy Mobility Access in a production environment, deploy it in a staging environment so that you can assess system setup and configuration.

  • If you plan to use the Mobility Access service in non-English, install the Multilingual User Interface (MLU). As a result, MLU can format regional sensitive data such as date, currency, and number.

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Mobility Access in a multilingual user interface context

Consider the following if you use Mobility Access in a PPM system that supports multiple languages:

  • To use Mobility Access with languages other than English, you must provide translated content. For information about the translation tools that PPM provides and instructions on how to use them, see the Multilingual User Interface Guide.

  • The notification locale must match the Windows regional settings on the recipient's system. If the notification locale is different than the user's locale, the notification message display is corrupted, and the recipient cannot respond to the notification.

    You can configure the user's locale using the regional and language options settings on Control Panel. For example, for a Windows Server 2003-based computer, on Control Panel, select Regional and Language Options. In the Regional and Language Options window, click the Advanced tab, and then, in the Language for non-Unicode programs section, select a language from the list.

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Mobility Access Limitations

The Mobility Access add-on is subject to the following limitations:

  • Mobility Access does not support delegation of approvals. If a user delegates the approval of a step to a different user and forwards the notification received from the system to the delegate, the delegated user cannot act on the workflow step on behalf of the original recipient.

  • Mobility Access Service notifications are available only for workflow decision steps with lookup validations of both the Demand Management and Deployment Management modules. Mobility Access can also be used with project request workflows.

  • Email addresses sharing between PPM users is not supported. Users selected to receive email approval notifications must not share their PPM email address with other PPM users.

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See also: