With each version of Office, Microsoft creates easier ways for business users to move data between programs, such as using content from an Excel spreadsheet in a Word document. Microsoft Project, an Office product that has been designed to improve the efficiency of your workplace team on a shared task, offers resources to manage different projects from start to finish, whether employees are in the same location or separate offices. One core component of this program is Project Web App, which creates an online system for users to access the same information in the same area.

PWA, or Project Web App, is designed to help multiple employees keep track of a particular project or portfolio, from various checkpoints to deadlines to the amount of hours dedicated to it. Those given privileges to be part of or oversee the project can see or add changes to the workflow in a central grid, as well as read or contribute notes or suggestions to others. Depending on how the project is configured, users can receive notifications of any changes or view them when they access the shared area.

New Name

Prior to Project Server 2010, PWA stood for Project Web Access, a tool in the Professional version of Project which allowed users to share files in a central database. This service was renamed Project Web App starting with Project Server 2010, and made available in every edition of the program, not just Professional. In the official blog of the Microsoft Project team, the staff said this move made the software consistent with other Office 2010 web-based apps, and reflected the growing amount of features available beyond just a place to share data.


Microsoft Project 2010 Service Pack 1, released in summer 2011, included new features and improvements to PWA such as multi-browser support for time entry, enhancements to the ability to sync projects together to a SharePoint list and general improvements, including easier ways to edit project plans.

Who Controls It

Administrators have an important role in designing or modifying workplace projects using PWA; there are so many features that can be customized. Using a visual interface called a "carousel" because it's a rotating series of options and commands, administrators can create permissions for the various levels of authozied users, from the actual project crew to managers who want to check occasionally to see the project's status. Administrators can also choose which fields are displayed in the central shared grid, and which ones people can modify, plus create new projects or modify existing ones.