Project Online

Last updated: May 31, 2023

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Project Online is a flexible online solution for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and everyday project work. Project Online provides powerful project management capabilities for planning, prioritizing, and managing projects and project portfolio investments—from almost anywhere on almost any device. Project Online can be used by administrators, portfolio managers and viewers, project and resource managers, and team leads and members.

Project Online is built on the SharePoint Online platform, and stores its data in the SharePoint Online data store, utilizing Project-enabled SharePoint Online sites.

Creation of a Project-enabled SharePoint Online site is a premium service and, as part of our shared-cost recovery model, incurs a charge of $134.67 per staff hour in minimum 15 minute increments, billed to a UW budget. Creation also requires the requester have at least one Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 license (details below). All support inquiries will also be charged as part of our shared-cost recovery model as detailed above.

Before Purchasing Project Online Licenses

UW-IT advises that only organizations that have staffing resources with expertise in Project Desktop and Project Server and have tightly controlled project management processes should use legacy Project Online. Organizations should carefully review Microsoft’s guide Project Online Admin Documentation to understand the configuration and the long term maintenance work required to sustain this product. Specifically, Microsoft’s document Change permission management in Project Online is important to review as selecting the wrong permissions model has posed a significant challenge for some organizations. Please also review the Microsoft Project service description guide as there are Project Online site configurations that require at least one account with a Project Plan 5 license.

Planner, a lightweight task management system

In some cases, a less robust option is the better way to manage tasks for projects. Microsoft Planner is a low-overhead alternative to Project Online that allows organizations to get up and running quickly with managing projects. For more information on Microsoft Planner, please see the UW Office 365 page for Planner.

Project Online Essentials License

The UW’s standard Office 365 A3 license only includes the Project Online Essentials license, which gives users limited rights to a web interface to perform task and time updates to projects managed in Project-enabled SharePoint Online sites.

Project Plan 3 and Project Plan 5 Licenses

These licenses are offered to UW departments on an annual contract basis running from June 1 to May 31 in alignment with our Microsoft contract. Licensing does not include service or support for the product itself, it only includes the cost of contract management and automatic annual renewal.

The rate for a Project Plan 3 license is currently $85 per user per contract year, and the rate for a Project Plan 5 license is $160 per user per contract year. These costs are not prorated when purchased midway through the contract year.

Project Plan 3 vs. Project Plan 5 License Feature Comparison

Click here and scroll down to the section entitled “Project Online features” for a feature comparison

Project Online Desktop Client

The Project Online desktop client is a project management program that features automated scheduling, project resource management, and built-in reporting. The Project Online desktop client can be used as a standalone application or it can connect to a Project-enabled SharePoint Online site. You do not need a Project-enabled SharePoint Online site to utilize the Project Online desktop client.

UW Faculty and Staff

The only way for UW faculty and staff to obtain the Project Online desktop client is by purchasing a Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 license. Both licenses allow for up to five concurrent installations of the Project Online desktop client.

UW Students

UW students can be granted access to the Project Online desktop client via a Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 license. Alternately, some students can gain access to the Project Online desktop client via Azure for Education:

Click here to learn more about Azure for Education

Pre/Post-Purchase Support

If you have questions about Project Online, we recommend you obtain pre-purchase support before purchasing Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 licenses, by filling out the form below. Post-purchase support can also be obtained by filling out the form below.

Request PPlat Recharge Services

Order Project Plan 3 and Project Plan 5 Licenses

In preparation for UW Finance Transformation (UWFT), we stopped processing orders for subscription products offered in the UWare catalog from May 1, 2023, through July 2023.

Please view this page for more information about the cancellation deadline or to submit a cancellation request form.

A notice will be posted in the UWare Catalog when we can process orders for new software licenses.

Click here to start the ordering process

Requesting a Project-enabled SharePoint Online site

Once Project Plan 3 or Project Plan 5 licenses have been purchased and assigned to users, please fill out the form below to Project-enable a current SharePoint Online site, or to have a Project-enabled SharePoint Online site created. In the form, please include the URL of the existing SharePoint Online site, if you have one.

Submit a PPlat recharge request

Sync a SharePoint task list with the Project desktop client

SharePoint task lists can sync with the Project desktop client. For more information on how to configure this setup, please see Microsoft’s guide Sync with SharePoint tasks list from Project Professional. You can create a SharePoint site for this per the UW-IT SharePoint Online documentation, or use an existing one built into any of the Collaboration Services already in place for your organization.

Project for the web and Roadmap not available

Project for the web, Microsoft’s most recent offering for cloud-based work and project management, as well as the recently announced Roadmap functionality for Project for the web are not currently available at the UW. We hope to eventually offer Project on the web and Roadmap if Microsoft delivers on new features they have announced, but there will be additional costs involved with these products.

Microsoft 365 Group connected sites cannot be Project-enabled

PWA (AKA: Legacy Project Online) enabled SharePoint sites are not designed to work with Microsoft 365 Group connected sites. For more information on the available options for managing permissions in a PWA enabled Site Collection, please review Microsoft’s Change permission management in Project Online guide.

Additional Learning and Resources

LinkedIn Learning provides courses for project management tools and software including Project Online. The following course, Microsoft Project Management: Choose the Right Tool for the Job, offers a section dedicated specifically to Project Online. Refer to section 3 “Project Online” beginning with the learning video An overview of Project Online.


If you need further assistance, please contact UW-IT at or 206-221-5000.