[ Go to February 1997 Table of Contents ]|
-- by Joel T. Patz
If you build Gantt charts, Kidasa Software's Milestones, Etc. 5.0 is for you. The beta version I tested makes getting started easier while also sharpening your output.
The new Setup Wizard lets you establish a chart's basic layout. You can choose such options as columns to display and page orientation, but you can't add tasks.
The program now allows you to link symbols from different schedules (indicated by a small box with an arrow attached). Version 5.0 also enables you to attach symbol notes-they don't print, but they're a great tool for storing memos about special events. Capabilities for importing and exporting MPX files for Microsoft Project have been improved; furthermore, it is now possible to copy and paste single or multiple columns from Excel.
Version 5.0 adds a spell checker. You can also insert page breaks. Additional user interface improvements include control of fonts and background colors for headings and tasks, and the ability to either insert or remove pages. You can drag and drop pictures from Explorer or paste pictures from Clipboard. In addition, you can manipulate schedules from other programs using OLE Automation, a feature I did not test.
New datagraphs let you display line charts underneath your schedule. Add up to three datagraphs by defining and entering the actual values to be graphed. However, the datagraphs are awkward to set up and graphing options are extremely limited.
The program's strength lies in its ability to create flexible Gantt charts with extensive display options.
Unlike our Recommended List product, SureTrak Project Manager, Milestones, Etc. 5.0 does little to help you manage a project. You can't assign resources to a task. If the current date is halfway between the start and end date of a task, the program dangerously assumes the task is 50 percent complete. The learning curve for this program is slightly higher than other scheduling tools. New right-mouse menus still don't let you do much, and the menu layouts and command names also need improvement.
But if all you desire is a great-looking project chart, Milestones, Etc. 5.0 is up to the task.