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-   -   Merlin 2.5 vs OmniPlan 1.5 beta (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=7119)

wpitman 2008-02-09 11:00 AM

Merlin 2.5 vs OmniPlan 1.5 beta
 
Hello,

I could use some help. Long ago I used to use Project and currently (rarely use) FastTrack Schedule due to it's complex non-mac feel. Here are my questions:
1. Is there a competitive upgrade from FastTrack Schedule to OmniPlan?
2. I've seen comparisons of Merlin and OmniPlan but they are all for older versions. Do you know of any comparing Merlin 2.5 vs OmniPlan 1.5 beta?
3. Why did you select one over the other?
4. My simple view is that Merlin2 may be better (more features) but harder to use than OmniPlan (less features) -- both are easier and more mac-like than FastTrack Schedule.
5. Do either sync with OmniFocus and OmniOutline? -- a huge plus for me.
6. Which gives the most flexibility and great printout hard copy options?
7. Any idea if either will someday work with an iPhone?
8. How far out is version 2.0 -- estimate?

Thanks, Walt

Lizard 2008-02-12 02:57 PM

Some of these questions are better answered by your fellow users, so I hope they'll chime in too. I'll just hit the ones that don't require any subjective opinions or experience with Merlin.

1) Yes. Email [email]sales@omnigroup.com[/email] for more details.
2) ...
3) ...
4) This is consistent with what Macworld attendees said when they dropped by our booth.
5) OmniPlan can open OmniOutliner documents and export to the OmniOutliner format. It's not a live "sync" though. OmniFocus cooperation, most likely in some more live sync sort of form, is something we are seriously considering for 2.0.
6) ...
7) We can't promise anything about iPhone apps until we get the development tools (supposedly later this month). We certainly have dreams about getting OmniFocus data onto iPhones (errands list and ubiquitous capture at the very least), but it's less obvious what OmniPlan data could be condensed enough to go on an iPhone yet still be useful. If you have ideas about what you'd like to do with OmniPlan data on your iPhone, it'd be great to start another forum thread and get everyone's ideas going.
8) The honest answer is "nobody knows". The time is probably best measured in months, not weeks or decades. I really can't get more precise than that without a time machine or a crystal ball.

Tom Dibble 2008-03-05 06:41 PM

[QUOTE=wpitman;32702]Hello,

I could use some help. Long ago I used to use Project and currently (rarely use) FastTrack Schedule due to it's complex non-mac feel. Here are my questions:

[...]

3. Why did you select one over the other?
[/quote]

Merlin's export to XML has been a constant source of issues for me.

Its AppleScript support seems very sub-par (as always with Applescript, YMMV, and it could be my obtuseness or the lack of documentation or truly incomplete AS support which did me in there).

[quote]
4. My simple view is that Merlin2 may be better (more features) but harder to use than OmniPlan (less features) -- both are easier and more mac-like than FastTrack Schedule.
[/quote]

I agree that both are a huge step "up" in intuitiveness and "niceness" from FastTrack. FTS may have a key niche they play well in, but that software never worked well in our environment here. We gave up on it about two years back. I then purchased Merlin to work with, and it was a breath of fresh air, but still had some issues with stability and citizenship ("plays well with others"). Several of my colleagues chose OmniPlan when it came out, and a few others chose to run MS Project on top of Parallels. After 2.5 didn't address any of my concerns, I tried both MS Project on Parallels (ick!) and OmniPlan.

OmniPlan is my keeper.

I do miss the unrealized potential to make fancy reports ("unrealized" because Merlin's reporting engine is completely undocumented and impenetrable, and they've been promising documentation on it since 2.0 came out!). However, being able to AppleScript up an export to PDF, HTML, and XML (which always imports perfectly into Project 2007 for those colleagues and incidentally my boss) makes up for it.

[Quote]
5. Do either sync with OmniFocus and OmniOutline? -- a huge plus for me.
[/quote]

"Sync" is hard, as everyone who ever works on it knows, and OmniPlan doesn't do any syncing here for you. However, if you have a workable system and a decent AppleScript acumen, throwing together a quick "sync" which works in your particular situation isn't out of the question.

[quote]
6. Which gives the most flexibility and great printout hard copy options?
[/quote]

Merlin, in theory. Neither, in practice. If you like the canned reports (and Merlin offers more of them for whatever that's worth) then that's one thing. If you need to do something more fundamental than putting your company logo at the top of the exported pages, though, good luck!


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