Sunday, April 29, 2007

Automating Microsoft Project with Ruby

A reader recently asked for a discussion of automating Microsoft Project with Ruby. Let's dive right into some examples...

Create an instance of the MSProject Application class...

require 'win32ole'
app ="MSProject.Application")

Note that Project (like Outlook and PowerPoint) is a single-instance application. This means that if an instance of Project is already running, that instance will be returned, even though you called the method. If Project is not currently running, a new instance will be launched.

To show or hide the Application window, set the Visible property...

app.Visible = true

The application object contains a Projects collection of all open projects. To create a new project, call its Add method...

project = app.Projects.Add

Oddly, the Projects collection doesn't have an Open method. To open an existing project, call the application object's FileOpen method...


...then reference the active project...

project = app.ActiveProject

Use the Title method to set or get the Project's title...

project.Title = 'My Project Title'

You can iterate over the Tasks collection, and call its Add method to create a new Task...

tasks = project.Tasks
(1..100).each do |i|
task = tasks.Add
task.Type = 1
task.Name = "Task #{i.to_s}"
task.Notes = "Your comments here..."
task.Text30 = "My Specific Text"

A Task object has a variety of properties/methods (some shown above), and includes a Resources collection, over which you can iterate...

project.Tasks.each do |task|
puts task.Name
puts task.Resources.Count
task.Resources.each do |resource|
puts resource.Name

Save the active project by calling the Application object's FileSaveAs or FileSave methods...


To exit, call the Application's Quit method...


As mentioned previously, there are various means for exploring the Project object model, and I encourage you to pursue these.

As always, post a comment or send me email if you have questions, comments, or a request for future topics.

Thanks for stopping by!


Pavithra said...


Your explanation was simple and good!

I am working on a project which uses MS Project automation.

I am kinda new to OLE automation and I have a doubt with MSProject Automation

If I am creating a task, but if I am not setting it's type, then will it assume a default value, say 1 or 0?

David Mullet said...


You are correct. Microsoft Project's "Options" dialog box allows you to define the Default Task Type.

See this image:


Joseph James said...

Very useful Information. On top of that, excellent explanation. Thanks a lot David.

RV said...


Thx for this usefull post :-)
I have a question:
When a user closes MS Project with what command in ruby do i check if it is still usable or not?