Software that is a project management staple at many firms is out in a new edition, reengineered to increase flexibility and offer better data manipulation and reuse capabilities.

Primavera Systems, Bala Cynwyd, Pa., is shipping P3e/c, which Primavera CEO Joel Koppelman says is designed specifically for construction. The new product can be used as either Web-based or client-based software, but it is not an ASP; the user hosts the data.

Koppelman says development, which took 31/2 years, was driven by a need to give owners the ability to see an overview of one or more projects and to drill down for details. "Owners want a real database," Koppelman says.

P3e/c has a more robust architecture than its predecessor, P3. Users who were restricted to subdividing elements just two levels down now can subdivide to at least 25 levels. "The hierarchical structures are built in," notes Koppelman.

Another new feature guides users through steps of common tasks. Form templates are included and the software will prompt users on steps to take. Users also can import and reuse set-ups from earlier projects and select data to bring forward.

Primavera's challenge is to get users to upgrade. It is offering the new product free to existing P3 customers. Users also can run both products concurrently.

"Just don't use P3e/c the way you used P3," co-founder Dick Faris said at a Primavera users' conference recently. The new product is much more versatile, he says.