Using Embeds to Create SS and FF Links

An embedded node (or embed), represented by single yellow circle, is placed on a host activity to allow finish-to-finish (FF) and start-to-start (SS) relationships. It may be placed to coincide with its host activity’s start or finish nodes, or it may be offset (to have a lead or lag) between the two. In a FF relationship, a successor cannot finish before its predecessor finishes. In a SS relationship, a successor cannot start before its predecessor starts.

If an embed is placed outside of an activity, it will be displayed in red until it is moved onto an activity. Any such orphan embed not associated with an activity cannot be linked and will not be stored when the schedule is saved or closed.

Steps

Start-to-Start

  1. Click the Start Embed icon Start Embed Icon in the toolbar.
  2. Move the cursor over the desired activity to be the predecessor in the relationship.
  3. Click the mouse, and while keeping it depressed, slide the cursor along the bar of the activity to adjust the offset (or lag) noted in blue.
  4. Release the mouse to place the embed. Once an embed has been successfully placed on an activity, the Embed Object window opens automatically.
  5. Make any desired changes and click OK.
  6. Click the Select Tool icon Select Tool Icon in the toolbar.
  7. Press and hold the Shift key and select a valid successor. For a list of valid successors, see Rules for Placing Embeds
  8. Select the embed on the canvas.
  9. With both objects still selected, click the Link icon Vertical Link Icon in the toolbar.
  10. Once linked, both objects remain selected. To de-select, click an empty portion of the canvas

Finish-to-Finish

  1. Click the Finish Embed icon Finish Embed Icon in the toolbar.
  2. Move the cursor over the desired activity to be the successor in the relationship.
  3. Click the mouse, and while keeping it depressed, slide the cursor along the bar of the activity to adjust the offset (or lag) noted in blue.
  4. Release the mouse to place the embed. Once an embed has been successfully placed on an activity, the Embed Object window opens automatically.
  5. Make any desired changes and click OK.
  6. Click the Select Tool icon Select Tool Icon in the toolbar.
  7. Press and hold the Shift key and select a valid predecessor. For a list of valid predecessors, see Rules for Placing Embeds
  8. Select the embed on the canvas.
  9. With both objects still selected, click the Link icon Vertical Link Icon in the toolbar.
  10. Once linked, both objects remain selected. To de-select, click an empty portion of the canvas

Notes

Properties

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The Properties section is where general settings are changed.

Field Definition
Date/Time The date and/or time the event starts or finishes (depending on the type).
Lag The offset from the start or finish date.
Behavior One of four different types. For more info, see the table below.
Lag Display Position The location for displaying the lag on the canvas.

Behavior
Start Finish
Constant Fixed to Start. The lag of this embed will remain constant to the start date of its host activity. In effect, the embed’s date will change along with the start date but not if the finish date changes. Fixed to Finish. The lag of this embed will remain constant to the finish date of its host activity. In effect, the embed’s date will change along with the finish date but not if the start date changes.
Reverse Fixed to Finish. The lag of this embed will remain constant to the finish date of its host activity. In effect, the embed’s date will change along with the finish date but not if the start date changes. Fixed to Start. The lag of this embed will remain constant to the start date of its host activity. In effect, the embed’s date will change along with the start date but not if the finish date changes.
Proportionate Proportional to Start. The lag of this embed will remain proportional to the start date of its host activity. In effect, the embed’s date will always be changing to maintain its percentage from the start. If the duration of the host activity is changed, the proportion may not be perfectly maintained because the number of days available may no longer allow the embed to fall on a day at exactly the same proportion away from the start as before; i.e., a rounding error because of the number of days available. Proportional to Finish. The lag of this embed will remain proportional to the finish date of its host activity. In effect, the embed’s date will always be changing to maintain its percentage from the finish. If the duration of the host activity is changed, the proportion may not be perfectly maintained because the number of days available no longer allows the embed to fall on a day at exactly the same proportion away from the finish as before; i.e., a rounding error because of the number of days available.
Variable Fixed Symmetrically. The lag of this embed will remain constant to the whichever date is changed–if the start date is changed, it will remain constant to the start; if the finish date is changed, it will remain constant to the finish. In effect, the embed’s date will change along with both the start date and the finish date. Fixed Inversely. The lag of this embed will remain constant to the opposite of whichever date is changed–if the start date is changed, it will remain constant to the finish; if the finish date is changed, it will remain constant to the start. In effect, the embed’s date will never change with either the start date or the finish date.

Displays

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The Displays section contains checkboxes for hiding or showing different fields on the canvas

Field Definition
Date The date the event starts or finishes (depending on the type).
Time The time the event starts or finishes (depending on the type).
Lag from Start The number of days (or time units) offset from the start.
Lag to Finish The number of days (or time units) offset from the finish.

Formatting

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The Formatting section contains controls for changing the look of the object on the canvas

Field Definition
Color The color of the embed.

Rules for Placing Embeds

The rules for placing embeds are as follows: for activities and embeds, a start embed may only be placed on a predecessor activity and linked to the start of a successor activity or a finish embed on a successor activity. For milestones and benchmarks, a start embed can be placed on a predecessor activity or successor activity and linked to either start or finish milestones and benchmarks. But in the case where the start embed is on a predecessor activity and linked to a start milestone, the milestone will not snap. If the start embed is on a successor activity and linked to a finish milestone, the milestone will not snap.

A finish embed may only be placed on a successor activity and linked to the start of a predecessor activity or a start embed on a predecessor activity. For milestones and benchmarks, a finish embed can be placed on a successor activity or successor activity and linked to either start or finish milestones and benchmarks. But in the case where the finish embed is on a successor activity and linked to a finish embed, the milestone will not snap. If the finish embed is on a predecessor activity and linked to a start milestone, the milestone will not snap.