Embedded Nodes

An embedded node (or embed), represented by single yellow node, is used to allow finish-to-finish (FF) and start-to-start (SS) relationships. These may coincide with activity start and finish nodes, or they may be offset (lead or lag) between the two. An embed will assume the calendar of the host activity.

Click the Start Embed icon to place a start embed or click the Finish Embed icon to place a finish embed within the desired activity. Once the cursor moves over the canvas, it changes from the Select Tool to a set of crosshairs.

Hover over the host activity to locate the desired date. Click the mouse and keep it depressed to display the offset in blue as the mouse slides along the activity bar.

embedded node example

Release the mouse to place the object.

Once an embed has been placed on an activity, the Embed Object window opens automatically. This window is divided into Properties and Dates, Displays, and Formatting.

If an embed is placed outside of an activity, it will be displayed in red until it is moved onto an activity and an error message will warn that properties cannot be set for unassociated embeds. Any such orphan embed not associated with an activity will not be saved when the schedule is saved.

NOTE: If an attempt is made to create a link between an orphan embed and another object, an error message will warn that only one object has been selected for linking.

Properties and Dates

The Properties and Dates section is where basic settings as well as all date related fields, such as offset (defined as the duration between the node and its reference point. The node’s reference point will be either the start or the end of the activity) are changed.

embedded node object dialog

Date/Time

Adjust the date if desired. If PolyTime is enabled and the schedule time unit has been set to less than days, the time can also be chosen. Otherwise, it’ll be disabled.

Offset

When the behavior is constant, the offset for a start embed is the duration (in time units) from the embed to the host activity’s start node.

Likewise, the offset for a finish embed is the duration (time units) from the embed to the host activity’s finish node. For convenience, the value is displayed in both time and percent. Offsets stated in time are akin to lags in PDM notation.

The position of an embed may be modified by changing the date/time or the offset. To change the offset, enter a number in the field or use the arrow buttons.

Behavior

An embed may behave in one of four ways. To change an embed’s behavior, click the down arrow button and choose from the list:

embedded node behavior options

Start Finish
Constant Fixed to Start. The offset 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 offset 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 offset 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 offset 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 offset 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 offset 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 offset 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 offset 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.

An embed’s behavior can also be changed by right-clicking on the embed and choosing Change Behavior.

Displays

The Displays section contains aesthetic properties that have strictly on/off functionality; control is achieved via checkbox selections.

Fields

By default, nothing is displayed. To display a field on the canvas, check the box next to the label. To turn it off, uncheck the corresponding box.

Formatting

The Formatting tab contains aesthetic properties that are not strictly on/off controls, like colors.

embed formatting options

Color

To change a color, click the down arrow button anywhere the Color field shows up and choose from the list. Any colors already used in the schedule will appear. To choose from a palette or define a custom color, select More.

After clicking More, the Custom Color Palette window will open.

custom color formatting in netpoint

To create a custom color, click in the rainbow color area; the selected color displays below in the Color/Solid box.

To select a darker or lighter tone, move the arrow up and down along the vertical slider bar to the right.

Click the Add to Custom Colors button and the new color displays in the Custom Colors area and is ready to be selected just the same as the basic colors above.

Click OK to apply the color and exit the function.

Once chosen for the first time, any basic or custom color will be displayed in the dropdown list for future selections.

Finalizing Embedded Nodes

Once the desired selections are made, click the OK button to place the embed and close the window (if OK is pressed prior to making any changes, the fields will simply be left as default). The window can be reopened (and the properties can be modified) at any time by double-clicking on the embed on the canvas or right-clicking and selecting Properties.

Rules for Placing Embeds

A start embed may only be placed on a predecessor activity and linked to the start of a successor activity, a finish embed, a finish milestone, or a finish benchmark. If an attempt is made to link to a start milestone or a start benchmark, a link will not be allowed as a start embed cannot be a successor object. (Note: If the start milestone or benchmark is later in time, the link will be allowed but the milestone will not snap).

A finish embed may only be placed on a successor activity and linked to the finish of a predecessor activity, a start embed, a start milestone, or a start benchmark. If an attempt is made to link to a finish milestone or a finish benchmark, a link will not be allowed as a finish embed cannot be a predecessor object. (Note: If the finish milestone or benchmark is earlier in time, the link will be allowed but the milestone will not snap).