A Guide to Downgrading XER File Versions 

Primavera P6 is widely recognized as a standard software within the construction industry, offering robust capabilities for planning and overseeing large-scale and complex projects. With a track record spanning over two decades, the software has undergone numerous iterations, each introducing enhancements, functionalities, and refinements to meet evolving project management needs. 

Sharing Primavera P6 project data as XER files 

As projects grow in complexity and involve multiple stakeholders, there arises a crucial need to effectively communicate project schedule data with various parties involved in the project. 

The most common way to exchange project data between two Primavera P6 applications or databases is by using the .xer (XER) file format.  

The following tutorial will guide you through the process of exporting a file in the XER file format from Primavera P6 Professional. 

When different versions of Primavera P6 are in use on the two opposing ends, compatibility issues with the .xer file may arise, as an .xer file created with a more recent version of the software cannot not be opened with an older version. 

Let’s illustrate this issue through a practical example:  

If you receive a project file from your contractor, created with a more recent version of Primavera P6 Professional such as version 18.8, and you are currently using version 16.1 or older, the contractor’s file created in the more recent version of the software will not be compatible with the software version you currently possess. 

Therefore, you will not be able to import the XER file to your application database. 

The Solution 

One approach to address this challenge is to upgrade or obtain access to a more recent version of Primavera P6 Professional software compatible with the file’s creation version. This allows for manual recreation of the schedule in the appropriate version, although it may require a significant investment of time and effort. 

A more suitable alternative solution is to use the export/import features of the software. 

The XER file version can be adjusted to align with the software version on a user’s personal computer or to suit their preferred version. 

To modify an XER file version, we strongly recommend using the ScheduleCleaner software, a software that can help you convert the .xer files between different versions of Primavera P6. 

Changing the version number of XER files with ScheduleCleaner 

ScheduleCleaner is a software tool that you can use to quickly remove, convert, or modify different project data from existing XER and XML schedules, exported from Primavera P6. 

The software assists users in managing the data contained in XER files, ensuring that sensitive information stays visible and is shared only with the appropriate project stakeholders. Additionally, it serves as a useful tool for filtering data within an external XER project file, making it easier to optimize before importing into your database. This helps prevent any unwanted data from disrupting your database. 

With the ScheduleCleaner you can also securely change the file version of an XER to match your needs. 

The steps for performing this procedure are simple and as follows:

  • Open the ScheduleCleaner application.
  • Add the project file into the application.
  • Navigate to the Quick Clean view

  • Check the Output File Version Number option from and select the preferred file version. 

  • Rename your new file and choose its destination. 
  • Press the Clean Button to generate a new copy of the file on the specified location. 

You can further refer to this video to guide you through every step of the process.

Downgrading the version of a .xer file can be challenging. However, it’s essential to know that ScheduleCleaner can safely make these changes without damaging or corrupting the file. This ensures it remains compatible for import into another Primavera P6 database 

That’s why project professionals prefer using the software over manually editing XER project files with applications not designed for the task. 

To request a free trial of the ScheduleCleaner software, you can fill in the form on the official website. 

Controlling the information in the project filewith ScheduleCleaner 

Controlling the information shared in a project file provides several advantages.:  

  • Version control: Managing the version data in XER project files can ensure that stakeholders can always access the project information, no matter which version of Primavera P6 they’re using. 
  • Security and confidentiality: Often XER files contain vast amounts of information, including sensitive data such as budget resource costs, or personal data such as names of resources, and contractual partners. Often this sensitive data need not be shared with all parties involved in the project. Controlling the process of who views the data, when sharing project files, can help safeguard sensitive project data and protect the confidentiality and integrity of the project information. 
  • Data Integrity: Managing project data within the schedule ensures that accurate information is shared throughout the project’s life. This helps in making decisions based on reliable and current data. Additionally, optimizing project files before importing them into a database reduces the risk of corruption and prevents unwanted or incorrectly formatted data from disrupting the database. 
  • Efficient Collaboration: Controlling the data in XER project files ensures that stakeholders have the appropriate information needed to collaborate effectively and drive projects forward. To further utilize the project data in the most efficient ways, companies can opt to use additional project utility tools such as ScheduleReader, a viewer for XER and XML schedules, providing means to view, analyze, and report on project data.