Administering the OBS

This article shows how to create, edit, and maintain the Resource, Project, and Cost Center OBS (Organizational Breakdown Structure) nodes.



The central backbone in ResourceFirst is its OBS (Organizational Breakdown Structure) configuration.

There are three types of OBSs in ResourceFist:

  • The Resource OBS – How resources are organized in the system (e.g., Company, Division, Department, Team, etc.)
  • The Project OBS – How projects are organized in the system (which can be similar to the Resource OBS or be structure another way)
  • The Cost Center OBS – How your financial cost centers are organized in the system. Rights to financials are tied to the project rights, however, even if this OBS is defined.

Note: The Cost Center OBS has varying functions depending on whether there is “V” suffix in the application’s license key. If a “V” is specified in the license key, then financials for non-Labor items are tied to the Resource OBS instead of the Cost Center OBS, and the rights are tied to the Resource OBS as well.  If this code is not specified and the Cost Center OBS is used, rights to financials will be inherited via the project rights. There is no such thing as Cost Center OBS rights.

Each element in the OBS is called a “Node”. Nodes are hierarchical in the OBS, and subnodes can be created within nodes.

The central purpose for the OBS is for defining security rights (i.e., who has which level of access to each node), and for selecting your portfolio filters when accessing the system.  In the upper right control panel of all Resource First screens is a funnel icon, which is where your Resource and Project OBS node filters are set. Once you set them, they’ll remain your personal settings until you change them.

OBS nodes are also used in reporting, when defining which sets and subsets of data you want to see.

Note: The chararacters / \ < > are not allowed in node names. All other special characters are allowed.

For considerations and best practices related to defining the resource and project OBS, see the FAQ “What are some guidelines for setting up the Resource OBS and Project OBS?


Adding and Changing OBS Nodes

Below is the OBS administration screen, showing the Resource, Project, and Cost Center OBS.


You can click the arrows to expand or contract any node.

You can move nodes by dragging up or down to the parent node of your choice.

Right-clicking on a node shows the following dialog, which offers multiple options allowing you to edit/rename, insert, or delete nodes.


Remember to save when your changes are complete.

Note: Each OBS type (Project Resource, Cost Center) has a separate Save button.


Advanced Node Functionality

The Key, Area, Active and Locked columns allow node specific system behavior supporting advanced client needs:

Key– An identifier for the node. We recommend that field values be unique but uniqueness is not enforced by default. This can be used to facilitate importing data or integrating with other systems..

(Functional) Area– Classification for one or more nodes.  This can be used for reporting or for custom (pulse) actions that apply to groups of nodes.

Active– Marking a node inactive will cause it to disappear from all ResourceFirst views along with all child elements (projects/resources/assignments) but the data remain in the database for archival purposes.

Locked– When checked, the user cannot modify, delete, or add objects in the node (such as projects, resources, or assignments).  For more on the types of data locks available in ResourceFirst, see Data Locking in ResourceFirst.

It is highly recommended that you discuss your needs with PDWare before using these features.

PDWare can also assist you with importing the OBS from a spreadsheet if desired.

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