Cascade Skyline - with Microsoft Logo and Project Support header - author Brian Smith

October, 2008

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Check-in still pending?

    • 36 Comments

    ***UPDATE***  Please see my posting on the December 2008 CU - http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2008/12/17/project-server-2007-december-2008-cumulative-update-released.aspx.  The Project Professional 2007 CU - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/959643 has a fix for this issue!

    *** 2nd Update *** But also see http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2009/02/11/project-server-2007-check-in-still-pending-even-after-december-cu.aspx 

    I replied to a comment on this topic – but think it warrants a new posting so I have polished my reply and added some stuff.  I am aware customers are still having some issues with check-in pending and I think it may be a timing issue around closing and opening Project.  I haven’t been able to repro this so would love to hear some consistent repro steps based on the August Cumulative Update – if anyone out there can make it happen to order.

    However, I have some ideas what might lead to the issue.  When you close Project we now give a message to ensure any saves that are in progress get a chance to complete.  However this only waits for the save from client to the queue to complete - then the "real" save from the queue to the database happens - then any publish and check-in jobs.  So the client may be closed when the check-in completes and so doesn't get the message – and will still think the check-in is pending.  On opening it takes a little while for the communication to the server and the responses for any updates on pending check-ins etc – and you may see a message Offline changes - and if the user does a File, Open immediately then they may see Check-in pending for a project that is really checked in.  This will not get updated while the dialog is open.  Either closing the dialog and re-opening - or opening a "pending" project (read only) and then closing should flush things through and get the project available. This is by far the best approach rather than clearing the cache as it does not risk any data loss.  The above symptoms may never appear on a very fast network, and may appear more often in a WAN situation where there is high latency between the client and server.

    But as I say, I haven’t been able to repro, even from home, where I have to traverse my home wireless network, then another wireless link a few miles across the valley before getting on to a T1 link and the internet.  Another few hops and I get to my server.  The ping time is a pretty respectable 50ms across 9 hops.  Just to add a little load to my server I set all my projects publishing from ProjTool too – but I never see check-in pending.  Perhaps I need to be saving a much larger project and have lots of custom fields at the task level?  So for any repro I’d also like to know project size, custom fields, network parameters such as a ping and tracert to the server.

    Technorati Tags:
  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007 and SQL Server 2008 – Error Messages With Data Analysis Cubes(OLAP)

    • 22 Comments

    ****Update**** – The December 2008 release of the Feature pack for SQL Server 2005 at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=536FD7D5-013F-49BC-9FC7-77DEDE4BB075&displaylang=en means that loading the Management Objects Collection from this release will resolve the problems outlined below. 

    *** Update *** There is now an official document that says some of this and more - See my latest blog for details - http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2008/11/21/project-server-2007-technet-document-now-live-for-using-sql-server-2008.aspx

     I haven’t seen the official support announcement for Project Server 2007 and SQL Server 2008 (*** Update - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc197379.aspx - thanks Husain. but keep reading as this doesn't fix the OLAP issues***) or the TechNet documentation but they should not be far away – but I have been trying to build cubes on my servers and seeing issues.  I have had no problem at all with SQL Server 2008 as a database engine but couldn’t build a cube.  Also many colleagues had no issues with OLAP on 2008!  It can’t just be me can it?  My farm was a simple two server affair – one App/WFE and a separate SQL Server.  The main error I was getting was:

    Failed to connect to the Analysis Services server brismithSQL08. Error: Cannot connect to Analysis Services version '10.0.1600.22' (or Analysis Services version '10.0.1763.0' if you have loaded the Cumulative Update 1 for SQL Server 2008)

    This error looked like one fixed in CU3 for SQL Server 2005 and relates to the 2005 Analysis Management Objects not being able to connect to SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services.  I decided to load the latest Cumulative Update for SQL Server 2005 which would also contain this fix – so went for CU10.  The strange thing was that on my x64 application server I couldn’t load the x64 hotfix as it said nothing to fix – but the x86 one was happy to load – and resolved my issue!  Digging deeper I established that the thing it upgraded was client tools that I had installed with the Business Data Catalog Editor which comes with the SharePoint SDK (and contains SQL Express) – and is x86 only.  So going backwards I tried other alternatives.  Loading the client tools from a full SQL Server 2005 installation worked.  If you don’t have these to hand another option (without needing to load the DB engine of SQL Express) is to load the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Toolkit Service Pack 2 and then the CU10 hotfix.  Hopefully the official documents will give a cleaner way to achieve this but for now this may help unblock some tests, so thought I would share.

    Along the way I also discovered some other “gotchas”.  As my repository was in SQL Server 2008 I needed to load the 2008 version of the Native client from the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Feature Pack, October 2008.  But you also need to have the 2005 version as it is a pre-req for the Management Objects.

    If you haven’t installed the Decision Support Objects from the Backwards Compatibility Components expect a very clear error:

    Failed to build the OLAP cubes. Error: Analysis Services session failed with the following error: The Application Server needs to have Analysis Services DSO Component installed.

    If you don’t have the native client (or the right native client) expect this error:

    Failed to build the OLAP cubes. Error: Analysis Services session failed with the following error: Failed to connect to the Analysis Services server BriSmithSQL08. Error: Cannot connect to the repository. Analysis server: BriSmithSQL08 Error: Provider cannot be found. It may not be properly installed.

    And finally if you don’t have the Management Objects Collection (for Analysis Management Objects – AMO) then expect this one:

    Failed to build the OLAP cubes. Error: Analysis Services session failed with the following error: Failed to connect to the Analysis Services server BriSmithSQL08. Error: ActiveX component can't create object

    These errors assume that all permissions are set correctly and the setting of these does not differ from the 2005 instructions.  You may also see these errors in other circumstances too – I’ve just noted some obvious occurrences based on missing components.

    I’m guessing my colleagues that have had no problems may have been on a single server – or at least had extra components loaded on the application server which meant the AMO was already at the required level.  I was just unlucky…

    Useful links 

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Microsoft Office October Cumulative Update and Associated KBs Now Available!

    • 7 Comments

    Great job by our writers for this October Cumulative Update (not to mention the PM, Dev and Test involvement).  We not only have the updates – but the documents are also posted so you can see what we have fixed and decide if you should install these updates.  The full details can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/958847 and the links within that document will take you to the specific KBs for Project etc.  Christophe also has the KB and download links for the ones I know you care about at http://blogs.msdn.com/chrisfie/archive/2008/10/29/announcing-the-release-of-the-october-cumulative-update-for-project-and-project-server-2007.aspx.

    Great work everyone!

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Where Am I? (Getting Lost in the PWA MY Tasks page)

    • 7 Comments

    When Project Web Access 2007 first released, we discovered that scrolling through the ActiveX controls on the My Tasks page or the Timesheet caused the column headers to disappear.  With the release of the Infrastructure Update in July of this year, some improvements were made to address this issue, but as we discovered last week, it still wasn't working the way we thought it would.

    So, here's the issue... 

    When you view the My Tasks page in PWA, the control appears similar to this:

    SP32-20081021-123822

    If your list of tasks is long, you may have to scroll vertically to view some of the tasks.  Unfortunately, when you scroll vertically the column headers indicating the field names and dates are not locked, and they scroll right along with the rest of the list.  To further complicate matters, if you use the Timephased View to enter Work values, you may have to scroll horizontally to find the right column.   When you scroll horizontally, there are no locked columns so the Task Names disappear as well.  This may leave you lost, wondering where you are in the list, and guessing as to whether your are recording Work values for the correct task on the correct date. 

     SP32-20081021-123913

    According to KB953750, this problem was addressed in the Microsoft Office Servers Infrastructure Update.  Here's what the article has to say about this problem and how it was resolved:

    When you are working in the Timesheet or My Tasks view, you scroll to parts of the grid that are to the right side and that are down the page. When you do this, the column headings may be visible. This condition makes it difficult to know which task and column you have selected.

    To make it easier to know which task and column you have selected, a stationary row and column indicator now displays the task name and the heading (column).

    This statement, however, is a little bit misleading.  The mention of a "stationary row and column indicator" has led some to believe that there are locked column headers and row indicators, when in fact, the stationary row is at the bottom of the ActiveX control.  Here, you can see how PWA indicates your location in the list when you have to scroll:

    SP32-20081021-124050

    So, in the case above, I'm in the row for the task named "Task 6" and I'm under the column with the header "10/21".

    If you don't see this indicator at the bottom of your My Tasks page, install the Infrastructure Update and that should take care of it for you.  This stationary row indictor is also visible in the Timesheet in PWA. 

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Stsadm export and import – correction for moving Project workspaces.

    • 6 Comments

    I have updated the previous posting but for you RSS readers worth putting this in a new blog.  After import I wasn’t seeing the active issues alert on my home page showing the issues in the imported sites.  Inclusion of the –includeusersecurity flag on both the export and import ensures the user settings are maintained and then the active issues are correctly identified for users.  Therefore the full command line looks like:

    stsadm -o export -url "http://brismithv0832:8080/CAL/Project1 with Workspace in PWA" -filename "C\backup\savesite.bak" –includeusersecurity –nofilecompression

    With the import just having a different port – and possibly PWA instance name.

    I am still investigating the fact that I am unable to add new task links to issues after the import – and that I do not see existing links.  For sites migrated to a different port from PWA therefore avoiding export/import I do not see this issue.  It could be my server is sick – but at least one reader has experienced the same issues.  I will keep you all posted.

    Technorati Tags:
Page 1 of 3 (13 items) 123