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

October, 2008

  • 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

    ***NOW AVAILABLE: The October Cumulative Update for Microsoft Project and Project Server 2007***

    • 0 Comments

    Christophe has posted the links to the October Cumulative Update for Project and Project Server 2007 to his blog.  Get it while it's hot!

    Also, in case you missed it, Christophe also posted the first sneak peeks at SP2 for Microsoft Project and Project Server 2007.  There's not a lot there yet, but he posts a release timeframe between February and April of 2009. 

    Thanks for sharing, Christophe!

  • 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

    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

    Any Robotics Fans out there in ProjectLand?

    • 0 Comments

    Occasionally something will catch my eye on other Microsoft stuff going on and I wonder if readers would be interested.  I seem to see a strong correlation with Project Mangement and Photography – so have posted in the past of photographic things. This time it is Robotics.  Robochamps gives people a chance to get in to Robotics development without the investment in moving parts – it is all run with simulation.  You will be programming  a robotic car to navigate to a series of checkpoints in an urban environment.

    Chances to win prizes too, including a car and cash!  Software, challenge kits, training materials, and a video podcast focused on the Urban Challenge, can all be found on the website, www.robochamps.com.  But I’m an employee – so I can’t play :(. (well I can play – but can’t enter the contest).

    UrbanChallenge_SimulationEnvironment

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