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April, 2009

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Upgrading from a Pre October CU may fail during PSConfig step 8


    With Project Server 2007 SP2 just around the corner many of you will hopefully be upgrading over the next few weeks.  As with any upgrade you should always test first in a non-production environment but preferably with a copy of your production data.  We are aware of an issue that can occur when upgrading from a server that has not been patched since before the October CU to any level from October up to SP2 and even the April 2009 CU (which will be available around the time SP2 ships too).  We are working on a resolution for this problem and depending when you are reading this we may already have a solution.  If you run into this issue during your testing then please log a support incident.

    The details of the failure are that the SharePoint Configuration Wizard will fail at step 8 while it is updating the databases and the error logged to the upgrade and ULS log will look something like:

    The DELETE statement conflicted with the REFERENCE constraint "FK_MSP_TimesheetLine_TaskNameUID". The conflict occurred in database "TaskConsistency_<instance_name>_Reporting", table "dbo.MSP_TimesheetLine", column 'TaskNameUID'.

    The statement has been terminated.

       at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.OnError(SqlException exception, Boolean breakConnection)   at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.ThrowExceptionAndWarning(TdsParserStateObject stateObj)   at System.Data.SqlClient.TdsParser.Run(RunBehavior runBehavior, SqlCommand cmdHandler, SqlDataReader dataStream, BulkCopySimpleResultSet bulkCopyHandler, TdsParserStateObject stateObj)   at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.RunExecuteNonQueryTds(String methodName, Boolean async)   at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.InternalExecuteNonQuery(DbAsyncResult result, String methodName, Boolean sendToPipe)   at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.ExecuteNonQuery()   at Microsoft.Office.Server.Data.SqlSession.ExecuteScript(TextReader textReader, Int32 commandTimeout)   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPDatabaseAction.ExecuteSql(String sql, Int32 commandTimeout)   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPDatabaseAction.ExecuteSql(String sql)at Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.Upgrade.ReportingDatabaseUpgrader_12_1_153_0.Upgrade()   at Microsoft.SharePoint.Upgrade.SPActionSequence.Upgrade()

    with the key parts of the message being:


    You will also notice the Versions table in the reporting database will look something like this:

    VersionId Version Id
    00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 12.0.4518.1016 2
    00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 12.0.6218.1000 3
    00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 12.0.6300.5000                                             4
    00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 12.0.6318.5000 5
    00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000 12.0.6327.5000 6
    A1EF27C5-A62C-44A2-BEA8-D244C622A092 1

    The first few lines will depend on the various upgrades previously loaded, but the final line signifies that the last successful upgrade step was 152, and the 12_1_153 failed.

    As I mentioned, we are working on a resolution for this problem but wanted to be sure you can either find this information if you have already run into the problem, or consider it as part of your planning process for your upgrade – and making sure you test upgrade your production data in a non-production environment.

    From our experience we suspect this issue to only affect a very small percentage of our customers (we have only seen the problem once in the wild) but we do appreciate, that if you happen to be one of this small percentage then this is no comfort.  Log a support call and we will help you through this.

    Thanks to Aik for his great work on this one!

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: WSS Sync issues – Error: Access Denied


    After the notorious check-in pending, and the slow cube building issues, the next hot topic has to be problems around WSS Synchronization.  This was noted in one of the recent TechNet updates (I’ve also just corrected the link in my previous posting – sorry) for Active Directory synchronization, but AD Sync is just one of the scenarios leading to this issue.  In case you are not familiar with this one, basically there are two parts to the story:

    • Sync of permissions for sites (including /PWA) can be really slow if you have lots of users
    • If more than one sync is in progress then SQL deadlocks are likely to occur

    For our larger customers the first item is bad enough, but generally if the sync is slow there is a greater risk of another sync clashing.  These synchronizations can be a result of changes in group security settings, syncs to AD or just re-sync’ing the site permissions for the workspaces.  They are also more likely if your category settings mean that virtually all users can access all projects – more permissions to sync!

    The typical symptoms for users is that they can be left out in the cold with an Error: Access Denied – with the option to sign in as a different user.  Behind the scenes, in the queue and the ULS logs you will see such things as:

    Manage Queue page

    "User Synchronization for Project Web Access App Root Site and Project WSS Workspace" fail with the Job State error of "Failed But Not Blocking Correlation"

    ULS Logs

    10/06/2008 17:11:37.16  Microsoft.Office.Project.Server (0x07D8) 0x0CF0 Windows SharePoint Services    Database                       6f8g Unexpected Unexpected query execution failure, error code 1205. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below. "Transaction (Process ID 98) was deadlocked on lock resources with another process and has been chosen as the deadlock victim. Rerun the transaction." Query text (if available): "{?=call proc_SecAddPrincipalToRole(?,?,?,?,?,?)}"

    The updated part of the TechNet article is worth repeating here, as it gives some suggestions for reducing the occurrence of the problem, and links to some tools which you may find useful, so here it is:

    Caution Caution:

    Under certain circumstances, synchronizing Project Server users and workspaces with Active Directory can cause a “deadlock” situation in which all users are locked out of a PWA site or the respective workspaces. This causes user synchronization jobs to fail and site permissions to synchronize partially or not at all. Users may not be able to log on to PWA or their workspaces.

    A deadlock can occur if the user synchronization process is taking too long to complete. This is due to the synchronization job iterating through many users and workspaces, for example, when large membership changes are being made. A synchronization job remaining in the queue a long time increases the possibility of other jobs starting inadvertently, which can also cause a deadlock.

    To reduce the chance of a deadlock, you can do the following:

    • Before making large group membership changes, verify that there are no jobs named “User Synchronization for Project Web Access App Root Site and Project WSS Workspaces” currently processing or waiting to be processed in the queue.

    • Run the Project Server Workspace Sync tool on the CodePlex site ( The tool controls what is to be synchronized when the job starts — PWA and workspaces, workspaces only, PWA only, or no synchronization for either PWA or workspaces — and allows the administrator to perform the user synchronization during non-working or off-peak hours when server overhead is lower.

      Note that the Project Server Workspace Sync tool does not speed up the synchronization process beyond normal. However, being able to synchronize users when server overhead is lower reduces the possibility of synchronization failures.

    Unfortunately there isn’t a fix coming for this one any time soon – it is harder to do than you might think, with so many moving parts.  I hope this at least helps you to work around the issues and sorry for the undoubted inconvenience this one has been causing.


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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007 – Great new and updated content on TechNet.


    Loads of new and updated content on TechNet from Efren and Robert.  Video demos, walthroughs and updated and new articles!  Enjoy!

    Video demo: Using SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services with the Project Server 2007 Cube Building Service

    This two-part video demonstration walks through the steps necessary to configure the Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 cube building services for use with SQL Server Analysis Services 2005.

    Walkthrough: Deploy Project Server 2007 to a server farm environment

    This article contains a white paper and a four-part video series which provide a walkthrough of a typical Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 deployment. The white paper contains step-by-step instructions for each step necessary to successfully deploy Office Project Server 2007. The video series mirrors the steps described in the white paper.

    The Challenges of Selecting Enterprise Software

    This is the latest article by Chris Vandersluis in the “From the Trenches” column on the Project Server 2007 TechCenter.

    Virtualizing Project Server 2007

    This chapter includes six topics that explain hyper-v architecture and best practices for planning, installing, and configuring a Project Server 2007 deployment on Hyper-V.

    Deploy Project Server 2007 Updates

    This article provides a general overview of the types of updates that are available to for Project Server 2007.   It describes important things to know about each update types, as well as links to separate articles on each update type.

    Deploy cumulative updates (Project Server 2007) (updated)

    This article has been updated to provide more information about cumulative update server packages for Project Server 2007 farms deployed with Office SharePoint Server 2007.  It has also been updated to describe client cumulative update dependencies required for cumulative updates including the Project Server infrastructure update.

    Checklist for deploying Project Server 2007 updates

    This checklist provides a list of general steps required to update a Project Server 2007 farm deployment.

    Manage Active Directory synchronization in Project Server 2007 (Updated)

    This article has been updated with information about how synchronization deadlocks occur and how to go about removing a deadlock if it occurs. *** Update - Link corrected ***

    Office Project Server 2007 Performance Counters

    This technical reference article provides a list of performance indications you can monitor in Project Server 2007.

    Inventory of SQL Server databases for a typical Project Server 2007 deployment

    This technical reference article provides a list of databases that are created in a Project Server 2007 and Portfolio Server 2007 deployment.

    Requirements for using SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services with the Project Server 2007 Cube Building Service (Updated)

    This article has been updated to refer to the Feature Pack for SQL Server 2005 – December 2008. The Analysis Management Objects installed with the SQL Server 2005 Management Objects that were in earlier versions of the SQL Server 2005 Feature pack required a workaround in order for the Cube Building Service to function correctly.

    Project Server 2007 Webcasts

    This set of articles describes and links to archived Project Server TechNet Webcasts. Topics include server administration, network communication, workload scenarios and reference architecture, and data flow.

    Prepare for migration to Project Server 2007 (updated)

    This article has been updated to describe the best practice of applying the latest update to the Project Professional 2007 client from which you run the migration tool to ensure that it has the latest updates.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Migrating Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007


    Apologies if you have already seen this from Christophe’s blog, but just in case it passed you by – there is a new white paper, by QuantumPM, on migration best practices for upgrading from Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007.

    If you are still on Project Server 2003 now would be a great time to read up on these best practices, put together your migration plan and then go straight to Project Server 2007 SP2 which will be coming along in the next few weeks.

    To give you an idea what the document covers, here is an overview:


    This paper provides guidance, references, and best practices to observe when migrating to Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 from Project Server 2003. The audiences for this guide are business application specialists, line-of-business specialists, IT generalists, program managers, and infrastructure specialists who want to migrate to Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 and want the required planning requirements, migration steps and helpful hints obtained from previous experience.

    The Audience

    The target audience for this guide is generally the following:

    • Executive managers who want a high-level overview of the benefits and approach to migrating the Project Server system

    • EPM business managers who help determine operating processes and the future course for the EPM strategies

    • Technology leaders who will take actions to setup systems and move the Project Server 2003 data to Project Server 2007

    • Information technologists who are responsible for implementing and maintaining servers and systems

    Chapter Overview

    • Planning Your Migration Project

    • Performing Your Project Server 2007 Readiness Assessment

    • Planning and Preparing Your Technical Environment

    • Analyzing and Cleansing Your Project Server Data

    • Planning For the Migration Process and Contingencies

    • Performing the Migration and Post-Migration Activities

    • Preparing for Changes to Technical and Business Operational Policies

    This document contains key references to Project Server 2007 migration resources as well as best practices learned from customer upgrade projects since the product launch. This white paper complements the existing Migration guide for Office Project Server 2007 mainly targeted at IT Professionals existing on the EPM Tech Center.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Conference 2009 Update


    A reminder that you can submit content suggestions and perhaps get to speak at the Project Conference 2009, and news of the keynote speakers – Chris Capossela and Professor Gary Harmel.


    New for 2009!
      The Project Conference team has received a tremendous amount of interest from customers and partners to present content at Project Conference 2009. In response, we are formally offering an opportunity to contribute to and present content at Project Conference 2009.  We encourage you to utilize the content submission form to propose content ideas and speakers.  The first round of accepted proposals will be released on April 15 with final acceptance and closing of the tool on May 22.  Time is limited – submit your content now!!



    September 16, 2009

    Chris Capossela

    Senior Vice President, Information Worker Product Management Group

    Chris Capossela manages the Microsoft Office System of products, which includes desktop applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, InfoPath, Groove, OneNote, Project and Visio, server products such as Office SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, Office Communication Server and Project Server, and hosted software services such as Office Live, Office Live Meeting and Office Online – all of which deliver end-user productivity and companywide unified communications and collaboration, business intelligence and enterprise content management capabilities.  Capossela is responsible for worldwide product and business management for the Office System.  This includes defining pricing, packaging, go-to-markets, branding and advertising, as well as developing sales integration and the partner ecosystem around the world.


    September 17, 2009

    Professor Gary Hamel

    The Wall Street Journal recently ranked Gary Hamel as the world’s most influential business thinker

    and Fortune magazine has called him “the world’s leading expert on business strategy.”  For the last

    three years, Hamel has also topped Executive Excellence magazine’s annual ranking of the most sought after management speakers.  Hamel speaks frequently at the world’s most prestigious management conferences, and is a regular contributor to CNBC, CNN, and other major media outlets.  He has also advised government leaders on matters of innovation policy, entrepreneurship and industrial competitiveness.

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