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April, 2009

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Service Pack 2 (SP2) is now available!

    • 29 Comments

    Rather than repeat everything – Christophe has a great posting with all the links! http://blogs.msdn.com/chrisfie/archive/2009/04/28/announcing-service-pack-2-sp2-for-microsoft-project-2007-and-microsoft-project-server-2007.aspx

    I will just remind you of the Webcasts tomorrow (29th) and Thursday (30th) - I  encourage everyone to attend the Project 2007 Service Pack 2 Overview webcast scheduled for April 29 at 8 am Pacific Time, and April 30 at 5 pm Pacific Time (webcast details are posted on EPMConnect). Adrian Jenkins and Christophe Fiessinger will cover the following topics during the webcast: SP2 Overview, April Cumulative Update Overview, Deployment Best Practices, Next Steps, Questions and Answers.

    Another part of the SP2 announcement to highlight is around requirements for the next release of SharePoint and Project Server: Windows Server 2008 and 64 bit. We will be publishing guidance on how to upgrade your existing Project Server 2007 farm to Windows Server 2008 64 bit in the coming weeks on TechNet. Expect full system requirements for Project Server 2010 at a latter date.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Actual work in My Tasks changes after adding non-work time in My Timesheet

    • 21 Comments

    *** Update 3/19/2010 *** Thanks for the reminder TAE.  We actually resolved this with a fix rather than accepting it was 'by design.  It is in the latest CU (Feb 2010) but I think came out last year in Oct or Dec CU originally ***

    This is an issue you may come across depending on your specific workflow for time reporting and statusing.  The scenario is that you enter time for a project task through My Tasks and save, and then in My Timesheet you add some time to a non-work category of Administrative time such as Sick – or any non-work item - for the same day.  The issue shows up instantly if the category does not need approval and results in a change to the actual work value entered.  There will be a KB article coming shortly and I’ll update this posting once it is available.

    The reason this happens is that the non-working time entered in the timesheet is entered into the resources calendar as a calendar exception – making them unavailable for work for a period of the day, resulting in a change in the entered actual work for the same day.  If the admin time is entered first, or the timesheet data is imported into my tasks then this behavior can be avoided.  The problem is that the data goes in just for the day and not in a specific time-span, meaning you may get an overlap of your time entered and your non-working time – even if the total is still within the number of hours you normally work.  You can also see this in Project Professional if you add a calendar exception where there is already actual work entered, but in Pro it is a little more obvious what is going on and easier to correct.

    Sorry if this unusual behavior causes you some issues – but hopefully the workarounds and understanding of why it does what it does will make things easier for you.

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

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

    • 17 Comments

    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 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=147394). 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: Service pack 2 (SP2) Webcasts

    • 16 Comments

     *** Update *** Now available - http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2009/04/28/project-server-2007-service-pack-2-sp2-is-now-available.aspx  

    Next week, on April 28th,  Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Microsoft Office System – including Project and Project Server 2007 will be released, along with SP2 for all the other office applications, including Office SharePoint Server and also WSS.  We have a couple of webcasts organized on the morning of the 29th and the evening of the 30th which hopefully allow us to cover most time zones.  Join Adrian Jenkins and Christophe Fiessinger as they give an overview of this important release, best practices for deployment and also time for questions and answers.  As a reminder the key fixes in this release will be:

    Project (desktop)

    • The scheduling engine, Active Cache, and Gantt charts all have improvements.
    • There is additional reliability with earlier versions of the .mpp format.

    Project Server

    • Better memory management in the queue service.
    • Performance to certain database table indexes is improved.
    • Resource plans, build team, cost resources, and the server scheduling engine have improved.

    Details of the webcasts follow:

    Please note we will deliver the same webcast twice to accommodate different time zones, we will also record these webcast and will make them available on EPMConnect:

    • Wednesday April 29, from 8-9 am Pacific Time
    • Thursday April 30, from 5-6 pm Pacific Time

    Webcast Details

    April 29 – 8-9am Pacific Time
    April 30 – 5-6pm Pacific Time

    Meeting URL
    https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/lmevents/join?id=OEM042AM&role=attend&pw=ATT5678
    https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/lmevents/join?id=OEM042PM&role=attend&pw=ATT6789

    Event Info
    Meeting ID: OEM042AM
    Entry Code: ATT5678
    Meeting ID: OEM042PM
    Entry Code: ATT6789

    Back-up Audio
    (If you are unable to connect to the audio through the Computer Audio, you can dial in to the audio over a traditional telephony line)
    US/Canada: (1) (877) 241-9971
    International: (1) (503) 295-8000
    Pin: 3616
    US/Canada: (1) (877) 241-9971
    International: (1) (503) 295-8000
    Pin: 3616

    Requirements for Attending this Event
    We strongly suggest you test your computer's configuration: https://events.livemeeting.com/LM2007test.htm to ensure you are running the most current version of Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

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

    • 15 Comments

    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:

    Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.Upgrade.ReportingDatabaseUpgrader_12_1_153_0.Upgrade()

    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 12.1.152.0 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!

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