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

July, 2009

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Timeout Settings

    • 13 Comments

    Thanks to my colleague Trevor Turner for compiling the various places in Project Server and associated technologies that timeout values can be set.  This came about to resolve problems in the Resource Substitution Wizard – but is helpful information for other slow scenarios too – particularly when large datasets are involved.  As Trevor points out – you should carry out other mitigations such as good use of categories, and also ensure your SQL databases have up to date statistics and fresh indexes.  Much better to make things run faster than just allowing longer waits for slow processing! 

    Whenever something fails in a very specific amount of time – 30 seconds, 1 minute, 1 hour – I always suspect some sort of timeout may be involved.

    Resource Substitution Wizard and Timeout Settings

    In certain circumstances where the Resource Substitution Wizard has to deal with a large amount of data the default settings for some timeout values are not large enough. This can either cause errors to be returned to the user or cause unexpected data to be retrieved when running the wizard.

    In order to resolve the specific timeout errors we have to ensure that the appropriate timeout values are set in the following four locations.

    1. The Project Server Published database
    2. The HKCU hive of the Windows registry
    3. The website timeout in IIS
    4. The ASP.NET timeout in IIS

    NOTE: Before making these changes, however, it may be more appropriate to try to mitigate any timeout errors by controlling which projects the user can see by making use of Categories (in Project Web Access). Reducing the number of projects a user has access to in this way will reduce the length of time taken to run the wizard and, therefore, reduce the need to increase the aforementioned timeout values.

    The following values/screenshots are what I have set on my system and which allow the Resource Substitution Wizard to successfully complete on a large customer dataset in around 8 minutes. Values should be modified at your own discretion.

    These timeout values may need to be increased further in different environments as the system parameters will, obviously, be different.

    All tests were performed using Project Server 2007 with the June CU installed for WSS, Project Server and Project Professional.

    It must also be noted that increasing timeout values can cause the system to run less efficiently and effectively, particularly those settings for IIS.

    1. The Project Server database

    In the Project Server Published database the setting in the MSP_WEB_ADMIN table for WADMIN_CORE_SQL_TIMEOUT should be increased. This value is in seconds.

    clip_image002

    This value can also be modified by making use of the PSI. Please see the following reference;

    http://blogs.msdn.com/project_programmability/archive/2008/12/20/project-server-database-timeout.aspx

    2. The HKCU hive of the Windows registry

    The following registry value should be added to the local user’s registry.

    Key

    \HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\MS Project\Settings\

    Value

    Name : Timeout

    Type : DWORD

    clip_image004

    This setting controls the SOAP Toolkit timeout value on the client.

    The default value is 60000, and it is ranked in milliseconds, putting the default value at one minute.

    If this value is not high enough you will likely receive the following error, along with a related entry in the Application Event Log relating to MSSOAP.

    clip_image006

    3. The website timeout in IIS

    In Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, the “Connection timeout:” setting should be increased for the Project Server Web Site.

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    4. The ASP.NET timeout in IIS

    In Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, select the ASP.NET tab and press the “Edit Configuration” button.

    clip_image010

    Select the Application tab and set the “Request execution timeout (seconds):” value for

    the Project Server Web Site.

    clip_image012

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Getting over Office Web Components Limitations

    • 0 Comments

    This posting came about based on a comment on my posting http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2009/05/13/project-server-2007-my-filters-don-t-work-in-my-data-analysis-views.aspx from Dick Ruemmele.  Chris Bulson had also chased me up on this as I hadn’t had a chance to follow up.  The issue is that OWC is somewhat limited in filtering – and the desire here was to have a list showing capacity and work – but only if work had a value (capacity almost always has a value).  This isn’t possible with OWC against the default cubes (not sure if MDX could help here…) but if you use Excel as the client and point at your Analysis Services server and your project cubes then you have more flexibility – including Value Filters!  I found the details here on the Excel blog (and do take a look at the latest postings on the Excel 2010)

    With the default view we see all rows (names obliterated to protect the innocent!)– but we only want ones where Work > 0.

    image

    But by selecting Value Filters (on drop down next to Resource List) we can select Greater Than, and then set Work Greater than 0:

    image

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    And we only see the rows with work!

    image

    SSRS or Excel Services might also be other options to explore to overcome some of these limitations of Office Web Components (OWC)

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Portfolio Server 2007 SP2 Released!

    • 2 Comments

    For full details of links and stuff see Christophe’s blog http://blogs.msdn.com/chrisfie/archive/2009/07/23/announcing-the-release-of-project-portfolio-server-2007-service-pack-2-sp2.aspx. Here are the highlights:

    Highlight of Portfolio Server 2007 SP2:

    • contains significant security improvements, stability improvements, and performance improvements
    • support for SQL Server 2008 32-bit (please note SQL 2008 64-bit is NOT supported)
    • support for Portfolio Server on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V
    • contains all previously released fixes into one update

    The third point answers a question posted to my blog regarding VM support – but PPS may still not be listed in the validation tool just yet.

    And this is my first mobile blog – meaning I am on the Connector bus en-route to Campus.  One of the best benefits Microsoft has come up with recently – and the roads to Campus are noticably quieter because of it.  And wireless all the way to work…

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project 2010 and a 10,000 ft view

    • 4 Comments

    StMartin_09_004

    I know, that was mean.  And probably a little over 10,000 ft, as Rainier itself is 14,410ft.  Keshav has posted some early information about Project 2010, but to hear more you will need to wait for the Project Conference in September – and it is certainly worth waiting for! 

    The other Office client applications are making some earlier disclosures and there is already some cool stuff on the blogs about the other Office applications – and my favorite so far is the Excel 2010 Sparklines posting from Sam Radakovitz.  The Excel blog is also a good starting point for other 2010 content – just go to their links section on the lower right.

    A sampling:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering
  • Office Web Applications
  • Official Microsoft Office 2010 site
  • Backstage with Office 2010
  • I knew Mt Rainier was about 14k ft, but I turned to Bing for the answer (and Mt Rainer looked nearly this good from ground level this morning on my drive to work).  The picture above was taken just after take-off from SeaTac on my recent vacation – which is also the reason I haven’t been too quick replying to recent comment posts to the blog…  I’ll try and do some catching up next week.

    image

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Office System June 2009 Cumulative Update is now available

    • 7 Comments

    It is June the umptieth and the June Cumulative Update packages for Office Suite and Office Servers (including Project Server 2007) are now available.  Some of the KB articles are still on their way through the system so some of the links below may not work just yet.  The overall KB pointing to all the Office client and server KBs can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972632.

    So here are the links applicable to Project and Project Server:

    Title KB Number KB URL Download URL
    Individual Product Packages      
    Project 2007 hotfix package (Project.msp): June 30, 2009 971501

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971501

    http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=971501
    Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (Sts.msp): June 30, 2009 970946

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/970946

    http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=970946
    Project Server 2007 hotfix package (Pjsrvapp.msp, Pjsrvwfe.msp): July 15, 2009 971502

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971502

    http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=971502
    Server Rollup Packages      
    Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (WSS server-package): June 30, 2009 971538

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971538

    http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=971538
    SharePoint Server 2007 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (MOSS server-package): June 30, 2009 971537

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971537 (Coming soon!)

    http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=971537

    Good news here is the first “fix” mentioned on the Project Server KB - The Tracking Method setting on the Task Settings and Displaypage is not applied to proposals or to converted proposals.  This should return the behavior customers had grown to know and like since the Infrastructure Upgrade.

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