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

October, 2009

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: October 2009 Cumulative Updates (CU) are Available

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    Thanks to the Product Group, our partners in Office Sustained Engineering partners and of course Rob – who keeps this all running smoothly from the support side - we now have a new set of Cumulative Updates!  One fix that I know Mary is waiting for (we met at the Project Conference) is the ‘loading grid’ issue when updating milestone tasks – Fixed!  Details of the CU follow, and also included are more general links regarding application of Service Packs.

    The Server CU is released in two different versions.  The first version is in Individual Packages specific to a particular product like WSS and Project Server.  These are smaller downloads but they do not include language packs or patches for other products so patches for those products would have to be downloaded and installed separately. 

    The second version is the Server Rollup Packages.  This is a set of two rollup packages which contains all the fixes for WSS, Project Server and MOSS.  These packages should be used when MOSS is part of the deployment and/or you have language packs installed.  The Server Rollup Packages are much larger (~200MB each) but they will greatly simplify MOSS patch deployment.

    A reminder on the download links – just replace the KB number where I have xxxxxx and you will go straight there:

     http://support.microsoft.com/hotfix/KBHotfix.aspx?kbnum=xxxxxx&kbln=en-us

    You can read about the fixes included in the October CU from the following articles:

    Server Rollup Packages:

    Description of the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (WSS server-package): October 27, 2009

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974989

    Description of the SharePoint Server 2007 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (MOSS server-package): October 27, 2009

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974988

    Server Individual Product Packages:

    Description of the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (Sts-x-none.msp): October 27, 2009

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/975002

    Description of the Project Server 2007 hotfix package (Pjsrvapp-x-none.msp, Pjsrvwfe-x-none.msp): October 27, 2009

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/974990

    The server patches require that WSS and Office Servers 2007 SP1 be installed.  For clarity, SP1 is required and SP2 is strongly recommended.  Here are the links to the SP1 Server Patches for your convenience:

    Description of the 2007 Microsoft Office servers Service Pack 1 and the 2007 Microsoft Office servers Language Pack Service Pack 1

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936984/en-us

    How to deploy the 2007 Microsoft Office servers Service Pack 1 and Office Server Language Pack 2007 Service Pack 1

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/945013/en-us

    and here are the links for SP2

    Description of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SP2 and of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Language Pack SP2

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953338

    Description of 2007 Microsoft Office servers Service Pack 2 and of 2007 Microsoft Office servers Language Pack Service Pack 2

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953334

    Description of Office Project 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and of Office Project Language Pack 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2)

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953326

    Client Individual Product Package:

    Description of the Office Project 2007 hotfix package (Project-x-none.msp): October 27, 2009 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/975923

    In order to install this hotfix, you will need to have Microsoft Project 2007 SP1 installed on the client. The article at the URL below contains information on how install download and install SP1 should you not have it installed already.

    Note:  We strongly recommend that you install Project 2007 SP2 from the information earlier in the article.

    Description of Project 2007 Service Pack 1 and of Project Language Pack 2007 Service Pack 1

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/937154/en-us

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Another OLAP Cube Building Gotcha – Is your alias 32 or 64 bit?

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    I posted a while back about an issue where the Application Server had an alias for the SQL Server, but when the Analysis Services cube build was requested the alias was passed to the Analysis Services server and it didn’t know the SQL Server by this alias (even if it was in fact the same server as SQL and the reporting database was running on!

    My colleague in Europe – Nuno – had a similar issue, but with a slight twist that makes a new post worthwhile.  ProjectServerOlapCubeGenerator.exe is the executable that builds the cube (it does exactly what it says on the box).  It is a 32 bit application and there is not a 64 bit version – so if you are running x64 then this executable will still be running x32.  SQL Server 2005 and 2008 Configuration Manager allow you to create aliases for servers – and if you look at the screenshot below you will see that you can create both 32bit and 64bit versions of the alias.  If you don’t have the 32bit version set then the 32 bit ProjectServerOlapCubGenerator.exe will not be able to find your SQL Server!

    SNAC32

    Expect an error something like the following to be in the ULS logs.

    CBSGeneralFailure was associated with exception: Microsoft.Office.Project.PI.CBSCommon.CBSProcessException     at Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.CBSLayer.ProcessCBSRequestMessage.SpawnOlapDatabaseGenerator(OlapStage olapStage, CubeAdmin cubeAdmin, CBSResource cbsResource, CubeGenerationSettings cubeGenerationSettings, OlapDatabaseDescription olapDatabaseDescription, String publishedDBConnectionString, Guid requestUid)     at Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.CBSLayer.ProcessCBSRequestMessage.GenerateOlapDatabase

    Thanks Nuno for alerting me to this issue and suggesting the blog posting.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    SharePoint 2010: What does it do for Project? Some good ULS log enhancements.

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    With the 2010 release Project Server now requires SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise (what we might previously thought of as MOSS) rather than just SharePoint Foundation (previously WSS).  This gives us access to all the features such as Excel Services for reporting, but also such things as PerformancePoint Services for Business Intelligence.  But as well as these things at the feature level we also benefit from the under the covers changes – such as the great improvements in ULS logging (“unexpected errors” can still happen – but they give you a correlation ID so you can easily find in the ULS logs more information about just how unexpected it was!)  The UI for setting verbosity of the ULS logs is also vastly improved and you don’t have to make each change one at a time – you can select whole features or individual sub features and then set the level of logging you require.

    image

    Another neat feature is that once you have changed things it is obvious from the UI (Bold) – and this rolls up to the feature level. 

    image 

    And if you do forget and leave logging set at verbose?  Well the new health analyzer has a rule for that, and can even alert you!

    image 

    and automatically fix things too.  Sweet!

    image

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2010: New TechNet and MSDN Resources – and 2010 Forums!

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    I don’t usually steal all of Christophe’s blog postings but this one is worth it.  Mostly planning content at the moment – but expect a ton more as we go through November and the Beta release.  Certainly worth bookmarking for future reference.  And if I get time I will be hanging out on the forums, along with my European colleague Alex.  See you there!

    We are pleased to announce the availability of the following Microsoft Project 2010 technical resources, save these bookmarks!

    TechNet Project 2010 TechCenter

    At http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/projectserver/ee263909.aspx the following areas are covered for IT Professionals:

    MSDN Project 2010 Developer Center

    At http://msdn.microsoft.com/project/ developers will find a growing list of resources including Project 2010 Beta Software Development Kit (SDK) as we move closer to Project 2010 Beta in November.

    Project 2010 Forums

    Get all of your Project 2010 end-user, IT Professional and Developer questions answered by product experts from Microsoft and the community (Project MVPs):

    Please note this is the first milestone of a journey, new content will continuously flow to these sites.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007 and 2010: Roundup of the week

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    If you are interested in 2010 then the Product Group blog has a brand new article from Bonny on user controlled scheduling. This covers the ability to turn of the scheduling engine for selected tasks (task type changed from automatically scheduled to manually scheduled) and also introduces the new Task Inspector – which is Task Drivers++. 

    Other recent 2010 posts include a feature I love from Roberto on Sync to SharePoint – a very cool new feature that allows collaboration via SharePoint 2010 directly from Project Professional 2010.  This does not need Project Server and works with all versions of SharePoint 2010, including SharePoint Foundation 2010 – the new name for Windows SharePoint Services (WSS).

    A reminder of some training opportunities for Project Server 2010 – see Christophe’s posting on the Ignite World tour – both technical and sales tracks will be available, and Christophe also posted a reminder of the software requirements stack for 2010.  Get ready for 2010 – x64 required for your SQL Server as well as all servers in the farm.  x64 also available (but optional) for the client.

    Another great addition to the TechNet content this week cam from Michael Jordan, Lead Architect from Microsoft Consulting Services entitled: Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 – Performance and Capacity Planning Best Practices And to plagiarize Christophe: This is a great asset for all customers and partners to ensure they are following deployment best practices to guarantee optimal performance, it is based on best practices learned from hundreds of Project Server 20007 customers engagements as well as scalability labs. 

    Purpose

    The purpose of this guide is to extend the Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 Performance Testing Lab (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=2f595e22-c9f1-4376-a8b2-7a7eccd2aba5&displaylang=en) whitepaper by providing Best Practices and Recommendations. Further recommendations are made in this guide based on field experience and deployment successes in real world scenarios against the main areas of the system. The emphasis is on Project Server 2007 in a production environment using physical servers. Reference is made to virtualization in the relevant sections. However, for a more comprehensive overview please read the Project Server 2007 Hyper-V guide (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc982157.aspx).

    The guidelines and recommendations in this guide present the “what” and “why”. Certain areas are prescriptive providing steps on “how” to accomplish the recommendation. However, the assumption is the audience of this guide is able to understand the reasons behind the guidance and take the necessary actions within their organization to implement optimization that applies to their scenario.

    The guidelines and recommendations in this guide cover technical, functional and process related guidance. It’s important to note these are mutually inclusive of each other and present cross-impacts through the system when a design is not balanced across all 3 areas. It’s expected that administrators of a Project Server 2007 deployment will collect regular operational and functional data, and over time trend the system for performance and scalar depth. Optimization in all areas is required on a regular basis to maintain an efficient system and identify remediation steps through operational policies.

    Audience

    The intended audience includes IT administrators, database administrators, data architects, system engineers, project managers and business analysts who may be involved in implementing Project Server 2007. This document is designed for a reader who has general knowledge of all the required application and platform components that support Project Server 2007.

    Additional Project Server 2007 resources for IT Professionals can be found on TechNet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/projectserver/default.aspx

    If this interests you then Jan’s posting regarding the EPMU training is also a must-read.

    Enjoy!

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