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

March, 2010

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    Project Server, PowerShell and the 2010 Scripting Games


    Within the blogging community at Microsoft we get plenty of “opportunities” (aka requests) for cross product announcements.  Occasionally they catch my eye and today was one of those days.  You may have noticed a new badge in my left NAV area (unless you are reading the RSS feed… so click the link) announcing the 2010 Scripting Games.  PowerShell is going to be so useful for SharePoint and Project Server 2010 – for deployment, management as well as monitoring and troubleshooting, so if you want to improve your scripting skills, or learn as you go – try the Scripting Games.

    For other Project PowerShell resources see the TechNet article at, the MSDN Code Gallery cmdlets samples from Mike Shughrue at and of course, the Scripting Guys' blog for the broader topics and find things you can do with PowerShell that you never thought you needed to do!


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    Project Server 2010: New Business Intelligence (BI) Center on TechNet


    Great way to end the week – more excellent resources to help you understand what we have in Project Server 2010 for Business Intelligence -

    Find out all about how we are using Excel Services, what is new with our SQL Server Analysis services OLAP databases in 2010 and configuration and troubleshooting information.

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    Project Server 2003: How to run the Views Maintenance tool as a Service


    Thanks to my colleague Marc Biarnes from our EMEA team in France for this posting.  I don’t often do 2003 postings, but this is something that comes up with our support team quite frequently.  Over to Marc:

    First, I used 2 tools provided  in the Windows 2003 Resource Kit and available on the Microsoft website :

    Then, when the Resource Kit is installed, I followed these steps :

    1. Start a MS-DOS command prompt

    2. Execute the following command line : C:\ResKit\instsrv.exe “ViewsMaintenance” C:\Reskit\Tools\srvany.exe

    3. Open Regedit.exe (Start, Run, regedit.exe)

    4. Select the following entry : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ViewsMaintenance

    5. From the Edit Menu, click Add Key and name it Parameters

    6. From the Edit menu, click on Add Value and type this information:
    Value Name : Application
    Data Type : REG_SZ
    String : <path>\ViewsMaintenance.exe

    7. In the Service console, you can start the service

    By default, the service will start automatically.

    To remove it, you can use the following MS-DOS command prompt : C:\ResKit\instsrv.exe “ViewsMaintenance” REMOVE

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    Project Server 2010: What to Expect when you get the Unexpected


    One of the most common error messages you will see in SharePoint 2010, and therefore Project Server2010 is “An unexpected error has occurred”, which will look something like this:

    unexpected error (2)

    The important thing to note here is the GUID, which in this case indicates it is the correlation ID.  This number isn’t an indication of the error, in the way an Event ID may be considered in the event logs, but indicates where in the ULS logs you can find more details of the error.  The time on the error will also give you guidance of which log to look at – as fresh ones are created every 30 minutes by default, and have a filename which indicates the server name and the time.  The only thing to work out then in a farm environment is the server that gave the error.  It will sometimes be obvious (and usually the web front end - WFE) but may be an error from the application layer and from the application server.  In 2010 these roles are a little less defined, but WFE will be the server(s) serving the web pages and the application server the server(s) where services such as the Project Application Service are running.

    Just a reminder – ULS logs can be found at c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\Logs (12 for 2007).  Also see my previous blog from the 2007 days at – and i do need to reset the hosted version of that webcast referred to on that page as our beta SilverLight hosting went away.  I’ll try and get this sorted soon…

    One of my favorite tools for reading ULS logs is still Excel, and with 2010 I’m sure I will be creating slicers and doing all sorts of new things, but also worth a look is the ULSViewer, which is available at and you can also find details for using there.  One neat feature is the ability to see alive feed of logged items, and filter for the unexpected (which only really makes sense if you are expecting it!)

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    Project Server 2010: Goodbye SSP, Hello Service Application


    The new architecture in Project Server 2010 (from SharePoint 2010 of course) see the end of shared service providers and the introduction of Service Applications. For an excellent coverage of this change see but here I’ll talk about how this affects Project Server.  The SSP is gone, but as far as SharePoint is concerned shared services are still around.  For Project, there is not too much change from 2007 – we are a very selfish ‘shared service’ that doesn’t like sharing.  A good comparison here is Search or Excel Services, where some of the definitions of the service application can specify the scope of that service application and then this can be ‘shared’ to a specific audience. Whereas Project service applications just have PWA instance within them and then all authorization and scope is set within the PWA instance itself – so you can understand why sharing the service application doesn’t work for Project.  So while there can be good reasons for having many different defined Service Applications for other SharePoint 2010 Service Applications – the argument for Project just isn’t there – you probably just need one, and this will have one proxy (one to one relationship of SA to Proxy) and this proxy will be in the default proxy group, and also any custom proxy groups for web applications that you wish to have PWA instances provisioned within them.

    Service Applications, Proxies and Web Applications

    One early catch in the Beta for Project Server 2010 was that customers were very used to SSPs in 2007 and wanted to use Service Applications in the same way – which doesn’t really make sense.  Unlike a Shared Services Provider, a Service Application does not have an admin account as such – so all project queue and event services will run as the farm administrator.  Also in 2010 one Service Application can work across multiple web applications – so again, one will work across your whole farm – and not the need to have multiples – in the way that web applications related to SSPs in 2007.

    When creating a Service Application you will usually choose to create a proxy,and this will be placed in the default proxy group.  If you are creating multiple Service Applications (for whatever reason) then you will almost certainly need to create custom proxy groups and ensure that the default PSI Service Application is the right one in each custom proxy group for the specific web application.

    The relationship between the web application where your PWA instance exists, and the Service Application that created it are via the proxy.  It is however possible to create a PWA instance in a web application where the proxy that should be servicing this PWA instance is not the default proxy, and therefore connectivity back to the Service Application (PSI) will not be possible – and the much dreaded ‘unexpected error’ will occur.  For a PWA site to connect to its Service Application its proxy MUST be the default within the proxy group for the web application.

    I will follow up on this blog posting with one on troubleshooting these connectivity issues between web application and Service Application (PSI) and in that post I will also have some of the common ULS error messages you might come across.

    I feel I’ve said the same thing several times here – but can’t say it too much, as early evidence says this will trip alot of people up.

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